Top Chef Wednesday: Lemon Beignets with Basil Sugar

Lemon Beignet with Thai Basil Sugar

By Melissa Camacho


  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Egg replacer
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 25 grams sugar
  • 150 grams all purpose flour
  • 50 grams Earth Balance or other vegan margarine
  • 5 grams salt
  • 250 grams non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk, the stuff from a box, not a can)
  • Oil, for frying

Lemon Curd:

Use Kathy’s Vegan lemon curd recipe

Basil Sugar:

  • 100 grams Thai basil
  • 50 grams sugar


  1. Whisk egg replacer & water. Set aside.
  2. Combine sugar, salt, milk and margarine in a pot.
  3. Melt margarine with milk, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add flour to cook for about two minutes.
  5. Transfer to kitchen aid with paddle attachment. Start on slow speed. Add egg replacer mixture in two batches. Form into balls and set aside.
  6. Fry at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown. (Or bake at 400 until puffy and a little brown on top. I’m sure it’s better fried, but I baked them last night- it’s marathon taper time!)

For the basil sugar, I did not understand her directions (dry in a off oven for 20-40 minutes? How is an off oven different than a counter top and how does sugar dry in an off oven?), so I just mixed basil and sugar together and rolled the fritters around in the mixture.

The basil and lemon flavor combination is actually quite good. The lemon curd is delicious! I need to make more of it with lemon poppy seed muffins.

Last night’s show was amazing! What kid hasn’t wanted to be in Willy Wonka’s factory where everything is made of candy. Plus Charlie Bucket (who got out of the chocolate business to become a veterinarian), Veruca Salt, Mike Teevee and Violet Beauregarde were there! No Augustus Gloop (maybe they were afraid he would eat everything before the judges got it).

There were some very imaginative ideas (chocolate waterfall, edible wallpaper) and some not so good ones (giant edible-ish gummy bears). Craig finally went home, as did Melissa (your beignets are good, but I guess your doughnuts are not). Chris was pissed his chocolate waterfall didn’t even get him in the top (but besides some creative engineering, he just made chocolate milk). Katzie won with a beehive and a carrot patch. They were very cute and apparently tasted great, too.

Dinner: Iraqi-Inspired Seitan and Eggplant Stew

It’s been a while since I made something from Fat Free Vegan. I found this recipe while looking for something to do with seitan that expired on 9/14 and the eggplants I bought at the farmers market last weekend. Susan’s recipe for seitan looks good, so I’ll have to try that the next time I make this. Not surprisingly, Jewel does not sell pomegranate molasses, so I made my own with this recipe.



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