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 sugar
- 7 gm dry yeast (1 sachet)
- 250 ml (1 cup) evaporated milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 600 gm (4 cups) plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
- 60 gm coconut oil, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing
- 160 gm (1 cup) pure icing sugar
- 4 star anise, finely ground with a mortar and pestle
- For deep-frying: vegetable oil
- 1Combine 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).
- 2Knock 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).
- 3Combine icing sugar with star anise in a bowl and set aside.
- 4Heat 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.
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