Puff puff has always been a street food favorite in West Africa. Wrapped in newspapers and served alongside beans,pap or avocado, this very popular snack is easy to make and there has been so many variations of it over the years. In this recipe, I decided to add beer to my batter; the batter rose quicker and the texture was perfect.
Commonly known as Puff Puff and Beignet in the english and french part of Cameroon, this snack has many different names depending on the country. Ghanians refer to it as Bofrot or togbei, Kala in Liberia, Mikate in the Congo and Puff Puff in Nigeria.
Why Add Beer ?
The first time I used beer in making puff puff was an accident; I ran out of milk and had to choose between water or beer . I was surprised at how fast the batter rose and it turned out to be very delicious.
The down side of this was, the exterior of the puff puff was so tough when it got cold.
To fix this problem, I added milk to the beer and it had the perfect taste and texture.
How do you know if the batter is ready for frying?
Not only do you want the batter to rise, you want the top of the batter to have loads of air bubbles and strings. (hope you understand what I mean)
Technique for shaping Puff Puff
It was always fascinating to see the technique used by the women to make a perfectly round puff puff. With their fingers, they pulled up some of the batter just enough to fit into the palm of their hand. Then, gently squeezed between their thumb and index finger to release some of the batter into the oil. They made it look so easy but whenever I tried this technique, it did not come close to theirs. With time and practice, I can surely say I am good at it now.
Watch video below to understand the technique:
- 1 cup room temperature beer
- 1 cup room temperature milk
- ½ cup sugar
- 7 grams dry yeast
- 3 cups flour
- ½ tbsp salt
- Oil for deep frying
- Add beer, milk, sugar and yeast to a large mixing bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Add flour, salt and mix. Cover with a kitchen napkin and let it rise for 1 hour.
- Pour vegetable in a large saucepan (about 3inches high) and let it heat up. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop a teaspoon full of the batter into the oil. If it stays at the bottom, then it is not hot enough.
- Getting a perfectly round puff puff with the use of your hands is a skill. Lift some of the batter with your fingers, just enough to fit into the palm of your hand and make a fist. With your hand directly above the heated oil, squeeze gently so that the batter turns out between your thumb and index finger. Use the back of a tablespoon to scoop the batter and drop it into the oil. Do not overcrowd the pan, else the puff puff will soak in the oil.
- Fry for a few minutes, while turning over the balls to ensure all sides are golden brown.
- Use a slotted frying spoon to take the balls out of the oil and place on kitchen paper napkins so the excess oil is soaked.