donuts for Mardi Gras – Liberation

Nothing beats cooking to warm up the mood. Today, Philippe Etchebest’s apple donuts and Georgiana Viou’s banana talé.

This March 1st is Mardi Gras, a celebration which, in the Christian tradition, allows you to have a feast before attacking the period of Lent which precedes Easter. This fast, where the faithful are notably supposed to do without meat (the “Veganuary” did not invent anything), lasts forty days, in reference to those that Jesus would have spent in a desert as much as to those of the fast of Moses pending the delivery of the Tables of the Law.

It’s not that we’re very keen on religious stuff Liberated, but when we have the opportunity to feast, we are not the type to pass our turn. To us the traditional waffles and beignets, in particular the “carnival beignets”, the bugnes lyonnaises, the wonders of Aquitaine or the risoles of the Jura, but also, if you want to do a little culinary tourism by following the habits of other countries, semla (buns with cream and marzipan served in Sweden), pancakes (in Russia), pea soup with ham (in Estonia), pancakes with maple syrup (in United States and Canada)…

Since the date is not about frugality, we unearthed not one but two donut recipes: French classics, with apple, and dwarf banana donuts (or the usual banana, if you don’t find) from Benin, called talé talé.

For Philippe Etchebest’s apple donuts (1), you will need: 4 Granny Smith apples, 70 cl of frying oil, 2 to 3 tablespoons of icing sugar, 2 eggs, 20 g of powdered sugar, 200 g of flour, 15 cl of beer, 15 cl of milk.

Peel the apples, cut them into 6 slices and core them.

Prepare the donut batter: break the eggs, separating the yolks from the whites, whisk the whites to stiff peaks (by hand or with an electric mixer). In another bowl, mix the egg yolks, the powdered sugar and add the flour little by little, while mixing. Pour the beer and the milk over the mixture, whisk until you obtain a smooth and homogeneous batter to which you will then incorporate the beaten egg whites, gently lifting the batter with a spatula.

Heat the frying pan to 180 degrees. Dip the apple rings in the donut batter then immerse them in the frying bath, but do not put too many (6 max) at a time. When the donuts are golden brown, take them out of the bath with a spider and let them drain a little on absorbent paper before sprinkling them with icing sugar.

Repeat the operation and taste the still warm donuts.

Head for Benin now with unsweetened donuts, talé talé, which, says chef Georgiana Viou, can be eaten as a snack in the street, accompanied by mashed chili. The bananas should be as ripe as possible – which will be an alternative to the eternal banana bread, the next time your bananas have been left abandoned in your fruit bowl.

For Georgiana Viou’s dwarf banana donuts (2), you will need: 400 ripe dwarf bananas or very ripe “classic” bananas, 40 g flour, 2 pinches of salt, 1/4 liter of peanut oil (or any other oil suitable for frying).

Peel the bananas and mash them by hand in a bowl with the flour and salt. Mix for five minutes.

When cooking, heat the oil and, when it reaches 175 degrees, form small balls of dough and immerse them in the bath. Brown them evenly, turn them halfway through cooking. Drain in a colander covered with paper towel. Serve warm to avoid burning yourself!

(1) Cook well accompanied with my Mentor method, Philippe Etchebest. Albin Michel, 2021, €19.90.

(2) The Taste of Cotonou. My cuisine from Benin, Georgiana Viou. Ducasse Editions, 2021, €28.90.

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