What is made up of butter, flour, water and eggs, piped into several shapes for a variety of uses, and made most famous by our friends at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans? It is, of course, the pate à choux dough which brings us delicious pastries, both sweet and savory, such as eclairs, cream puffs, profiteroles, croquembouches, French crullers, and Indonesian kue sus, dumplings. In the case of Cafe du Monde, choux is also responsible for the beignet, that wonderful little bit of fried dough that we typically dump a crazy amount of confectioner’s sugar onto and devour without remorse alongside a steaming cup of coffee.
There are more than a few versions of the beignet in Dallas, and bring you some of the best.
The classic beignet can be found at Oddfellows in the Bishop Arts District of Oak Cliff. Mounds of sweet sugar is dumped on top to give it this wonderful snowy mountain top look, and to dust your clothes for that lovely tell-tale sign that you had a very good brunch. Or dinner.
Toulouse has both beignets and profiteroles. Don’t know the difference? There’s not much, but the preparation is a bit fancier on the latter. Order both and see.
One of our favorite food trucks does justice to the beignet. Tailgators has some pretty delicious Cajun fare, but you should always end with this masterpiece of a dessert. Or be Amish about it and order the beignet first, because life is truly uncertain.
The fairly new Woolworth has a version that is top rated. They have more of a doughnut look about hem, but they are so much more lighter and delicious.
Be there no doubt that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a savory beignet, especially when it is chockful of crawfish like this version at Boulevardier. Fancy a plate of these largish delights along with one of their award winning cocktails, and you have a meal.
In case we left you scratching your head, we have a few definitions:
A croquembouche or croque-en-bouche is a French dessert consisting of choux pastry balls piled into a cone and bound with threads of caramel. It is often served in lieu of a wedding cake.
Kue is a broad Indonesian term for bite-sized snack or dessert foods. The kue sus are baked pastries filled with soft and moist cream made from the mixture of milk, sugar and flour, not too unlike a cream puff. Fruit versions are not uncommon.
Here is the profiterole from Toulouse: