New Orleans style chocolate beignets! Chocolate filled recipe that’s better than Popeyes and so easy to make! And if you like these beignets, you’ll love my Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, my Cinnamon Toast Crunch Popcorn Recipe, and my Dairy Free Brownies!
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Chocolate Beignets - New Orleans Style
If you're a fan of New Orleans Creole cuisine, you're probably already familiar with beignets, and if you're a fan of chocolate you'll LOVE these chocolate beignets! Chocolate filled yeast-puffed pastries deep fried and covered with mountains of powdered sugar, and easier to make than you think!
These goodies are perfect with as a dessert for New Orleans BBQ Shrimp recipe and taste great with a cup of coffee!
What dough are beignets made of?
New Orleans-style beignets are made of an enriched yeasted dough, giving them their light, yet chewy and buttery texture and puffed up shape. Other types of beignets include French beignets, which might be made with a pâte à choux, which is the same pastry used for cream puffs.
Black History Month Virtual Potluck 2023
In 2023, the theme of Black History Month is Black Resistance and Eat the Culture is recognizing the remarkable and, frankly, underrated resistance of our ancestors in bringing culinary traditions across the Atlantic to shape the vibrance of Black cuisine that we know and love today. They physically and mentally carried African foodways across the deadly Middle Passage to pass down through generations. This year’s Black History Month Virtual Potluck traces popular dishes of the Diaspora from their West African roots to North America and beyond. Share these recipes with your friends and loved ones, and follow each participant by using the hashtag #BHMVP2023 on Instagram, and you can grab the full list of recipes from this year’s collaboration on the Eat the Culture website.
What nationality are beignets?
Despite their French name, New Orleans-style beignets are the result of a mixture of cultural influences, much like the Creole culture of New Orleans itself, and have been influenced by African food traditions.
These chocolate beignets are inspired by puff puff, a popular West African snack food made of lightly sweetened fried dough. It crossed the Atlantic with our ancestors to land on Caribbean islands and in the Gulf States of the USA. To deepen your understanding of this food tradition, I encourage you to follow the story by learning to make West African Puff Puff and Puerto Rican Barriguitas de Vieja, and if you're interested in learning to make a savory West African dish, try this Moin Moin recipe!
What are chocolate beignets made of?
You can see the detailed list of ingredients and their measurements in the recipe card below, but here are the ingredients you'll need to make these New Orleans chocolate beignets:
- all-purpose flour - I always recommend measuring your flour by weight or by using the spoon and level method.
- instant yeast - I like using instant yeast in this recipe to help speed up the proofing process and eliminate the need to "bloom" the yeast first.
- granulated sugar - just a bit of sugar for the perfect amount of sweetness in these chocolate beignets!
- salt - to bring out the flavors!
- egg - make sure your egg is room temperature so that it doesn't cool off the mixture when you add it.
- evaporated milk - this high-protein milk adds a rich flavor and texture to these chocolate beignets.
- vanilla bean paste - I love the rich vanilla flavor that vanilla bean paste adds, but you can also use your favorite vanilla extract.
- vegetable oil - we'll use this for deep frying. You can use any neutral oil with a high smoke point, like canola oil, sunflower oil, or grapeseed oil.
- chocolate hazelnut spread - I love to use Nutella for these beignets, but you can also see below to make an easy chocolate ganache with just two ingredients!
- powdered sugar - you've got to have powdered sugar to dust over the finished beignets -- the more, the better!
You can see the full step-by-step instructions for these chocolate filled beignets in the recipe card below, but here are the steps for this recipe:
Whisk dry ingredients - flour, yeast, sugar, and salt together in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: egg, evaporated milk, and vanilla bean paste.
Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and fold to combine. Add a little extra flour if needed.
Knead dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Transfer to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm place to rise for 2 hours.
Roll dough out to ½" thick and use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut out rectangles.
Heat 4 inches of oil to 360 degrees and fry beignets until deep golden brown on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on a wire rack over paper towels.
Once slightly cooled, pipe Nutella into the center of each deep-fried pastry. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!
In addition to your pastry bag and tips, you may want to use a stand mixer with the dough hook to knead your dough easily. Otherwise, you can knead by hand. You'll also want to use either a nonstick pastry mat and rolling pin to roll out your dough.
I recommend using a Dutch oven to fry your beignets, and you'll definitely want to use a candy thermometer or meat thermometer to make sure your oil is the right temperature. I love this thermometer because it has a little alarm that goes off once it gets to the right temperature.
Chocolate Ganache Filling
If you aren't a fan of the combination of chocolate and hazelnut, you can make an easy chocolate filling for these beignets! Just heat 1 cup heavy cream until hot, then pour the hot cream over 2 cups of milk or dark chocolate chips.
Allow to sit for 10 minutes to melt the chocolate chips, then whisk until smooth. If needed, heat for 15-second increments in the microwave. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, then pipe into your beignets!
Chocolate Beignets Calories
These chocolate versions of the classic New Orleans-style pastry are about 118 calories each, not counting filling or powdered sugar topping.
Chocolate Beignets - How to Pronounce?
You'd pronounce the French word beignet with a silent "T" and emphasis on the second syllable, so it sounds like "ben-yay." In the plural, you do pronounce the "S", so it sounds like "ben-yaze."
Can these beignets be stored?
Like my Peach Cobbler Egg Rolls, these Nutella beignets are much better when they are freshly made and still warm. As they cool, they lose some of their fresh, light texture so I definitely recommend enjoying them immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
They're very similar -- both are fried dough pastries made with yeast. But beignets tend to be lighter and and more puffed up, with a slightly richer texture.
These chocolate beignets have a delicious buttery vanilla bean flavor that's not too sweet, perfectly complemented by the gooey chocolate hazelnut filling.
Yes, these beignets are made with one egg. You can definitely substitute an egg replacer or a flax egg as well.
It's unclear how exactly beignets originated, since many cultures have some sort of fried dough. The name Beignet, a French word for "fried dough," has its roots in the Celtic language. So at least some of the influence for these chocolate filled goodies come from European influence, while the African and American Indigenous influence of Creole cuisine undoubtedly helped influence New Orleans beignets as we know them.
Popeye's chocolate beignets, a limited time offering, may satisfy your craving if you want something somewhat similar to the famous staple of New Orleans cuisine but can't make it to Cafe du Monde. But if you really want that same texture and freshness at home, you've got to make this recipe!
These pastry squares are much better freshly fried, just cooled enough to drain any excess frying oil.
Yes. Haha but seriously, you can enjoy these beignets any time of day! I love them as a breakfast treat, but also as an afternoon snack, or for brunch during the holiday season!
Be sure to heat your oil all the way to 160 degrees before dropping in your beignets! Use a meat or candy thermometer to check it first.
Equipment you may need
- pastry bag and tips
- 4 cups (500 g) all-purpose flour - plus more if needed, see note
- 2 ¼ teaspoon (27 g) instant yeast - one packet
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
- 1 large egg - room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups (320 g) evaporated milk
- 2 teaspoon (10 g) vanilla bean paste
- Vegetable oil - for deep frying
- Chocolate hazelnut spread - for filling
- Powdered sugar - for dusting
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 ¼ teaspoon instant yeast, ½ cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon salt
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together evaporated milk, egg, and vanilla bean paste until smooth.1 large egg, 1 ¼ cups evaporated milk, 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and fold together until combined.
- Use the dough hook attachment of the stand mixer (or a dough hook) to mix until a dough forms.
- Knead dough with dough hook or by hand until it begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes.
- Turn out into a separate greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
- Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin until it's about ½ inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut into rectangles.
- Heat oil to 360°F(182°C) and fry beignets for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and puffed up. Remove to a wire rack to drain excess oil.Vegetable oil
- Use a pastry tip to pipe chocolate hazelnut spread through the side and into the center of each square and dust generously with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.Chocolate hazelnut spread, Powdered sugar
Last Updated on June 13, 2023 by Chenée Lewis