Beignets with Fudgy Chicory Coffee Sauce

I have very fuzzy memories of Mardi Gras. That’s probably a pretty safe bet for most folks indulging in the celebration, but in my case it was less about the partying (which I did) and more about having a fever about 102F. This was quite a few years ago, long before Katrina, and I had arrived in New Orleans with just a bit of a tickle in my throat which quickly turned into a hazy fog of coughing, Dayquil, napping, hurricane cocktails, beads and dancing to Cher music. It’s all blurred together into one big Mardi Gras soup in my brain.

I’d love to go back some year and really experience it, minus near delirium. But, this year, I’m more than satisfied with this big ole plate of beignets and chocolate chicory coffee fudge sauce.

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There are many different beignet recipes, some using yeast, but I prefer making them from the same pate a choux batter as the French Crullers in my book. They are much quicker to make than any yeasted dough and insanely light. Once you get the feel for how the egg gets incorporated, they are also very, very easy. Plus, if you don’t want to fry, they bake beautifully.

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Of course, baked they are more akin to profiteroles than beignets, but I say to-may-to/to-mah-to. If you glaze them immediately, the “crust” you get from baking will be minimize. If you are using the recipe in the book, just pipe little rounds of about a heaping tablespoon, pushing down any little peaks with a moist finger. Since they are small, you’ll want to bake them for less time.

If you don’t have the book (why not!), this zeppole recipe is quite similar. For the sauce, I tweaked the Chocolate Fudge Sauce in this gorgeous Chocolate book.

Hope you have a wonderfully indulgent Mardi Gras!

Fudgy Chicory Coffee Sauce

You’ll want to find a can of chicory and coffee for this recipe, although you can also substitute strong black coffee or espresso. I used French Market brand chicory and coffee.

The coffee flavor is very subtle, so feel free to adjust to your own tastes.

1/3 cup brewed chicory coffee
1/8 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Heat the coffee, butter, cream and sugar until the butter and sugar have melted, and the mixture is smooth. Add the chocolate, and remove from heat. Let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes to melt the chocolate. Then whisk until smooth. If the mixture has cooled too much before the chocolate has completely melted, return it to low heat and whisk continuously. You can serve it warm, or let it cool and thicken.

  • Kasey

    When I first tried beignets and New Orleans coffee in NOLA, I had pretty low expectations. But they totally blew me away. This coffee sauce sounds to die for! Where do you find chicory? I’ve never been on the lookout for it, but I also don’t think I’ve seen it.

    • L

      I got mine from QFC (it’s in the coffee aisle)… they didn’t have a lot of choices, but the French Market kind was fine. Most supermarkets should have some, but they also usually have some at Cost Plus World Market.

  • Robin

    Laura, these images are FANTASTIC, imaginative, playful and a delight on the eyes… then we get to the beignet and the fudgy coffee sauce. WoW! I avoid baking and sweets for the most part, but I have an upcoming brunch to plan for and these just might be the highlight. Thanks so much for this posting.

    • L

      Thanks Robin! So glad you like them!


  • Maria

    Hello Laura,

    I supposed the only difference between fried and baked beignets is the fat during frying? or is there any other that could be more beneficial? I love the photos, it brings me back to yesteryears, dunno why. Thanks for that Laura.

    • L

      Hi Maria,

      Yes – for this recipe, you use the same pate a choux batter for either version. The resulting beignets are similar, although the baked versions aren’t quite as fluffy and moist as the fried. I suppose you could try different flours or coconut oil instead of the butter, but I haven’t tried that.

      Thanks for visiting and the comment!

  • lora

    LOVE the chicory coffee sauce. Great idea!

  • peachkins

    wow!the coffee sauce sounds fantastic!

  • dyingforchocolate

    Love this sauce. thanks for mentioning differences between frying & baking, too! Beignets on the table today for Mardi Gras.

  • Christine (Cook the Story)

    I’ve always avoided beignet recipes because I didn’t want to do the frying. Thank you for explaining how to get good results through baking. And while I am now hooked on the idea, it has much more to do with getting myself a dipper for THAT SAUCE (Oh. My. God.) than for the beignets themselves. Can’t wait to try this out!

  • molly

    Why have a plate of these not arrived magically at my desk? It is snack time, I say!

    Lovely, as always, Lara. I don’t just want to make beignets, I want to drown them in a pot of chocolate.

  • Mica Hill

    If you’re looking for something new and innovative – go to BEIGNET DONE THAT at the Hotel Blackhawk in Davenport Iowa. – They call their Beignets “The Doughnut with a French Pedigree” and i would recomend their fluffy pillows for sure.

    Done That?

  • Hannah

    Beautiful- I can’t take my eyes off your mouthwaterig photos!

    But I have a somewhat odd question… What on earth is that lovely font you used? For my photography concept and composition class, we’re now discussing the use of words in photos, and I would love to highlight your work as an example. Thanks for always being so inspiring!

  • snippets of thyme

    oooooh. i’m headed to New Orleans for Spring Break and I can’t wait to bite into hot beignets. Its been so long.

    Came to your blog for photo tips. Thank you for the information. Now to look at more of your photos!

  • Simone

    Forget about celebrating Mardi Grass, I would just settle for this delicious looking beignets… And I will definitely be making those (as I – ofcourse – have your book! ;0

  • Maria

    Thank you Laura. I just tried both versions and the fried ones are indeed fluffier and the insides are a little moist than the baked version, plus it’s a little softy to bite. I’d try coconut oil next week! Thanks for this really, now I have two new beignet treats, the baked which would be good for those on fat-diet and the fried for all ages. Great post! Looking forward for more, thank you. -Maria

  • Maria

    Hi Kasey. I find chicory always available in gourmet shops, I buy lots of it as it’s great on my coffee too! With fried beignets and hot coffee both with chicory essence, it’s more worth-craving for! Goodluck.

  • Lynn

    These look amazingly good!

  • kitchenvoyage

    In my last post about chicory I just discover that in america was used like cofee substitute and now you show me this fantastic chicroy coffe sauce recipe, i cant wait to try!

  • Carissa

    O my goodness this looks divine!!

  • Julie

    How completely divine! Thanks for sharing!

  • M.

    Those look so good. If you are ever in San Francisco, go have my favorite beignets at Brenda’s.

  • Zar Extreme

    Oh my! Your pictures looks absolutely scrumptious. I think it would go well with some coffee made from jura capresso. I could almost smell the delicious scents wafting from your baked goodies.

  • delonghi espresso

    That is just so pretty! It almost seem a sin to take a nibble at one. Please say they are so easy to make? I really want to concoct my own version of this wonderful sweet. I really am so happy I found my way to this blog.

  • thply

    Nice recipe but have you seen whats on worlds dinner menu tonight?!hashtag/dinnertime

  • Marie Paul

    oo man this is amazing… love it

    check this