I absolutely love doughnuts. I guess it’s hard to beat deep-fried batter covered in sugar and filled with all kinds of yummy stuffings…
However, there’s one deep-fried treat I love even more: churros. For those who know me well, it’s pretty obvious why I can’t get my hands off these: they’re covered in cinnamon sugar! As a cinnamon addict, that’s pretty much as good as it gets.
Traditionally churros are eaten for breakfast in Spain and Latin America. I first ate churros on one of our many holidays to Mallorca. They weren’t that good to be honest, just deep-fried rings tasting of nothing but grease. Little did I know that these finger-shaped doughnuts can in fact be absolutely amazing.
I only rediscovered churros in Luxembourg – of all places – at the annual Schueberfouer, a huge fun fair which takes place every year in September in the heart of Luxembourg city. It’s pretty much a coglomeration of fun rides (think rollercoasters, ghost rides and a massive ferris wheel) and food stalls. One of the many food huts is the – in Luxembourg infamous – “Jean la Gaufre“. This Belgian waffle stall started selling churros about a decade ago. And that was the beginning of my love affair with churros: crunchy deep-fried dough, covered in a generous dusting of cinnamon sugar, and served with a Nutella-style chocolate dip. Every year I return to my hometown for the Schueberfouer, and every year I can’t wait to get my hands on a portion of sweet, crispy churros.
So, for this post I decided to give it a go, and make my own churros. After all, what can be so hard about deep-frying some batter? Well, nothing really (apart from making the whole flat smell of frying batter, but that’s well worth it). It’s as easy as pie! So, give it a go and see for yourself why churros are the best treat in the world!
Churros with a Chili Chocolate Dip
For the churros:
160g unsalted butter
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1l vegetable or sunflour oil, for frying
For the cinnamon sugar:
1 tbsp cinnamon
50g caster sugar
For the chili chocolate dip:
80g good quality dark chocolate
1 fresh red chili, cut open and deseeded or 1 pinch dried chili flakes
a bit of cream
Start by making the dough: put the butter and a pinch of salt into a saucepan, add 330ml of boiling water and bring to a rolling boil until all the butter has melted away.
Lower the heat and beat in the vanilla bean paste, flour and baking powder. Stir vigorously for about a minute until the batter pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball.
Remove the batter from heat, beat in the eggs until smooth, then leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the cinnamon sugar by mixing the cinnamon and the sugar.
Put the batter into a piping bag, fitted with a large star-shaped tip. (At this stage you can leave the batter in the piping bag for a few hours until you need it. Leave it at room temperature and seal the back of the piping bag, and cover the tip with cling film, so the dough doesn’t dry out.)
Heat the oil in a wok or big, deep saucepan. Put one small piece of batter in. Once it starts bubbling, the oil is hot enough and you can start frying the churros.
Pipe 8-10cm long pieces of dough into the oil, cutting them off with a pair of scissors. Don’t put in more than 6 churros at a time, otherwise the wok becomes too crowded and the churros will stick together. Fry the churros until they’re golden brown, for about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, start melting the chocolate. Put all the chocolate with the chili and about 30ml cream into a saucepan. Melt over a low heat or a bain marie. Gradually add more heat if you want it creamier.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on the churros, and take them out of the oil once they’re nicely golden. Drain them on kitchen paper, and pipe in the next batch until there’s no batter left.
Once all the churros are done, cover them in cinnamon sugar and serve with the melted chocolate as dip.