It’s that time of the year again! Mardi Gras is next Tuesday and like every year I made beignets! Last year I showed you how to make one of the most popular beignets in France called bugnes and today I bring you to Alsace in the North-East of France. In Alsace, they make schenkele also called “cuisses de dames” (ladies’thighs) which look like little sausages. These beignets are not only made for Mardi Gras as, in fact, many families make them for Christmas, but I thought that it would be a wonderful addition to my regular beignets (Check out the recipe here).
Schenkele are made with ground almonds and the one alcohol to NEVER forget when you bake Alsatian treats: kirsch. Kirsch is a cherry liquor that is made in the region but it is also used in Germany and Austria. Schenkele are crispy on the outside and soft in the inside which gives them an amazing texture. And if you are a fan of cinnamon you will also love these as they are rolled in a mix of sugar and cinnamon.
Let’s start cooking!
- 400 g/ 2+ 1/2 cups flour
- 250 g/ 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
- 4 eggs
- 80 g/ 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp butter
- 125 g/ 1 cup + 1 tbsp ground almonds
- 1 tbsp kirsch (or rum if you can’t find it)
- A pinch of salt
- 1 L / 4 cups sunflower oil
For the topping:
- 160 g/ 2/3 cups sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
1- In a mixing bowl, whisk the sugar and eggs until homogeneous. Melt the butter in a saucepan in the meantime.
2- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt and ground almonds together. Incorporate to the wet mixture and mix well. Add in the melted butter to the mixture and mix well until you get an homogeneous and non sticky dough.
3- Flour a flat surface and flatten the dough until it gets the thickness of a pie crust. Let it rest like that for 1h to 2h.
4- Cut the dough into ribbons and roll them into sausages. I usually like to cut the ribbons in 3 so I can make the schenkele smaller, but traditionally, schenkele should measure about 10 cm.
5- Heat up sunflower oil until it is hot. If you don’t have a thermometer like me, the best way to see if the oil is hot enough is to dip a chopstick in the oil. If you see bubbles then the oil is ready. Always try with one schenkele first just to make sure the oil is good. Then fry them all until they float at the surface and have a nice golden color. Place them on top of a paper towel so it soaks up the excess of oil.
6- Once the beignets have cooled down, roll them into the mix of sugar and cinnamon and enjoy!
This is an easy and delicious recipe that will please everyone and Mardi Gras is the perfect occasion to make these Alsatian treats!
I hope you will enjoy this recipe! Let me know in the comment what you think about this recipe and if you liked it.