It’s been a while since my last post, but what better way to bounce back than with a few puffy bites?
Puff puff, another popular Nigerian snack, is what’s on the table. Fluffy on the inside and a tad bit crispy on the outside – provided you get it straight out of the oil – it’s a beignet-esque treat that is usually coated in sugar at the final stage of its preparation for added sweetness. But not today. Today we’ll be finishing up this little snack with a lot more sweetness and a delightful dose of je ne sais quoi.
So to achieve such wondrousness I’ve decided to play around with Crêpe Suzette – a yummy French dessert – by substituting the crêpes with puff puff. So simple and oh so satisfying! The result was a juicier version of the traditional snack, enriched with flavours from the butter, oranges and brandy in the sauce.
*This Crepe Suzette recipe is from an old culinary school textbook and the puff puff from playing around with various recipes I found online.
Try it out:
Yields 8 servings
500 g flour
500 g water
125 g sugar
2 t dry yeast (20 g fresh yeast)
Vegetable oil, as needed
Orange Compound Butter
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
350 g butter, softened
100 g sugar
50 g orange liqueur
30 g brandy
20 g grenadine
50 g sugar
2 additional oranges, juiced (optional)
1. For your puff puff, first combine all dry ingredients then add water and mix until smooth.
2. Give dough 2 to 2½ hours to rise.
3. Fill a pot with about at least 2 to 3 inches of oil over medium heat. Test that oil is hot enough by dropping in a sample of dough. If dough sits at the bottom, oil is not hot enough. If dough browns quickly and is not cooked in the center, oil is too hot. Find your happy medium ?
4. Using a spoon, dish up batter and drop into the oil in a ball shape. An ice cream scooper or a pastry bag will work fairly well for this.
5. Fry balls until golden brown and turn to other side to repeat. This should only take about two minutes. Remove and drain excess oil on paper towels. Set aside.
6. For orange compound butter, place soft butter in a bowl, add sugar and zest, and mix until smooth. Add orange liqueur and orange juice little by little until the mixture becomes saturated and cannot absorb more liquid. Set aside.
7. For the garniature, zest the remaining oranges with a vegetable peeler and julienne (a.k.a thinly slice) the zest.
8. Blanch the zest in simmering water for 2-5 minutes to soften. Strain and cook zest in the grenadine for about 8 minutes, adding water if necessary. Remove the zest from the syrup and toss in bowl of sugar to coat.
9. Section the orange into suprêmes (slice off all skin and cut out clean segments. See photo) and set aside.
10. To finish, heat the orange butter in a large sauté pan until it melts. Add the additional orange juice, if necessary, for proper consistency. Add puff puff balls, a few at a time, and coat with butter. Continue until all the puff puff is in the pan – be careful not to overcrowd pan.
11. Flambé with brandy and immediately serve four per plate with the sauce poured over the top. Garnish with the zest and suprêmes. You can also add picked mint leaves and a sprinkle of powdered sugar for presentation and additional flavour.
12. Bon appétit!