As part of my June series on some of my favorite Black Authored Cookbooks from over the years, today’s feature is Kwame Onwauchi’s My America. James Beard Award winner and Forbes “30 Under 30” Kwame Onwauchi is a 32-year-old chef who has already accomplished an insane number of achievements in his career.
Onwauchi is an incredible example of rising above adversity. After a downward spiral that led him to join a gang and be expelled from college, the chef turned his life around and started a catering business in his early twenties. Since then, he’s risen into a shining star on the culinary scene.
His 2019 memoir, Notes From a Young Black Chef, is even being turned into a movie! With his first cookbook coming out just last month, I knew Kwame Onwauchi needed to be the next Black author I featured.
My America by Kwame Onwauchi
Kwame Onwauchi’s very first cookbook, My America: Recipes From a Young Black Chef, just hit bookstores in May of this year. The collection features 125 amazing recipes inspired by Black culinary traditions and Onwauchi’s eclectic roots in the Bronx, Nigeria, and Louisiana. So, you can expect to find lots of unique and delicious bites.
In an interview with the Washingtonian, Onwauchi said that his cookbook was about reclaiming West African cuisine and said that “so many people were brought over here and stolen, and with them came their pain, their culture, their practices, and their food ways. We were the ones that helmed the kitchens.” My America tells the story of the people who helped to build America and have made it their home.
Kwame Onwauchi’s Puff Puff Recipe
If you’ve never heard of puff puffs, get ready to fall in love. Playfully referred to as the grandmother of beignets and the distant cousin of zeppole, the puff puff is West Africa’s favorite fried doughy treat. Puff puffs originated in Nigeria and are made with a light and fluffy dough rolled in cinnamon sugar. The result is a fried pillow of deliciously airy dough that is beyond irresistible.
Puff puffs are made with simple ingredients like all-purpose flour, eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla bean paste, warm spices, and baking powder. Once the dough is formed, it’s left in the fridge to rest for at least an hour, then fried until golden brown and tossed in cinnamon sugar. This recipe is easy to make and mind-blowingly tasty, making it the perfect fried dessert for serving crowds at parties and family gatherings.
Recipe Tips for the Best Puff Puffs
Here are some of my top tips to help you make the best puff puffs ever:
- Make sure to toss the puff puffs into the cinnamon sugar immediately after removing them from the oil to ensure that the coating sticks to the fried dough.
- For the best results, serve your puff puffs right away. The batter can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance, so make sure to wait to fry the balls until you’re ready to enjoy them.
- If you don’t have or can’t find vanilla bean paste, you can substitute it for the same amount of vanilla extract.
- For even softer puff puffs, add a tablespoon of cold water to the batter.
- If you want a more plain puff puff, you can leave out the cinnamon sugar and top with powdered sugar instead.
You can get the full recipe details by supporting this book with your purchase.
This book is linked using affiliate (referral) links on Amazon.
More Delicious Dessert Recipes
Still, craving more? Check out these dessert recipes next: