Delicious churros recipe - with amazing chocolate sauce!

Recipe by Neil Morris - 01 November 2012

churros-recipe

Region: Madrid

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Deep fryer temp: 180 °C / 355 °F

Difficulty: medium

Serves: 2-4

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Ahh churros! Is there a better way to start the day than with long sugary sticks of cinnamon-flavoured dough, dipped in an indulgent chocolate sauce? No, I thought not!

Churros are eaten all over Spain and throughout the world, in fact, they are something of a national institution. If you have been to Spain you will probably have encountered these wonderful sticks of doughy delight and will know exactly why they are so popular. If you have never had them then you are in for a treat! They are popular at breakfast time but can be eaten at any time of day.

The origins of churros are somewhat cloudy and one theory claims that they are an interpretation of a Chinese recipe original imported by the Portuguese. Of course the Spanish will dispute this and the official line states that they were a dish concocted out of necessity by humble shepherds whilst roaming the wilderness tending to their flocks. These shepherds also gave churros their name after noticing they were similar in shape to the horns of the churra sheep. Well, that's the history lesson over, now for the recipe!

There are many churros recipes but this is by far my favourite method and is inspired by a recipe from Madrid where making the perfect churros has become something of an art form.

Shopping list

  • 250g plain flour (harina normal)
  • pinch of salt (pizca de sal)
  • 50g unsalted butter (mantequilla san sal)
  • 250ml water (agua)
  • 200-300ml sunflower oil (aciete de girasol)
  • 75g caster sugar (azúcar en polvo)
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon powder (canela molida)
  • 150g plain chocolate (chocolate amargo)
  • 290ml double cream (nata para montar)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (extracto de vainilla)
  • cinnamon stick (canela en rama)
  • 3 or 4 cardomom pods (cardomom vainas)

Method

Begin by making the dough. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, then melt the butter in a saucepan, add the water and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add to the flour, stirring rapidly with a wooden spoon until well mixed together. The mix should be smooth and putty-like but just too sticky to handle. If it is dry add a splash of hot water. Spoon into an piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle or a Churrera (Churro Maker) and rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes. In another bowl mix the sugar and ground cinnamon.

Pour the double cream into a saucepan and add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and vanilla essence. Warm gently for 5 minutes or so to infuse the flavours but do not boil. Roughly chop the chocolate into tiny pieces and add to the cream, increase the heat slightly and stir continuously until the chocolate has melted. Remove the cinnamon and cardamom pods.

Warm the sunflower oil to 180 °C for deep frying.

*Tip. It is crucial to have the correct temperature for the dough to cook well. If you do not have a thermometer then try cooking a small ball of the dough first to test. It should take about 4 minutes to become golden brown and cooked through. Adjust the temperature accordingly to achieve this.

Once the oil is the correct temperature, pipe the dough directly into the oil, cutting each churro with scissors to the desired length. Cook for about 4 minutes until golden and cooked all the way through. Then transfer to some kitchen towel to drain and then toss in the sugar and cinnamon mix.

Pour the hot sauce into a cup or glass and serve with the churros. Indulge!

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