This light entremets is popular in every French household throughout France, and although the dictionary tells us that the English translation is “doughnuts,” it is entirely different, both in the ingredients and the making, from what we call doughnuts in this country.
Put the water in a saucepan with the butter, divided in small pieces, a pinch of salt and a little sugar. Bring to the boil on a quick fire, and as soon as the mixture bubbles remove from the fire, add all the flour, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon till the paste is perfectly smooth. Replace the saucepan on the fire and turn the paste with the spoon till it begins to dry and no longer clings to the bottom of the pan. Remove the saucepan from the fire, and stir in the eggs, one at a time, making sure that each egg is well absorbed before adding the next. The paste should be well stirred and beaten, in order that it should be light. Shape into small balls, no bigger than a walnut, either with the hand or with a spoon, and drop in a deep frying-pan of boiling fat. Cook till the “beignets” are a golden colour, and have swelled to three times their original size. Roll in castor sugar and serve at once.