The recipe for these traditional New Orleans treats is based on one from pastry chef David Guas's DamGoodSweet (Taunton, 2009).
- 1 cup flour
- 2½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ cups sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1½ cups cooked long-grain white rice, at room temperature
- Peanut oil, for frying
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- Cane syrup, honey, or molasses, for serving (optional)
Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl; set aside. In a bowl, beat together sugar, vanilla, and eggs with a hand mixer on high speed until thick and pale, 4—5 minutes. Add dry ingredients and rice; stir with a spoon until just combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let batter sit for 30 minutes.
Pour oil into a 6-qt. Dutch oven to a depth of 2″; heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 360º. Working in batches, dip a large tablespoon into oil before dipping it into batter; drop balls of dough into hot oil and fry, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 2—3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer calas to a paper towels to drain. While still hot, dust with confectioners' sugar and drizzle with cane syrup, if you like.