If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know I’ve been traveling in Japan and Australia for the past month and a half teaching workshops. On the road I was content but of two hearts, one right there with my body in the green ravines carving out the Aso Mountains in south Japan and the high, gray seas crashing into the shores of Bronte Beach in Sydney. But still there was another heart, one far from me and beating for the South where my kitchen, my home, my quiet life, and great roadside explosions of honeysuckle were waiting patiently for my return. Home began to feel like an impossible luxury, too good to be true. With my return three months away, time slowed to a child’s pace. It felt for-never away. For-never. New word. And so I, in a fit of homesickness, changed my tickets and flew home for a week before leaving again in two days for Europe to teach workshops in Portugal, Italy, and France. These hot, crispy rosemary beignets—with the most luxurious surprise in the middle: a creamy LINDOR white chocolate truffle—represent the comfort and luxury of simply being home.
As a former denizen of New Orleans, beignets are the member of the venerable doughnut family that call my name most. The addition of the LINDOR white chocolate truffle and rosemary render these a grown up indulgence while the mess of powdered sugar and simple fried dough are reminiscent of childhood funnel cakes at the county fair. So that’s an easy sell. But let’s talk about the white chocolate for a minute. Truth is, I’ve been a pretty vocal detractor of white chocolate. That changed when I toured the Lindt factory and ended up trying a white chocolate LINDOR truffle fresh off the line. Now I go for them 100% of the time over chocolate ones, be it milk or dark. Not all white chocolate is created equal, and at this juncture, Lindt is the only one I’ll go for still. But I’m telling you. They’re creamy, melting, almost cooling, and then they dissolve into velvety sweetness. Almost buttery. I’m hard pressed to describe it, but if I ever want to gently depart reality for a moment, these truffles do the trick. Having them melting at the heart of a beignet? Just please.
My flight on Thursday night is looming; I’m studiously looking the other way. While abroad, I count the days, then the hours, and then finally the minutes until I’m home again. I do not, however, count any such thing since I’ve been home. I pretend, instead, that it isn’t going to happen. I freeze time. My brain stutters. And everything is just lens flare and spring for a suspended week that feels like it cannot, cannot possibly end. The world again becomes grocery store and movie night and yoga class and work and rhythm. Just pure, mundane rhythm. This is all very different from how I’ve been the past year, but circumstance changes people and people change circumstances, and you wake up again a homebody with your wanderlust thoroughly, for the moment, sated.
Home as luxury. It’s a sensibility we’d all do well to cultivate. It’s easy to take it for granted, maybe even inevitable at times. But at present, I do not. It is every bit as luxurious as these little bites taste and every bit as luxurious as the exotic and foreign. So grab a bag of LINDOR white chocolate truffles (or any other sort you please if you’re not with me on the white chocolate thing—they’d be just as amazing with any flavor!) and whip these up for a homemade treat (best shared…as all treats are) worthy of the quiet luxury that is simply being home.
rosemary & lindor white chocolate truffle filled beignets
- 1/2 packet (about 1 teaspoon) active dry yeast
- 90 mL (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) warm (110°F) water
- 25 grams (2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons finely minced rosemary
- 1 small egg
- 60 mL (1/4 cup) whole milk
- 215 grams all-purpose flour, divided into 90 grams, 110 grams, and 15 grams (3/4 cup,
- 2 oz butter, softened and in 1/2" pieces
- 30 Lindt LINDOR white chocolate truffles (or other flavor)
- canola oil for frying, enough to come about 1.5-2" up the sides of a frying pan
- powdered sugar for dusting
- In a large mixing bowl combine water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes until foamy. You want to make sure the water is at around 110°F so that it's warm enough for the yeast to activate but not so hot it kills it. It should look foamy when ready.
- Add in the salt, rosemary, egg, and milk, and mix to combine with a wooden spoon.
- Add in the first addition of flour, 90 grams (about 3/4 cup) and mix to combine.
- Add in the butter, and mix until incorporated. No worries if there are few bits.
- Add in the 110 grams (3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons) flour, and mix until dough comes together.
- Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. The dough will be very sticky. And annoying. You haven't messed up. Knead in the remaining 1/4 cup of flour by hand until dough is smooth, a couple of minutes.
- Form dough into a ball and put in a clean, lightly oiled bowl loosely covered with plastic wrap or covered with a (non-terry cloth) dish towel.
- Let stand in a warm area until doubled in size, about 2-3 hours.
- Remove dough from bowl onto a well floured work surface and lightly dust top with flour.
- Heat 1.5-2 inches of canola oil in a cast iron (preferably) pan to 350°f.
- Meanwhile, roll out dough to 1/2 inch thick.
- Cut out 2.5” round circles of dough with a biscuit cutter, re-rolling and cutting until all the dough has been used. Gently press a truffle into the center of each, and wrap the dough around it, pinching to seal very well. You don't want any molten chocolate seeping out.
- Set a cooling rack over a paper towel lined baking sheet.
- Using a slotted metal spatula or spoon gently transfer the beignets to the hot oil and fry 3-4 at a time, rolling them around frequently, until golden brown on all sides. this takes about 3-4 minutes.
- As they finish transfer them to the cooling rack over paper towels.
- Dust liberally with powdered sugar and serve warm.
- Repeat with all remaining donuts. While they're optimal served fresh, you can store them, covered at room temperature. I don't like to do this and try to eat/give them away while warm; they make fantastic party food.