Champagne actually makes for a very delicious batter. It’s not, perhaps, the first thing one would think of. Beer, certainly, but not champagne. However, I happened to be making another recipe with champagne and had some left over. As I no longer drink, I figured I’d put it to some other culinary use. These vegan sausages in champagne batter seemed the perfect choice.
I’d been meaning to make a vegan version of sausage in batter for quite some time, and now, with the range of vegan sausages available expanding exponentially, seemed like the perfect time. Being vegan for over seven years now, my memory of the original sausage in batter is obviously quite vague, but I wanted to use a sausage that would be similar to what I remember. I chose Moving Mountains Hotdog Sausages, as their slightly smoky frankfurter taste felt like the perfect partner for the champagne batter. It turns out they make for a much better-quality version of what we used to get in the chip shop.
If Champagne seems a little too extravagant, then by all means use beer (just check first that it is vegan-friendly), or even water if that’s what you have. I would urge you to try the champagne though. The one I used was £11 from Morrisons.
This is deep-fried food, and as such is only meant to be consumed upon occasion. I probably deep-fry at home about three or four times a year. You must also make sure that you use a large pan and that it is only half-full of oil. The hot oil almost always rises significantly when you put food into it, and you must allow for this in your cooking preparation.
If, after you’ve had your vegan sausages in champagne batter, you are still up for a dessert, then I can think of no better companion that my Vegan Brownies, though you will have to sit back contentedly for the rest of the evening after this feast, perhaps even leaving the washing up until the morning.
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Vegan Sausages in Champagne Batter
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 10-12 minutes.
50g plain flour for dusting
4-6 vegan sausages of your choice (defrosted if frozen)
For the Batter:
250g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
¼ tsp black pepper
350ml champagne (make sure it’s vegan friendly)
Oil for deep frying
First coat your defrosted or fresh sausages in the flour. I put mine in a container with a lid and give them a good shake to completely coat them. There should be enough moisture on the sausages already for the flour to stick. If not, just soak them in some cold water for a couple of minutes first.
Now make the batter by putting all of the batter ingredients into a bowl and whisking until it is smooth.
Half-fill a large saucepan with the frying oil. Make sure it is no more than half full as the hot oil will rise when you put the sausages in. Heat the oil until, when you put a small drop of batter in, it bubbles immediately and rises to the top. Don’t have the oil too hot or the batter will brown too quickly, before it is cooked all the way through.
Now place the sausages in the batter and make sure they are fully coated. Take the bowl containing the sausages to the hot pan and place them gently, one at a time into the oil. I managed to get 4 at once into my pan, but make sure there is plenty of room for them to move around.
To get an extra thick coating of batter, I used tongs to take the sausages out again and re-dip them in the batter after they had been cooking for a minute. Then I put them straight back in the oil to finish cooking.
Cook for about 10 minutes, turning them with tongs from time to time, until you have a crispy, golden batter all around. Remove from the oil and drain, then keep them warm in the oven until you are ready to serve them.
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