I love beignets which are very similar to malasadas with the addition of kabocha squash and a coconut caramel dipping sauce. I made these during Thanksgiving and really loved them but really... these can be made all year long with or without the kabocha squash.
- 1 small Kabocha squash
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup evaporated milk
- 1/3 cup Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale or some other Ale
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- vegetable, canola or other neutral oil for deep frying
- 2/3 cup palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 small pandan leaf, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
Steam the Kabocha squash whole in a steamer over gently simmering water until a knife pierces through the flesh easily, about 40 minutes. Remove from the steamer and let cool. When the Kabocha squash is cool enough to work with your hands, cut the squash in half. Remove and discard the seeds and pulp with a spoon and scoop out the flesh into the bowl of an electric mixer. Set aside until ready for use.
Sprinkle the yeast over ¼ cup warm water and let sit until foamy, 10 minutes. Add the evaporated milk, Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to the electric mixer bowl with Kabocha squash. Mix on medium speed with the paddle attachment until well incorporated, then add 2/3 cup sugar with the machine running.
Turn the mixer to low speed and add the foamy yeast, then the flour, ½ cup at a time. Once all the flour has been incorporated, mix for 1 more minute. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in bulk, at least 1 hour. If beignets are not to be cooked immediately, the dough may be refrigerated at this point for up 2 days. If you have refrigerated the dough, let it rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours before frying.
Fill a medium saucepan with oil to depth of 3 inches. Attach a deep frying thermometer to the saucepan and heat the oil to 350ºF (a small piece of dough will sizzle when the oil is ready). Shape the dough into 2 inch balls with a spoon or ice cream scoop and gently drop one into the oil. Cook about 5 at a time. Cook until puffy and golden brown, about 2 minutes and then turn and cook for another minute. Remove the cooked beignets with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Roll the hot beignets in the remaining 1 cup sugar or use the traditional powdered sugar and serve warm with Dipping Sauce.
Palm Sugar Caramel Dipping Sauce:
In a pot, bring pandan leaf, coconut milk and salt to a boil. Set aside to steep. In another pot, bring palm sugar, lemon juice and ¼ cup water to a dark caramel. Carefully whisk in warm coconut milk mixture and bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool before serving.