Sunday, March 17, 2013


This is one of the last things in my A Taste of Haiti cookbook that I have been wanting to make but haven't yet.  This is in the dessert section of the cookbook (a very brief chapter), but they sounded to me kind of like banana bread-like donuts, so I decided to make them for lunch today, and serve them with apple slices and scrambled eggs.  The American name for these is Sweet Fritters, but I like Benye better.

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 tbsp sugar, or to taste
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups milk
2 tsp butter, melted
2 overripe bananas, mashed 
2 cups vegetable oil

Mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon in one bowl.  Mix the eggs, vanilla, milk, and melted butter in a separate bowl.  Mix the wet ingredients with the dry and mix until batter is smooth.

Heat the oil.  Add the mashed bananas to the dough right before frying.  Add a tablespoon of batter at a time to the hot oil (I used my Pampered Chef scoop).  Turn over when first side is golden brown and fry until second side is golden brown.  Drain on absorbent paper (paper towels).  Sprinkle with additional sugar and serve hot. 

So this made about 100 benye.  Okay not really but at least 50.  I used the scoop, an even scoopful for each benye, but I think it was a bit too much.  A lot of the finished products were piping hot but still a bit doughy in the middle.  Part of that could have been from the bananas in them, but I think it was mostly because they were a bit too big and the outsides were done before the insides.  Emma really liked these, because she likes banana bread.  Sam didn't really like them (li pa renmen benye).  Steve and I both thought they were okay, but not great.  We've never had this in Haiti before, so I don't know if they are authentic or not.  Where we go, dessert is not a part of a typical meal.  This was fun to try, just to see if I could do it.  I've never made homemade donuts this way before, so I'm glad I tried it, even if they weren't perfect.


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