I’ve been a churros fan since my first attempt in tasting them and I have since had a chance to try quite a few versions in a variety of restaurants or street-food kiosks. It occurred to me that this type of dessert must require a lot of fuss to prepare so I hadn’t thought of trying it out until just recently. Apparently my worries (as per usual) were simply failure-based because really, making churros at home is as easy as prepping hot sandwiches if only frying oil does not intimidate you.
If you’re not yet familiar with churros, let me explain. Churros are fried-dough pastries with a soft interior due to the choux pastry it is made of and a crunchy exterior due to frying. The fried dough is then rolled in cinnamon sugar and often served with a warm dipping sauce, e.g. chocolate.
You will need a piping bag with a large star tip to make churros.
First of all, prepare the choux-pastry dough. Melt butter in a medium saucepan, pour water on top, add salt and sugar, vanilla then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add flour, stir and fold with a spatula until a smooth dough forms.
Remove from heat, let cool slightly then add one egg and mix it in using a spatula or a hand mixer. At first it might seem impossible to incorporate, but be patient and you will end up with a smooth and sticky dough. Place the dough into a piping bag with a large star tip. Twist the end of the piping bag to secure and set aside.
Mix sugar with cinnamon for dipping in a larger late or tray.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan until it reaches about 180 °C (you can simply test it by squeezing a tiny bit of dough into the oil – it should bubble and the dough should slowly start turning brown), you can measure it if you have a candy thermometer at hand.
Once the oil is hot enough, keep it on medium-low heat and fry 3-4 churros at a time, not more, so that they don’t stick together: squeeze some dough into the oil and cut the end off with scissors. Turn churros once or twice during frying so that both sides cook evenly. Once they’re caramel-brown in colour, remove using tongs and dip in cinnamon sugar immediately. Repeat with the remaining dough.
For the sauce, heat cream until it starts to bubble then add the chocolate and spices. Stir to combine and remove from heat once the chocolate is melted. Stir in the maldon sea salt flakes and serve immediately with warm churros.
For the churros
- 1/2 cup of water
- 42 g of butter (3 tbsp)
- 1 medium egg
- 70 g (1/2 cup) of all-purpose or spelt flour
- 1 tsp of unrefined cane sugar
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract or vanilla seeds from one third of a vanilla pod
- neutral tasting vegetable oil (I use organic unrefined sunflower seed oil), about 700ml
- 4 tbsp of unrefined brown cane sugar (preferably fine so that it would stick to churros better)
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
For the spicy dark chocolate ganache
- 70 g of dark chocolate (70% cacao solids)
- 3/4 cup of full-fat cream or full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- a pinch of cayenne
- a pinch of maldon sea salt flakes (optional)