Soooo… I got a deep fryer for Christmas. I can admit it.
I can admit it NOW, that is… in February. It’s been hiding under the bench in my kitchen. I’ve secretly wanted to get one for years but I didn’t want to be that lady. The lady that deep fries oreos and wears a mumu. You know who I’m talking about.
Anyway, my mom (who got me my deep fryer, btw) had one of these when I was a kid. She only used it once in a long long while. And to my knowledge she only ever made one thing with it – funnel cake.
Did your eyes just light up thinking about amusement park/county fair funnel cake? With the powdered sugar and maybe a little chocolate sauce drizzled all over it???
If they didn’t I have to say I doubt your claims of American citizenship. You know you love it. And if you’re here because you’re gluten free then breathe a sigh of relief because you can do this too. As good as doughnuts but so much easier. And yes, this is a “sometimes food” to be sure…
But folks, let’s do this in honor of Fausnaught Day! (Coincidentally my mom’s favorite holiday as a child. More on that in some other post…) It’s the German version of Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/the day before Catholics give up something for lent. It literally means “doughnut day”. And it’s this Tuesday so let’s make some funnel cake people!
It would just be wrong not to.
The basis for the funnel cake is a basic pate a choux dough, the same stuff used to make cream puffs, eclairs, profiteroles, gougeres, etc. It works well gluten free because it mostly consists of eggs, water, and butter and not a whole lot of flour.
Start by pouring one cup of water into a small saucepan. That picture is from when I made a double batch. Unless you’re feeding like 25 people just do as I say, not as I did.
The flour will soak up the water quickly, leaving you with a glistening weirdly elastic dough that pulls away from the sides of the pot when you stir it. Remove the pot from the heat for a couple minutes. We want our dough to cool down just a bit before we add our eggs.
Now for this next part you do NOT need a deep fryer. If you have one that’s great. Set it to 350 degrees. Otherwise, just grab a large, heavy-bottomed pot and fill it with at least 2 inches of oil. If you have a deep fry/candy thermometer to monitor the temp so much the better. Canola oil works well here. Don’t use olive oil (in case you were thinking about making this “healthy”). It has a low smoke point and cannot be used in this case.
I used a spoon to drizzle my batter in but you could always just pour it from a pyrex with a spout or you could try piping it in. All fine for this purpose. The great thing about funnel cake is that it’s supposed to look like a big ol’ mess! Cook it until it’s golden on all sides (being careful, as always, around hot oil – that means kids out of the kitchen!)
Now for the extra fun/naughty part. Grab some cream and that jar of Nutella sitting in your cupboard. PLEASE tell me you keep a jar of Nutella in the house at all times! If you just said “no” I beg you to put it on your grocery list immediately. I promise you won’t regret it. (Unless you’re allergic to hazelnuts, dairy, or chocolate of course! Then you can just skip this last section altogether.)
If there is a heaven, I have to believe there is a guy there selling funnel cake…for free.
Happy Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Fausnaught Day everyone!
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter
4 oz (weight) AP GF Flour Mix (or regular flour)
4 extra large eggs
powdered sugar for dusting
canola oil for frying
In a small saucepan heat water, salt, and butter over high heat until simmering.
Turn down the heat to medium and quickly whisk in flour. Remove pot from the heat and let sit a couple minutes to cool slightly.
Add eggs in one at a time, stirring after each to incorporate before adding the next.
If using a deep fryer, follow the instructions that come with the machine and set at 350 degrees. If using a large, heavy pot, fill it at least 2 inches deep with canola or peanut oil and heat to 350 degrees. A deep fry/candy thermometer is a lifesaver here! Otherwise it’s a guessing game trying to keep your oil at the temp you want it.
Pour/spoon/pipe in batter in swirls and cook until golden, flipping once very carefully.
Dust with powdered sugar
For the Chocolate Hazelnut Sauce:
Mix equal parts Nutella and cream (heavy/light it doesn’t matter). Microwave on high for 15 seconds and stir to combine. Serve alongside funnel cake for dipping.
Makes 2-3 good size funnel cakes.