Monday, May 24, 2010

Funnel Cakes

It's that time of year again. The time of year where carnivals and fairs start popping up all over the place. The best thing about it is the food. Sausage and Peppers, Candy Apples, Fried Oreo's, Gyro's and of course Funnel Cakes. Not much beats the crispy sweet taste of a funnel cake. I have spent years looking for the perfect funnel cake recipe. Nothing I had in my books ever came close to what they produced at the fair. They weren't sweet enough, or they were too doughy or even to greasy. Finally this weekend I had a break through. I figured it all out. It just suddenly came in my brain. I tweaked my recipe, actually checked the temperature of my frying oil and guess what, I didn't use a funnel. Yep, no funnel in site to make these funnel cakes and they came out perfect! I've been told that there are a handful of you out there that have never had a funnel cake before. That you stay safe and get an elephant ear. Well to those very few I suggest that you get a funnel cake at your next carnival or fair and then try these!

What You Need:

1 egg
3/4 c milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs agave syrup (see note below)
1 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Oil for frying
Powdered Sugar for dusting
1 gallon zip top plastic bag

What To Do:

Note: You can replace agave syrup with honey or sugar with equal amounts. I have found that the agave syrup works best. It sweetens the dough without adding a flavor to it. Corn syrup would work well too.
In a cast iron skillet, heat enough oil to come about half way up, or about 2 inches worth to 360F degrees.
In a small bowl, whisk together the first 4 ingredients. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the wet into the dry, whisking until smooth. If needed add in more milk to make a flow-able batter. Place the batter into a zip top plastic bag and seal, leaving the air in the bag.
Once the oil reaches the correct temp, just barely cut the corner off the bag and starting in the middle of the pan, squeeze the batter in circular motions till you reach the outer edge of the pan. Let fry in the hot oil until golden brown before carefully flipping. There are a couple different ways to flip a funnel cake without it falling apart in the process. The best way I found was to use both a spider and a set of tongs. The spider supports most of the funnel cake while the tongs to the work of flipping. Make sure to flip away from you to prevent burning yourself in case it splashes. Cook another couple minutes or until that side is golden brown as well. It won't take as long as the first side. Remove from the oil onto lots of paper towels to drain as they can hold onto a good amount of oil. Cover in powdered sugar while still hot and serve.
Repeat steps above until all the batter is used up. This made two dinner plate sized funnel cakes, but you can easily make four smaller ones.

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