Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Making Funnel Cakes
It is officially fall and the fair is in town. That means it is time for funnel cakes -- a treat we only have when the fair (or one of our local open-air events) is going on.
This year, someone had the idea at our church to serve funnel cakes at our annual SonRise Church fall event. No one really knew how to cook funnel cakes but they were willing to learn. The attendees were glad we were willing to try our hands at making them because our funnel cakes were tasty and a big hit.
Luckily, we had professional cooks on the job. Richard and Zandra who own the local restaurant, Papa's Smokehouse, mixed up the easy recipe (which I will include below) and also came up with stainless steel rings that made the job so much easier.
I am not sure who came up the idea of using squirt bottles, rather than funnels to squirt the batter into the hot grease but these squirt bottles worked so well and made the job so much less messy. I think it was Kim, who led our team at the event. Whoever it was, is a genius!
Besides Richard, Zandra and Kim, we had Lucinda and Sandi ready to cook with utensils ready and aprons on. They set up the propane tanks and cook stoves under the shade of a big tree and soon the crowd was clamoring for funnel cakes.
Someone asked me if I was the expert who was cooking the funnel cakes and I told them I was the apprentice. That was certainly true. I didn't bring any skills to this job but I really did learn about cooking funnel cakes.
We did use a funnel to put the batter into the large squirt bottles. We first had to cut the tips off the bottles so more batter could come out at one time. Filling the bottles was a messy job.
You can see how the tops were cut to make larger holes.
When the grease was hot, we poured enough batter into the funnel cake ring, sitting in the hot grease to make a firm "cake."
We removed the ring and waited for the cake to show brown on the top side.
When the cake was golden underneath we flipped it and let it brown on the other side.
We then removed the hot cakes from the grease and let them drain.
There were variations of color. I think people liked them best when they were browned and crispy.
We then sprinkled powdered sugar on the cake that was sitting on the plate and delivered them to the waiting crowd.
People kept thanking us for cooking the funnel cakes and I think it was a novelty treat that reminded me of a time I helped cook donuts at a another community event.
I am not sure I would make these at home, but I really did enjoy getting outside and cooking with some very nice and talented cooks who all enjoyed making treats for the large crowd. It was fun and rewarding.
Here's the easy recipe:
1 box of Krusteaz pancake mix (mixed according to directions, 3 cups mix + 2 cups water)
1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring for each box
1 tablespoon cinnamon per box
Mix well and batter is ready for making funnel cakes. Each box of mix should make around 24 funnel cakes. This will vary with the size of the funnel cakes.