The Mexican buñuelo is a descendent of Spanish churros and comes in many forms; a flat stretched disc of dough, a classic ring shaped doughnut or a simple ball.
Usually scented with anise and soaked in brown sugar syrup, this recipe adds pecans and tea anglaise to wonderful effect.
Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and set aside in a medium-sized heat-proof bowl.
To make the anglaise, slit the vanilla bean lengthways and scrape out the seeds. In a small heavy based saucepan, bring the milk to the boil with the empty vanilla pod then add the tea. Remove from the heat and cover to infuse for 4 minutes.
Whisk yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy then add the vanilla seeds. Strain the tea-infused milk, then slowly add it to the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
Pour the mixture into a clean small saucepan and return to a medium heat, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens. The anglaise is ready when it coats the back of a spoon, or at 78°C. Remove the anglaise from the pot and pour into a bowl, then whisk to cool (around 1 minute).
To prepare the pastry bring the water, salt, butter and anise to the boil, then add the flour and stir vigorously on a low heat until smooth and the dough starts to come away from the sides of the pan.
Let cool for 10 minutes then, while beating the mixture with a spoon, start to add egg a little at a time until all incorporated. Add the baking powder and pecans, then let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Heat grape-seed oil to 190°C. Using two teaspoons, form small balls of dough and drop them into the oil. Coat the spoons in a little oil to help the ball come off smoothly and be sure to drop them in from a close distance to avoid any hot oil splashes.
Cook in the oil for around 1½ minutes on each side, then remove and place immediately into the cinnamon sugar.Serve while still warm with the Earl grey tea anglaise.
Grape seed oil is preferred for this recipe as is has a clean flavour, but a good quality vegetable oil will work well too.
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