- Prep time 15 minutes
- Cook time 10 minutes
- makes 4 funnel cakes
“These are so light and beautiful. Quite nice after a really heavy meal, and they look really impressive, as if we’ve spent loads of time making it—but clearly, we haven’t.
You can top [the funnel cakes] with all sorts of fresh cream, some berries…ice cream, some chocolate sauce, some caramel sauce—I can go on and on. The options are endless.” —Chetna Makan
(76 grams) whole milk
(90 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons
confectioners' sugar, plus more for serving
Vegetable oil, for frying
- Place the milk in a medium saucepan over low heat until warm to the touch, then remove from the heat. Add the saffron threads and let it sit for 10 minutes to infuse.
- In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the fennel seeds until fragrant. Roughly crush the seeds in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Whisk the crushed fennel, flour, egg, confectioners’ sugar, baking powder, and salt into the infused milk until smooth. Transfer the batter to a piping bag and cut a ½-inch-wide opening.
- Fill a large, heavy-bottom pot, such as a Dutch oven, with vegetable oil until it reaches a 1-inch depth. Heat the oil over medium until it reaches 340°F.
- Line a large plate or sheet pan with paper towels. Pipe about one-quarter of the batter into the hot oil, starting from the center of the pot and swirling toward the outside (the batter floats up condenses a bit), into a fritter that’s about 4 inches wide. Cook for a minute before turning it over with metal tongs or chopsticks and cooking for another minute until golden. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the funnel cake onto the paper towel-lined plate to absorb some of the excess oil. If you’d like, dust with more confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately, then repeat with the rest of the funnel cake batter. Alternatively, fry all the funnel cakes first, then dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve together.