I’d heard of Funnel Cake but was never really sure what it was. Not something we get in the UK, so I researched (i.e. googled). Apparently it is a fried snack commonly sold at funfairs in the US. They look a bit like a deep fried brain or spider’s webs. And I thought, with Halloween on the way, what a perfect time to try making them!
Having never had them, I wasn't too sure what to expect. They looked huge and I didn't fancy gorging on a massive greasy treat, so thought I might just make mini ones. They are called funnel cakes because the batter used (bit like a pancake batter) is placed in a funnel then swirled around to get the random look. A funnel was a bit big I pondered, so I went and bought a cheap sauce bottle and hacked off the top of the opening making it slightly wider (you could use any squeezy bottle really).
I looked at a few recipes online and realised it was a pretty basic pancake batter really, with some baking powder. I decided to add a dash of vanilla extract and some ground cinnamon to amp up the flavour. I heated my oil, placed the batter in the bottle and set about squeezing. They didn't take to long to fry and I was pleasantly surprised…
180 ml milk (any kind)
100g plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Icing sugar (for dusting)
Add vegetable oil to a large frying pan, getting it about half an inch deep. Heat to 190oC.
In a measuring jug, add the milk, egg and vanilla, whisk together. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, whisking to get rid of most of the lumps. Pour the batter into the squeezy bottle.
Carefully squeeze the batter into the hot oil, making a random, web like type shape, I made mines about 3 to 4 inches wide. Fry for about a minute and with tongs flip over for about another minute on the other side.
It should be nice, golden and puffed up by now, so remove it from the pan and place it on some kitchen paper to drain. Sprinkle liberally with icing sugar and your mini funnel cakes are ready to eat, and they are best eaten cosy.
They are like a cross between a pancake and a doughnut and are delicious. Not the prettiest of sweet treats, which make them perfect for a Halloween snack! Enjoy and discard that hot oil safely!!