It’s fair season! Unfortunately it’s looking more and more likely that we won’t be able to make it to the State Fair of Texas up in Dallas this year. But that isn’t going to stop me from bringing the fair home!
Let’s be honest, everyone looks forward to going to the fair to enjoy some fried food. Corn dogs, fried oreos, fried maragritas, and of course funnel cakes. My fondest memories of funnel cakes are not actually enjoying them at the fair but at Schlitterbahn after a day in the water and sun with my summer league swim team. I’d go get one just as the sun was beginning to dip down and they were about to close down for the day. Something about the hot crunchy dough pieces covered in a thick layer of powdered sugar still makes me smile.
I’ve never made funnel cakes before. I don’t have a deep fryer and don’t really like to fry food in my kitchen. It makes a mess and then there’s the issue of dealing with all that oil when you’re done. Surprisingly these didn’t spatter and create a mess and I found these great tips for how to dispose of or save your cooking oil. There might just be more frying in my future.
The dough is pate a choux, the same dough used to make cream puffs and eclairs. It is an eggy dough that bakes up nice and puffy. It sounds fancy, but isn’t at all complicated.
Instead of a funnel a plastic bag is used to pipe the dough into the oil. Cut a smaller hole than you think you need from the bag. You can always cut a bit more if you need, but if you cut it too big you’ll have to transfer the dough to a new bag and start over. That happened to me.
While I had grand plans to make all of these the same size I wound up with a wide variety of sizes and shapes. But they all tasted equally as delicious! These are best eaten immediately so be sure to have some hungry folks (toddlers are good funnel cake eaters!) to help you enjoy these tasty treats.
Pâte a Choux Funnel Cakes
From Alton Brown
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup eggs, about 4 large eggs and 2 whites
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Powdered sugar, for topping
- In a medium sized saucepan bring water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil over high heat.
- Once it boils add the flour and lower the heat to medium low. Stir with a wooden spoon until dough forms a ball and a film forms on the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
- With mixer on low speed add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to wait until the egg is incorporated before adding the next.
- Once all the eggs have been added transfer dough to a large plastic bag.
- Heat oil in a saucepan, about 1 1/2 inches deep, to 350-375°F.
- Cut a small corner from the bag and pipe dough out in a circular/swirling pattern, making the cake as big or as small as you like. Let cook for a minute or two, depending on the amount of dough used, then flip and cook until desired doneness. I like mine a little darker, but you may prefer them lighter.
- Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels before dusting with powdered sugar.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough, making sure your oil is kept between 350 and 375°F. Too cool and the dough absorbs too much oil, too hot and it burns. Increase and lower the heat as needed to keep it in the sweet spot.