Deep Fried Root Beer Floats (Root Beer Funnel Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream)
Keyword: deep fried root beer floats
Dessert Type: Misc. Desserts
Prep Time: 15minutes
Cook Time: 35minutes
Total Time: 50minutes
Servings: 6funnel cakes
Author: Elizabeth LaBau
These Deep Fried Root Beer Floats are a fun twist on traditional funnel cakes! They’re swirls of fried dough, brushed with root beer flavor and topped with vanilla ice cream. This is county fair food at its best!
Whisk together the egg, root beer, and oil. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and whisk until everything is incorporated and all of the lumps are gone. Transfer the batter to a piping bag with a round tip, or a zip-top plastic bag. If using a plastic bag, cut a hole in the corner no larger than 1/2-inch. To prevent the batter from spilling out, clamp the hole closed with a clothespin or binder clip when you’re not piping the cakes.
Pour the frying oil into a medium saucepan so that it’s 2 inches deep, and insert the candy thermometer. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 370 F (188 C). Hold the bag of batter directly above the oil, and remove the clamp. Pipe the batter into the oil, holding it close to the surface, and quickly move it in a wiggly, circular pattern to create an irregularly shaped blob of dough about 6″ across. To ensure that your funnel cakes hold together, make sure that the tip of your bag is close to the surface of the oil, and that you criss-cross over the dough several times when piping the cake.
The cake will cook quickly–a minute or less for the first side, and closer to 30 seconds for the second side. Once the cake is puffed, crispy, and golden brown, remove it from the oil using a frying skimmer or slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Repeat with the rest of the batter, making about 6 cakes total. Watch the temperature of the oil and keep it between 370 -380 F. Remove it from the heat if it gets too hot, or let it warm up in between batches if the temperature drops too much. Before serving, brush with the cakes root beer syrup and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and more root beer syrup drizzled on top.
For the Root Beer Syrup:
Pour root beer into a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the syrup reduces down to about 1/3-1/2 cup (the measurement doesn’t have to be precise). This might take up to 30 minutes. Cool the syrup completely before using. It will thicken a bit as it cools, but will still be more of a liquid than a viscous syrup.
For Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:
Use a sharp paring knife to cut a slit lengthwise down the front of the vanilla bean. Press the sides open so that the bean lays flat. Run the back of the knife blade (the not-sharp side) down the bean, scraping out all of the seeds.
Combine the vanilla seeds, cream, milk, sugars, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Put the egg yolks in a medium bowl nearby and whisk them gently. Bring the milk/cream mixture to a simmer, then when it just starts to come to a boil, remove the pan from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks while you slowly pour in about a third of the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs heat up but don’t cook during the process.
Now return the saucepan to the heat and start whisking the cream while you pour in the hot egg mixture. Continue to whisk as the custard cooks, and cook it until it thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. If you want to use a candy thermometer, you’re shooting for 175 F (80C).
Take the pan from the heat and strain the ice cream custard through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then continue to whisk occasionally as it cools. Once at room temperature, press a layer of cling wrap on top of the custard and refrigerate it until it’s completely chilled. (To speed up the process, you can place the bowl over an ice bath and whisk it as it cools down.)
Once the custard is fully chilled, churn the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.