Monday, June 16, 2008

Funnel Cake

I finished up a conference paper today and decided to unwind by experimenting in the kitchen. I was determined to try out my rosette iron and veganize the 1950s recipe that came with it. I thought a mixture of flax and tofu would replace the egg, while baking powder and soda would help with the leavening action. The batter came together very well (and very easily) and I was ready to go. I dipped the iron in the hot oil, as per the instructions, then in the batter, then back in the oil. The batter puffed up perfectly and I was happy. The only problem was that the cookie totally bonded to the iron and there was no way that puppy was coming off. But, as the old saying goes, when life gives you a bowl of batter and a pan of hot oil, make funnel cakes! These remind me of the days of my youth at Canada's Wonderland riding the roller coasters and chowing down on funnel cakes in the hot sun until I felt like barfing. Ah, the good ol' days. I certainly would not make these on a regular basis on account of the fat, but it was fun to relive an old favourite.

- 1 tbsp finely ground flax seed
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup firm tofu
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- oil for frying
- icing sugar
- strawberry jam

1. Get a few inches of oil heating in a pan over med-hi heat. Make sure it is nice and hot.
2. Whisk flax and water together in a small bowl until it thickens. Add flax mixture, tofu, soy milk, flour, vanilla, and salt to a food processor and blend until very smooth. Or, put all ingredients in a container and blend with an immersion blender. Pour into a container with a spout.
3. Test the batter. Drop some batter in the oil. It should sink, then rise to the surface. If it doesn't, add another tbsp of flour. The batter needs to be thick enough to hold together in the oil, otherwise it will scatter instead of making a coherent nest.
4. Drizzle a nest of batter into the oil and cook for a few mins on each side, until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel or paper bags. Repeat with remaining batter. I think the recipe will make about 8 funnel cakes (I experimented a lot with the irons).
5. When cooled a bit, dust with icing sugar. Heat up some strawberry jam and throw that on top as well.


Carly said...

I'd never heard of Rosettes and Timbales, but researching them I came across this tip:

The trick to making good rosettes is to preheat the iron in the oil, and to be sure not to dip the iron so deeply into the batter that it coats the top of the iron.

Eesh said...

This looks lovely but what exactly is a funnel cake? Is it just batter randomly swirled in the hot oil? I'll have to do some more searching around on the internets :P

lao80 said...

I'm so going to make these. You know what's awesome on top of funnel cake? Ice cream.

You rock.

Vegan Dad said...

I did dip in oil first, like my booklet instructed. But still, that dough fused on the iron so tenaciously tha only a good soaking in warm water would get it off. Probably a consequence of veganizing.

Yes, funnel cakes are just batter swirled into hot oil with a funnel to make a nest like "cake." They undoubtedly originated at a state fair where everything is deep fried, or on a stick, or both. They are by no means healthy or nutritionaly redeeming in any way.

Ice cream! Totally forgot about that! I did not have any on hand, but that would have completed the dish. I mean, if you are going to eat fat and sugar, why not top it with more fat and sugar!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Oh yes, memories of my childhood days at six flags astroworld (theme park in Houston). How fun!

Jen said...

This is awesome. I was making some caramel corn last night, and started thinking about all the other junky beach/carnival food I haven't had since going vegan. Funnel cakes were the only thing I could think of that I missed at all. I'm trying this tonight!

Maureen said...

Funnel cake! It does indeed bring back memories of Canada's Wonderland. The Ottawa equivalent is Beavertails. I should really go back to CW one day.

Melissa said...

seriously? Vegan funnel cake? Life is complete again :)

Wendy said...

Hi Vegan dad! I'm giving away a really cool cake pan on my site... just wanted to let you and your readers know. :)

I didn't know you could make a Vegan funnel cake! That's amazing!

tofufreak said...

umm when you say 1/4 tofu do you mean 1/4th of a package, 1/4th of a cup? or wat?

Vegan Dad said...

tofu freak,
1/4 cup. Thanks for pointing that out--I have fixed the recipe above. That's what I get for blogging when tired.

tofufreak said...

thanks! i look forward to trying this out!

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

Ummm... Are you serious?! Vegan funnel cake??? I LOVE funnel cake! And summer is the perfect time for this. Definitely making it ASAP!

Vegan Dad said...

I never kid about funnel cake. I also take no responsibility for the extra pounds that may be gained by ingesting said cake.

Dayna said...

I was camping in the back field of the Dragon Phyre as a Girl Guide back in the '80's. Our tent fell down three times and we almost didn't get our you suck at camping badge. It wasn't until morning that everyone realized there was a tornado ripping through a little north of us in Barrie.
Long story short, they felt bad, we ate funnel cakes.

& now I can again.

You're my hero.

Solitary Dancer said...

OK, I finally had some time to give this a whirl.

This is awesome. I love it and it's so easy.

Thanks for sharing this with us

Tatiana said...

What a great recipe, I can't wait to try it! I have a vegan blog too, check it out:

Wendy Lea Snyder said...

This looks wonderful! One question, in the ingredients, it says 1/4 cup of sugar. You haven't said what to do with this sugar! (Not the icing sugar, but the regular sugar)