Wicked Funnel Cakes - a companion recipe for Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983), directed by Jack Clayton. Haven't seen it? Check the Outpost Zeta review here.
You can't have a movie about a carnival without carnival food. Popcorn is okay in a pinch, but what you really want for this movie is funnel cakes. They're not as hard to make as you might think.
This is a perfect recipe for two to four people, yielding about four 5" funnel cakes. If you haven't made them before, expect that your first and second ones will come out funny - either in detached pieces (from spreading the batter in the oil too thin), or fat and doughy if you err the other way. That's okay, let them fry up, sprinkle them with powdered sugar, and eat them anyway.
If you don't have a thermometer for measuring the temperature of the oil, there are many ways to check to see if the temperature is right for frying, but perhaps the best method for this dish is simply to test it by dropping about a tablespoon of batter into the oil. If it doesn't start to rise up and fry right away, the oil isn't hot enough. If the batter goes crazy bubbling and browning up really fast, or smoking, it's too hot. It's just right when the batter rises quickly and begins to bubble nicely.
1 to 1-1/4 cup baking mix
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
2 cups oil for frying
Toppings of your choice, such as:
- confectioners (powdered) sugar
- cinnamon & sugar
- apple pie filling
- cherry pie filling
Medium sauce pan
Zip bag or empty bottle with spout
Thermometer for oil, OR wooden chopstick or wooden spoon handle, OR a few grains of rice
Slotted metal spatua or tongs
Paper towels on a heat-resistant plate
Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan to 350-360° (see tips on checking temperature without a thermometer). Whisk together the milk and egg. Add baking mix and baking powder and stir, being careful not to overmix. Break up any lumps with a fork, and let it sit while you check the oil temperature and get the paper towels ready.
The batter will thicken slightly as it stands. You don't want it so thin that it's runny, or your funnel cake will break apart in the pan; if it's too thin, add a little more baking mix. (You don't want it quite as thick as toothpaste, either.) Transfer batter into your pouring vessel--a baggie with a snipped off corner, or an empty bottle with the pouring spout.
When the oil is hot, pour the batter for one cake, using a spiral motion, and finish by overlapping the end back onto the spiral. When the bottom is lightly golden (about 30 seconds), flip and fry until lightly golden. Remove with slotted metal spatula or tongs, placing on paper towels.
Top and serve!
Top and serve!