French cruller, but make it hojicha! Hojicha is a Japanese green tea that’s roasted to give it its unique toasty, sweet flavour and aroma. These Hojicha crullers start with steeping hojicha tea bags in warmed milk that’s then cooked with pantry staples like butter, sugar, flour and eggs to create a classic choux pastry (also used to make cream puffs and eclairs, among other sweet treats.) The choux pastry is piped into rings, fried to the perfect golden brown and dipped in a sweet hojicha-flavoured glaze. With a crisp exterior and light and airy interior, they’re seriously addictive.
You can find hojicha tea at most Asian grocery stores or online. Substitute with your favourite black tea or omit the steeping process for a classic French cruller!
This recipe requires 45 minutes rest time and an 18-inch piping bag with a large open star piping tip.
Place milk and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, remove from heat and stir in the tea bags. Let steep for 15-20 minutes. Transfer milk mixture to a measuring cup, squeezing out as much liquid from the tea bags as possible. Top with more milk for a total of 1 cup.
Pour the milk mixture back into the saucepan along with butter, sugar, salt, vanilla extract and lemon zest and bring to a gentle boil over medium. Remove from heat and with a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the flour. Place it back over medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly until a film begins to form on the bottom of the saucepan. Transfer dough to the bowl of a stand mixer and let cool for 5 minutes.
Using the paddle attachment, on low speed, mix in half the beaten eggs. Increase to medium speed and mix until the eggs are well combined. Scrape down the sides, add the remaining beaten eggs and mix on medium speed until well incorporated and smooth. The dough should fall into a V-shape when you lift the paddle. Transfer to a large piping bag with a large open star piping tip and let chill in the fridge for 45-60 minutes.
In the meantime, cut parchment paper into 10 3×3-inch squares. Heat frying oil to 360°F in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Place a wire rack over baking sheet and set aside.
Pipe 3-inch rings on each of the parchment squares, making sure to connect the ends.
Using a spider or slotted spoon, carefully drop the crullers into the hot oil with the parchment paper still attached. After about 15 seconds, the parchment paper will release from the crullers, remove from oil with tongs. Fry the crullers in batches, 3 or 4 at a time for about 2-3 minutes on each side. The crullers should be golden brown in colour. Transfer the crullers to the wire rack to cool and repeat with remaining dough.
Transfer the crullers to the wire rack to cool and repeat with remaining dough.
For the glaze: heat the milk and steep tea bags for 5-8 minutes. In a large bowl, sift the icing sugar and salt. Add 4-5 tablespoons of the hojicha-steeped milk and vanilla to the icing sugar and whisk until you have your desired consistency.
Dip the cooled crullers in the glaze and enjoy!