Tiana’s Beignets

by Aanya Mittu (’25) | October 7, 2022

Art by Simran Ahluwalia (’26)

While watching my favorite movie, The Princess and the Frog, I felt inspired to make Princess Tiana’s beignets. Although various dishes from gumbo to swamp water punch are featured in the film, the beignets seemed the most interesting to make.

The recipe is as follows:

1 cup hot milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons active yeast
1 large egg at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
Vegetable oil for frying
Powdered sugar for serving

First, activate the yeast with the milk and sugar before adding in the effort, butter, and vanilla. Next, incorporate the flour in small increments to slowly mix it into the dough. Once the flour is mixed in, put the dough onto a floured surface to knead. This is imperative for achieving the fluffy, soft texture characteristic beignets. Let the dough rest for two hours before rolling it out to around half an inch in thickness.

Although I would love to say this recipe was simple to follow, that would be a lie. The beginning of the recipe was fairly simple; the kneading was where everything went wrong. The dough kept sticking to everything, making it impossible to knead. It also did not help that the recipe requires the chef to be cautious about the amount of flour added to the dough, even while kneading. Nevertheless, I was somehow able to reach an acceptable level of consistency before letting it rest.

The rest of the process was fairly smooth, even if I did get splattered with oil a few times while frying the dough. After dusting the beignets with powdered sugar, I realized that all the work was worth it. The fluffy beignets melt in your mouth, and the powdered sugar keeps you coming back for more.

However, the real review came from the taste testers, who ultimately had to decide whether the beignets were good enough for their tastes. I asked a few of my friends who go to Disneyland fairly regularly to taste my beignets and compare them to the Disneyland ones. Although my friends were brutally honest and rated a 7/10 as opposed to a 10/10 for Disney’s, I would consider this recipe a semi-success. I would definitely recommend following another, more straightforward recipe, especially if you are not a frequent baker; if you are up for the challenge, however, Tiana’s beignets certainly make for a fun activity.

Categories: Food

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