Star anise adds subtle spice to these doughnut-like treats from
the Deep South - a grown-up touch for a sure-fire favourite.
55 gm(¼ cup) caster sugar7 gmdry yeast (1 sachet)250 ml(1 cup) evaporated milk1egg, lightly beaten600 gm(4 cups) plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting60 gmcoconut oil, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing160 gm(1 cup) pure icing sugar4star anise, finely ground with a mortar and pestleFor deep-frying:vegetable oil
Combine sugar, yeast and 125ml lukewarm water in a bowl and stir to dissolve yeast. Cover and set aside until foamy (10-12 minutes). Mix in evaporated milk and egg, then half the flour. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, add coconut oil and remaining flour, and knead on medium speed until smooth (5-6 minutes). Transfer dough to a bowl lightly greased with coconut oil, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to prove (it should be doubled in size).
Knock back dough, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to an 8mm-thick rectangle. Cut dough into twenty 7cm diamonds, place on trays lined with baking paper and dusted with flour, cover with a clean tea towel and leave until doubled in size (30-35 minutes).
Combine icing sugar with star anise in a bowl and set aside.
Heat vegetable oil to 180C in a deep-fryer or large saucepan and deep-fry beignets in batches (be careful, hot oil may spit), turning occasionally, until golden and crisp (3-4 minutes). Drain on paper towels, dust generously with anise sugar and serve hot.