Apple Pecan Beignets with Pecan Panna Cotta
For Panna Cotta:
Combine heavy cream, pecan paste and sugar in a sauce pan. Heat to scalding, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Dissolve gelatin sheets in warm mixture, then add buttermilk and mix thoroughly. Pour into 10-inch square pan lined with aluminum foil. Refrigerate over night. Turn out and cut into squares, ½ - inch x 1 ½ - inch.
For Beignet Filling:
Combine butter, vanilla and brown sugar in sauté pan. Melt over medium heat, and add apples and pecan pieces. Cook until apple is soft. Turn out onto baking sheet and cool.
For Beignet Dough:
Combine yeast and milk. Whisk until yeast is dissolved. Whisking at low speed, add eggs. In separate bowl, mix flours, cinnamon, ground cloves, sugar and salt. In small sauce pan, melt butter and water together. Alternating wet and dry ingredients, add to yeast mixture. A dough will form. Wrap dough in plastic and rest for two hours.
Divide dough in half. On floured board, roll out one piece to ¼ - inch thickness. Score half of the sheet with 2 ¼ - inch round cutter, leaving 1 – inch spaces between marks. Place one Tablespoon of filling per circle. Fold other half of dough on top of marked circles, making a sandwich. Using same cutter, cut through sandwiched dough to create beignets. Remove to floured baking sheet. Repeat with second ball of dough.
Fry in preheated oil at 350°F until golden brown. Drain and toss in cinnamon-spice sugar.
Serve two beignets per person, atop a square of panna cotta and drizzle with caramel sauce.