Beignets de banane

Beignets de banane.jpgAka banana and rum fritters. Strictly speaking, it’s a bit premature to have these at Christmas – they’re usually served over carnival in January – but they’re so lovely, there’s no reason not to get stuck in a week or two early.  Makes 20-30 fritters.

4 ripe bananas
60g golden granulated sugar
2 eggs
125g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthwise
1 tbsp desiccated coconut (optional)
Grated zest of 1 lime
1 pinch grated cinnamon
1 pinch grated nutmeg
1 tbsp white rum
1 litre sunflower oil, for frying
1 tbsp icing sugar

Peel the bananas, put them in a bowl and mash with a fork. Whisk in the sugar and eggs, and then the flour and baking powder. Using a small knife, scrape out the vanilla seeds, add to the mix, then stir in the desiccated coconut, if using, lime zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and rum.

Heat the oil in a deep pan on a medium heat until it reaches 180C (or until a cube of bread browns in 30-40 seconds); take care that it does not get too hot and start to smoke. Gently drop four tablespoonfuls of batter into the hot oil and cook for two minutes on each side, turning occasionally, until dark golden all over. Scoop the cooked fritters out of the oil, drain on paper towels and keep warm while you repeat with the rest of the batter. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve hot.

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