I’m soon to head to New Orleans for a conference but I could not wait to dig into beignets. So here I am making bofrot. I served them at a recent dinner party where my East African friends had the nerve to call them mandazi in my own house. Nigerians call them puff-puff and I always have to fight the urge to say “very original” when some say bofrot or bofloat stems from “balls floating in oil”. Yes, some Ghanaians have difficulty pronouncing “L”. Another Ghanaian name is togbei, sheep balls in one of the native languages, so bofrot it is.
My recipe is adapted from Alice Dede’s 1969 compilation “Ghanaian Favourite Dishes” which my sister pilfered from me recently as if I wouldn’t notice. It makes a very sweet chewy doughnut. The amount below makes a small serving, but the recipe is easy to double which I did for my party.
1/2 Cup evaporated milk
Juice of one lime
6 oz sugar
1/2 Cup hot water
1 egg, beaten
1 lb (16 oz) flour (I tend to use less ~12-14 oz)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg (and a little more for good luck!)
Pinch of salt
Oil for deep-frying (I use peanut oil)
Add the lime juice to the milk and whisk well
Add the sugar to the hot water and let dissolve
Add the milk mixture to the sugar mixture
Add the beaten egg and stir
Sieve the flour gradually into the mix
Add the nutmeg, salt, and baking powder
Blend with a ladle into a medium-thick consistency
Let rise at least two hours
Make sure the oil is hot enough but not too hot…
Dip a metal spoon into the hot oil and use to scoop the batter and drop it into the oil; the ball of batter should rise to the top if the oil is hot enough
Encourage the bofrot to turn so it’s evenly cooked; if the oil is too hot, the bofrot will not cook thoroughly
Remove when the bofrot is golden brown, I like it a little darker
Drain on paper napkin to remove excess oil
Alice Dede’s recipe says to DREDGE WITH SUGAR! Don’t do that. It’s already awfully sweet. I decide to sprinkle lavender hibiscus sugar I had on hand on mine.
Don’t expect them to last. Everybody loves fried dough no matter what they call it.
ps: the original recipe calls for palm wine instead of the milk/lime mixture