As a rule of thumb, I run screaming in the opposite direction when I encounter a recipe that requires the use of yeast as a raising agent.
But when I woke up today with an unrelenting craving for Puffies, I knew that I was done for. Puffies are popularly called puff-puff here in Nigeria and a favourite snack. There is hardly a Nigerian party that you will attend that won’t have these sweet ishy squishy delights as part of the meal offerings. They will usually be part of what we call “small chops” which is essentially finger foods.
Puffies are akin to the infamous French Beignets; consider them to be the African cousin to beignets.
After a hasty assessment, I gathered the ingredients I needed.
3 1/2 cups plain flour
2 1/4 tsp instant active yeast
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups warm water
1tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or store bought ground nutmeg)
Vegetable oil for frying
Icing sugar ( to garnish) optional
The “How To”
In a large bowl combine yeast, sugar, salt and warm water and leave to sit for a couple of minutes. Then add the flour and nut meg. Using your (clean) hands work the dough through until all ingredients are evenly mixed through. The consistency should be sticky and be a dropping consistency. Cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm placed for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Then heat up the oil in a heavy bottomed skillet; you should have at least 3 – 4 inches oh oil. To test the temperature of the oil drop a bitter of the batter in the oil, if it sizzles and rises to the top then the oil is ready.
Proceed to carefully drop balls of the batter in the hot oil. The batter will puff up once it hits the oil (which is where it gets its name) so be mindful of that when you’re determining the size of each one.
Fry them turning then over until they are evenly golden brown. Drain on paper towels, dust with icing sugar and favourite dip, in my case I paired mine with a raspberry coulis. The sharpness of the coulis was a fab contrast to sweet warm squishy treat.
In my next post, I will share my recent berry cherry obssession.
FFF Tip of the day: Coulis are a versatile fruit “sauce” that can be made well ahead and keeps well on the deep freezer. The add such vibrancy to dishes that it’s a shame not to try them.