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Test Kitchen: Get your fill of funnel cakes at home or at Bootfest

By Jessica Rodrigo
Oct. 2, 2013 at 5:02 a.m.

Homemade spiced funnel cake with strawberry-ginger compote

HOMEMADE SPICED FUNNEL CAKE

•  2 cups milk

• 2 1/2

• 1 egg

• 1 tsp. baking soda

• 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

• 1/2 tsp. ginger

• 1 tsp. salt

• 4 Tbsp. butter, melted

•  3-4 cups vegetable oil

• Powdered sugar, for garnish

• Whipped cream, for garnish

Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat egg and milk together and set aside. Add the milk mixture in small batches to the dry ingredients with a whisk. Once all dry and wet ingredients are smooth, add the melted butter and mix. In a deep but small pot (a small LeCruset will work well for this), heat about 3 cups of oil over medium heat. If you don't have a funnel cake pitcher, fill a large plastic zip-top or pastry bag with the batter and cut a corner off to use for funneling batter into the cooking oil. Pour the funnel cake into the hot oil, making circle or star motions or whatever designs you like. Flip the cake with a pair of tongs when it begins to brown and cook for another minute or so before removing from the oil. Let the cakes drain on paper towels (coffee filters are equal to or better than paper towels). Serve with powdered sugar or Strawberry-Ginger Compote and whipped cream.

STRAWBERRY-GINGER COMPOTE

•  3 cups strawberries, quartered or halved

• 1 cup water

• 1/41/21/4

• 1-inch piece of ginger, skin removed, julienned

•  1 tsp. cornstarch

Add strawberries, ginger and water to a medium sized pot over medium heat. Let the mixture reduce and then add sugar slowly. Depending on the sweetness of the strawberries, you may not need much sugar. Turn off heat and remove about 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Mix the reserved cooking liquid with the cornstarch and mix well. When all the clumps have dissolved, return the slurry to the pot and mix well. Serve over fresh, fried funnel cakes.

Can't make it? go get it.

BOOTFEST

ADDRESS: DeLeon Plaza, Victoria

WHEN: Friday and Saturday only

COST: Usually around $4 or $5 per funnel cake

Fair time in New Mexico always meant Navajo tacos, foot-long corndogs and funnel cakes. When I lived on the East coast, it was elephant ears - but thankfully, Texas is a funnel cake state. Well, I would venture to say it's a deep-fried food state above all others. Let's be real, the winners of the Big Tex Choice Awards were a deep-fried Cuban roll and fried Thanksgiving dinner - and for the record, they both sound delicious.

As you're cruising through downtown Victoria this weekend searching for a sign that reads "FUNNEL CAKES," try not to run over any unsuspecting child who has meandered away from his or her parents. When it comes to funnel cake, there is usually enough of that fluffy-yet-crunchy goodness to go around.

Luckily for me (and you now - kinda), Luke's mom bought me a funnel cake kit for Christmas a few years ago, and we now have the tools to make them outside of fair time. It included a ring form, a pitcher with a funnel on the end of it and a tub of cake mix.

Other than the powdered sugar, I used chocolate syrup on my funnel cake, and Luke made a mixed berry compote with frozen fruit. The good thing about having the extra batter meant we could freeze the leftovers and reheat it for the next time we had a craving.

Bootfest (and Turkeyfest next week) are here, and that means an opportunity to let someone else do the frying.

Have a recipe or a dish you want me to try? Email me at jrodrigo@vicad.com or tweet me via @EatsEatsEats. I'm always hungry.

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