The only thing better than Beignets are Chocolate Filled Beignets! These golden brown treats are light, fluffy, and filled with a gooey pocket of chocolate. If you love beignets and chocolate, you have to try this recipe!
Chocolate Filled Beignets
Recipe #3 in chocolate month is one I’ve been dying to share with you for ages now…
CHOCOLATE BEIGNETS! Warm, gooey, and covered in CHOCOLATE powdered sugar. They’re a dream come true!
This recipe is very similar to my popular New Orleans-Style Beignets! Which were inspired by the legendary beignets from Cafe Du Monde. I also have a recipe for lemon beignets! Clearly, I’m a bit beignet obsessed.
And while nothing beats sitting at a sunny table in New Orleans eating a mountain of warm beignets covered in confectioner’s sugar. But my recipe comes pretty close! And it’s a lifesaver for those days you’re craving a beignet but can’t hop a flight to NOLA.
Make the Chocolate Beignet Dough
If you’ve never made beignets before, don’t fret! This recipe is actually quite straightforward. The most important thing is to make sure you have ALL of the ingredients you need before you begin. I don’t suggest making ANY substitutions in this recipe.
Some of the items are pantry staples like eggs, butter, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. And you probably have those in your kitchen already! You’ll want to make sure to bring your eggs and butter to room temperature!
Once you have all of the ingredients on hand, you’re ready to go! You’ll start off by combining the yeast, sugar, and water. Important: make sure your water is between 110 degrees to 115 degrees (F). You’ll set this mixture aside for about 10 minutes, or until it bubbles up. If your yeast does not bubble up like the photo below, you’ll need to begin again.
Once your yeast is ready, you’ll begin making the dough. I suggest making this in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, but a large bowl with a hand mixer will also work! You’re essentially just mixing everything together until combined, then you’re going to cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for AT LEAST 2 hours! But the good news? These chocolate beignets can be made up to 24 hours in advance!
Cut the Dough into Squares
Once your dough has chilled, you’ll remove it from the fridge and scrape it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just one or twice, until it’s in a nice ball. Next, you’ll roll the ball out into a large rectangle. You want a 1/4 inch thick piece of dough. I know this sounds thin, but they’ll puff up a lot!
Finally, use a pizza cutter or pastry cutter to slice the dough into 3 inch squares. Don’t fret if they’re not all uniform in size!
Deep Fry the Beignets
You’ll need peanut oil for deep frying, as well as a candy thermometer to ensure your oil reaches – and remains at – the proper temperature. I also suggest lining a large baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels. Place this close by to where you’ll be frying the beignets! That way you can easily transfer them onto the paper towels and they can absorb some of the excess grease! Use a slotted spoon when you’re removing them from the oil, and be sure to let excess oil drip back into the pan before placing on the baking sheet.
The oil can take about 15 minutes to get to the right temperature, so be patient here! And frying all of the beignets will take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. Depending if you do them all at once and how often you need to adjust your oil temperature (the oil temp will drop occasionally and you’ll need to bring it back up before frying).
The chocolate filling is essentially a chocolate ganache. To make this you’ll need chopped chocolate and heavy cream. You’ll heat the cream, pour it over the chopped chocolate, and then stir to combine. You should make this first so the filing can set slightly.
When you’re ready to fill the doughnuts, scrape the filling into a piping bag (or strong plastic bag with the tip cut off). Use your finger to make a tiny hole on the side of each beignet, then insert the piping bag into the hole and fill. Be sure the hole isn’t much larger than 1/8 inch thick, or the brightness could pop open as you fill them.
Not up for making a chocolate ganache? Use Nutella instead! Simply scrape it into a piping bag and stuff each beignet with it!
Chocolate Powdered Sugar
The finishing touch? Chocolate Powdered Sugar! Which is made my simply sifting together cocoa powder and confections sugar a few times. This is delicious but totally optional! Feel free to just use regular confectioners sugar instead!
For the Chocolate Beignets:
- 1 and 1/2 cups warm water, between 110 and 115 degrees (F) (340 grams)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar (131 grams)
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 7 cups bread flour (845 grams)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (23 grams)
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup evaporated milk (227 grams)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into tiny pieces (71 grams)
- 5 cups peanut oil, for deep frying (992 grams)
For the Chocolate Filling:
- 1 cup (170g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons (25g) confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
- 1 cup (227g) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Sugar:
- 1 and 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (170 grams)
- 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder, unsweetened or Dutch-process
For the Chocolate Beignets:
- In a medium-sized bowl, add the warm water, sugar, and yeast and whisk well to combine. Set aside for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture has bubbled up and become foamy.
- In a large bowl sift together the bread flour, salt, cinnamon, and cocoa powder, set aside until needed.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and evaporated milk.
- On low speed, beat in half of the flour mixture (about 3 and 3/4 cups). Then slowly pour in the yeast mixture (careful here - this mixture can splash up if added to quickly!) and beat until smooth.
- Add in the butter and beat until incorporated. Finally, beat in the remaining flour mixture. Beat until dough is smooth and cohesive; about 2 minutes.
- Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.
When Ready to Fry:
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with three layers of paper towels, set aside.
- In a large enameled cast-iron pan, heat the oil until it reaches 360 degrees (F).
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead once or twice, just until it comes together in a neat ball.
- Roll the dough out into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle and then cut the dough into 3" inch squares.
- Working in batches, fry the dough until they puff up and are golden brown in color, turning halfway through, about 30 to 45 seconds on each side.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beignets to the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
For the Chocolate Filling:
- Finely chop the chocolate and place it in a shallow, heatproof bowl. Add in the salt and confectioners' sugar and set aside.
- In a small saucepan heat the heavy cream and espresso powder (if using) until the cream just comes just short of a rolling boil. Remove from heat and pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate mixture. Let sit for 2 minutes, then stir smooth with a spatula or spoon. Stir in the vanilla.
- Refrigerate until cold and stiff enough to pipe, about 2 hours, or up to 24 hours. If the filling gets too hard, simply microwave for a few seconds, and then stir smooth.
- Scrape the chocolate filling into a piping bag fitted with a piping tip of your choice (design doesn't really matter here). Poke a small hole onto the side of each beignet, insert the piping tip into the hole, and squeeze the filling into the center. Repeat with all beignets.
For the Chocolate Sugar:
- In a large bowl sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder. Repeat a few times, until smooth and well combined. Dust on top of beignets and serve at once! Beignets are best eaten within a few hours of being made.