Kabocha Squash Beignets

Quick, quick… I need to post a holiday snack for Thanksgiving day celebrations. I’m sure there will be plenty of squash used in various forms and it’s inevitable you’ll be left with a bunch of it. What to do with it?…  Ta daaa! Well, that was a no-brainer. My favorite squash of all is Kabocha squash because it has an exceptional naturally sweet flavor, even sweeter than butternut squash, and a pleasing texture somewhere between a pumpkin and a sweet potato. And the color. Ah the color! The golden orange flesh of Kabocha squash has enough warmth to bring out the holiday spirit out of a cranky old horse.

Here’s what I did. I steamed the Kabocha squash until soft and turned it into a puree and mixed it with pumpkin pie spices, added a little beer, evaporated milk, yeast, sugar and flour and let the dough rest for a while. I preheated some oil to 350’F and dropped spoonfuls of the batter until puffed and golden. Powdered sugar, et voila. Difficult? No. Dangerous? Yes.

Now, if you feel like it you could serve those pumpkin nuggets with an Orange Flower Crème Anglaise as a dipping sauce. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

  • Kabocha Squash Beignets

  • Serves 6
    • For the Kabocha Squash Beignets :
    • 1 Kabocha squash
    • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
    • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
    • 1/3 cup Golden ale
    • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
    • pinch of ground cardamom
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 3/4 cup flour
    • Canola oil for frying
    • Powdered sugar
    • For the Kabocha Beignets:
    • Cut the Kabocha squash into quarters, scoop out the seeds and pulp and discard. Place the quarters in a steamer and steam until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from the steamer and let cool. Scoop out the flesh from the skin, mash with a fork and measure 1 1/4 cup. Save the rest of another use.
    • Sprinkle the yeast over ¼ cup warm water (110’F) and let it sit until foamy.
    • In the bowl of a Kitchenaid add the Kabocha squash, evaporated milk, golden ale, spices, salt and mix with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add the sugar and mix until blended. Add the foamy yeast and then the flour in a few additions and mix until smooth. Cover the bowl and let it rest in a warm place for 45 minutes.
    • Heat canola oil to 350’F (3 inches deep) in a deep, heavy bottom saucepan.
    • Drop 7 or 8 spoonfuls of the batter into the oil and fry for 3 minutes, about a minute and a half on each side.
    • Drain the beignets on paper towels and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
    • Serve warm with orange flower creme anglaise.
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  • http://spiceboxtravels.com linda @spiceboxtravels

    Kabocha is my favorite squash, too.  These look delightful.  I am thinking you could also make a savory/Indian version by using cumin, curry leaves and salt.

  • http://spiceboxtravels.com linda @spiceboxtravels

    Kabocha is my favorite squash, too.  These look delightful.  I am thinking you could also make a savory/Indian version by using cumin, curry leaves and salt.

  • http://chefpandita.com Yuri

    I love kabocha, it’s Japanese like me 😀 I would love to try this with the orange flower crème anglaise. Gorgeous pics, as usual!

  • Bunkycooks

    Oh, yes! You did post the recipe. Thank goodness for the pumpkin diversion and yes, I will male this with guests over the holidays.!

  • http://litebite.in Sanjeeta kk

    New recipe to me and looks exciting…will be making them soon! Lovely clicks.

  • http://www.foodgal.com Carolyn Jung

    I LOVE the idea of these. I’m a huge kabocha fiend. Love it in everything. I think I would go wild with them in beignets.

  • http://www.katherinemartinelli.com Katherine Martinelli

    My knees literally buckled when I saw this recipe. I love everything about it, the kabocha squash (been seeing so many great recipes lately and don’t have it in Israel! :-( ), the beer, the mere fact that they look like the perfect beignet. Excellent recipe!

  • http://www.kitchenriffs.com kitchenriffs

    Great riff on a classic technique, recipe.  Kobocha squash would be perfect for this, and you’ve chosen a nice spice mixture.  Really enjoy learning how you think about food – your approach to flavor is fun.  Great photos, too.  I love the head-on shots with a reflective surface, and you did an outstanding job of balancing the light on both the subject and the reflection.

  • http://profiles.google.com/janeko89 Jane Ko

    This is an amazing photo! How did you get the mirrored bottom?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Jane, I shot the food on a piece of black acrylic on a black background. The acrylic gives out a nice reflection. 

  • Anonymous

    Thank you! I’m still figuring it all out but this was a fun (and tasty!)  shoot. 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Katherine, don’t fall over now. :) 

  • Anonymous

    That’s a great idea! I bet it would be delicious. 

  • http://twitter.com/Kaypachatravels Mica Ivealis

    Never heard of Kabocha but it sounds delicious. One of the reasons I go to New Orleans is to have beignets and I did attempt to make them once at home to no success. This is such a simple idea I look forward to the days I have a place with an oven again and my friends will fall over themselves to visit me to taste your delicious recipes. Yum. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Mica. I hope you try them soon!

  • http://cookquiltmakeandbake.wordpress.com Cookquiltmakeandbake

    That is a super cool photo!

  • http://craniumcastle.com/user.php?login=scottjames71&view=history Sherri Chandler

    Many thanks for posting this! I really had good time looking over this.

  • http://www.ouichefnetwork.com Oui, Chef

    I bow down to your talent once again.  Hope you had a great Holiday, Stephan.

  • http://twitter.com/emiglia Tomatokumato.com

    Amazing. As always.