Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chocolate Pets De Nonne (Chocolate With Francois)

When I was a first grader in Sister Mary Flora's class, I toyed briefly with the idea of becoming a nun when I grew up. With all the worldly wisdom a six year old possesses, I was fairly certain that God was calling me to devote my life to Him and I was ready to accept the calling. Along with all that worldly wisdom however, came all the curiosity a six year old can also possess. So before I could even consider signing on the dotted line I had a few questions I needed answered. I already knew that nuns could never get married and that was just fine and dandy with me. Boys and their cooties had no place in my life anyway. I also knew that I'd be required to pray a lot and I had that covered as well. My mom made me pray constantly as it was, so I figured a few more Hail Marys every day wouldn't be a bother.

My first major question on the whole becoming-a-nun business was hair color. Sister Mary Flora assured me that her hair was green and yellow polka dotted beneath her wimple and though I just couldn't imagine having to color my hair in such a way, I figured it was a small price to pay if that was one of the good Lord's requirements. The second question was a little more delicate in nature, but it was simply something that I had to know before I could commit myself to the divine ministry. When I asked Sister Mary Flora if nuns farted, she immediately turned red and emphatically said "NO!" And that my friends, was the deal breaker. I knew then that my destiny was going to exist somewhere outside the convent.

All these years later, I really hate to call Sister Mary Flora a liar, but these little pets de nonne give evidence that her claim of nuns' lack of gaseous emissions was untrue. You see, the literal translation of pets de nonne is "nun's farts" so I'm quite certain that at some point, somewhere, some nun let one slip. And the rest as they say, is history.

This was my month to pick the recipe from Francois Payard's Chocolate Epiphany for our Chocolate With Francois baking group. I chose these chocolate pets de nonne for several reasons. The first of course, was to prove that nuns do indeed fart, but mostly I chose this recipe because pets de nonne are traditionally eaten during Mardi Gras and with Fat Tuesday rapidly approaching, maybe you'd all like to try these little deep fried dougnuty/cakey treats before Lent begins.

Chocolate Pets De Nonne (from Francois Payard's Chocolate Epiphany)

Batter:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup plus 1 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 TBSP whole milk
3 large eggs
5 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut in tablespoons
1 TBSP dark rum
Grated zest of one orange

For Frying:
2 quarts vegetable oil

Garnish:
Confectioner's sugar

To make the batter:

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the ingredients are combined. Mix in the milk and 3 tablespoons water until a crumbly dough forms. Raise the speed to medium, and add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next one. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure that everything gets mixed in. Continue mixing until the dough is smooth. Mix in the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until well combined. Mix in the rum and orange zest, beating until the mixture is smooth.

Frying the pets de nonne:

Fill a medium saucepan with the oil. Clip a deep-frying thermometer to the side of the pan and heat the oil to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels. Carefully drop the batter into the oil, about one tablespoon at a time. Use a second spoon to help push the dough off the one you use to scoop up the batter. Fry 4 or 5 pets de nonne at a time for about 1 minute, or until they turn golden brown. With a slotted spoon, turn them over halfway during the frying process.
Remove the pets de nonne from the oil to the prepared baking sheet and let them drain well.

Dust them with confectioner's sugar and serve them warm. I really enjoyed these most when they were HEAVILY doused with powdered sugar. I felt that the batter itself wasn't sweet enough with just a dusting, but when I really covered them in the powdered sugar, they were delicious. Like these below....

25 comments:

HoneyB said...

LOL, I just LOVE reading your posts. You always find a way to put a smile on my face. ;)

The Pets De Nonne look yummy. I accept farting just for a few of these! I have to deal with it in our home on quite a regular basis anyway since :D

Rosemary & Garlic said...

Mags, we shared a similar childhood. I guess everything for fat Tuesday has to be fried.

June said...

Great post Mags! So glad you decided on another calling.

Barbara Bakes said...

LOL - thanks for sharing your Nun story! Fried chocolate balls in powdered sounds great to me!

Susan said...

What a great post! Your Pets De Nonne look fabulous! Just beautiful! I don't know what happened at my house, but it wasn't pretty. :) I may have to try again after seeing yours!

George Gaston said...

Mags this story cracks me up and I want to know when you are going to hit the Comedy Club Circuit. Your timing is spectacular and you know how to reel us in.

As for your "nun farts" ~ if they are anything like your incredible "Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies" I tried last week, these will be another 'hail Mary'!

Let me know when you are on stage in my neighborhood and I will definitely be on the front row...

joanne said...

Love the story. Your little toots turned out terrific! :)

jules and ruby said...

mas, mags, mags...ya killin' me...what a great post...you ROCK! nun farts could become a bad "habit"...?

Linda said...

My becoming a nun fantasy was because I wanted to jingle like they did when they walked by. And I loved the outfit! Weird kid! Weird adult! Anyway-your nuns farts look very good!
I enjoyed making these! Thanks for choosing them!

Connor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen said...

Cute post! These look heavenly ;)

Abby said...

Hahahaha . . . this post made me giggle a lot! (and the treats look yummy, too!)

Pam said...

Nun farts. That's all I'm taking away from this post. Well, that and the recipe.

Brittany (He Cooks She Cooks) said...

Never thought I'd say this, but if those are nun farts, I want them!

A Year on the Grill said...

OMG... I am making dinner for my priest in the next couple weeks before we leave...

Nun Farts are on the menu!!!

As you know, you are an award winning blogger on many levels. But today you are an award winning blogger from me. I have stopped sending these out as much, but I really thought this one was fun, and you should be able to have a good time with it… or just be honored that I thought of you…

Stop by and see what I am talking about

Dave

http://yearonthegrill.blogspot.com/2010/01/spinach-mushroom-pecan-parmesan_31.html

Alexandra said...

LOL. Hurray for fat tuesday and gassy nuns! These look mmmm.

lakegirl said...

Mags, these look delicious! Hoping to make them sometime this week. Your posts always make me laugh!!

msmeanie said...

Haahah. You are hilarious! I can't believe that's what Pets de Nonne means. They look delicious, nonetheless!

Moogie said...

You are to freaking funny. How does your hubby put up with it day in and day out?

Megan said...

Ha ha! I love your nun fart story! Your pets de nonne look like little bites of wonderful. Love them.

Kathleen said...

Funny post! These sound off the charts yum!

Mr. P said...

You NEVER asked your teacher if nuns fated. OMG.

www.crabbycook.com said...

Fried Chocolate!! This beats the pants off of cheesy cauliflower every time. Sounds great.

Sweet and Savory said...

How did you get those so perfectly round? I used an ice cream scoop and was not as successful.

I am sending everyone hear for a laugh. You can cheer us all up.

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

You're too funny... Despite the name, the Pets De Nonne look decadent!