Breakfast/Brunch, Desserts, Sweet Snacks

Krapfen für Faschingsdienstag / Beignets for Fat Tuesday
Schokokrafpen mit Mandelsahne
(Chocolate Beignets with Almond Cream)

for the doughnuts/beignets/krapfen:
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water, 100-110F
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons salt

For the almond pastry cream
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch of table salt
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold cut into 2 pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

for the chocolate ganache
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
3/4 cup heavy cream

4 cups vegetable oil, plus more for bowl
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds, toasted
confectioners sugar for dusting

In a small bowl, combine yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Into your mixer bowl, add the flour, eggs, yeast mixture, orange extract, sugar, butter, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Attach your dough hook and turn to low to mix the ingredients for about a minute. Then turn your mixer one speed higher and continue to mix for about 8 minutes. Add a little more flour if necessary. By the end of the 8 minutes your dough should be smooth, soft and bounces back when poked with a finger (it should not be sticking to the sides of your bowl).

Roll the dough into a ball. Place in an oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

In the meantime, make your pastry cream. Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, whisk the yolks, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the cornstarch and whisk the mixture is pale yellow and thick. When the cream reaches a full simmer, slowly whisk it into the yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thick and glossy. Off the heat, whisk in the butter and almond extract. Transfer the pastry cream to a small bowl and refrigerate, with plastic wrap pressed flush against its surface, until cold and set, at least 1 hour.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 3 inch cutter and cut out about 10-15 rounds. If you don’t have a round cookie cutter, use any other utensils that will give you a similar shape. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for another 15 minutes. (Do not be alarmed if the rounds do not seem to rise much. Once you fry them in the hot oil, they will puff up nicely.)

In medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, heat oil until a deep-frying thermometer registers 370F. Carefully slip 4 rounds into oil (do not over crowd). Fry until golden brown, about 40 seconds. Turn doughnuts over; fry until golden on other side, another 40 seconds.

Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Continue frying the remaining dough.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a #10 tip with jam. Fill another pastry bag with the cream filling. Using a wooden skewer or the end of a chopstick, make a hole in the side of each krapfen. Fit the pastry tip into a hole, pipe about 2 teaspoons jam into it, and then an equal amount of pastry cream. Repeat with remaining krapfen.

Make your ganache while the krapfen cool slightly. Melt chocolate and cream in medium heatproof bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and gently whisk until very smooth.

Dust with confectioners sugar, then dip into the chocolate ganache (one side only). Sprinkle with toasted almonds and serve immediately.

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