Thursday, September 6, 2012

Churro con Chocolate


Like every good Mexican, I absolutely adore churros. The sweet cinnamon sugar on the outside, the crispy exterior, and the soft, pillowy interior might just be the components to the perfect snack. Growing up in Southern California, churros were a special treat. I would have them from food carts after church (on the rare occasions I went), at the swap-meet, or at my dad's soccer games. I can't remember by family ever making them at home, so I didn't have a go to recipe or baseline when I decided to make them for myself.

About a year ago I made churro flavored cupcakes with a mini churro on top. While the cupcake was amazing, the churro was a little too crunchy and just didn't bring back the childhood memories I was hoping for. Then this summer I decided to try again and realized that there are two variations on churros: with or without eggs. The ones I made for the cupcake were egg-less, so I decided to try a new recipe that included eggs.

This is now my go to recipes. It does involve some deep frying, which can get a little messy, but the actual dough itself is incredibly easy to make. You don't have to cream any butter or worry about overworking the flour. If you want to impress your friends, I'd definitely recommend making these. I also decided to make a dipping sauce from abuelitas chocolate.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with abuelitas, it is a brand of mexican style table chocolate. The bars themselves are essentially shaped like hockey pucks. They are incredibly hard and granular if you try and eat them by themselves. However, once you melt it in some milk for a hot chocolate or use it to bake, magical things start to happen. The chocolate bar itself is infused with cinnamon and has a ton of raw sugar running through it. If you can't find abuelitas near you, you can simply melt some semi-sweet chocolate with cream and add a little bit of cinnamon. It won't be the same, but it will still be delicious.

This recipe will yield enough churros for about 10 people.

Churros

2 cups water
2 stick of butter
2 cup flour
pinch of salt
5 eggs
cinnamon and sugar (for coating)

Chocolate Sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1.5 to 2 bars of abuelitas or ibarra chocolate


As you can see, there are very few ingredients in this recipe. Start off by heating up the butter, salt, and water over medium heat. You want this to get really hot, but not boil.


Once the water and butter are hot, turn the heat down to low and dump in the flour. Start mixing. It will be a little chunky looking at first and might not want to incorporate, but keep mixing.


Eventually it will start to come together and form something that looks like a wet dough. Keep mixing for a few minutes to cook the dough down sufficiently and not have the taste of raw flour. Transfer to a stand mixer bowl (or a bowl that you can use with your hand mixer). Start heating your oil while the dough cools down.


Once the dough is cool, start the mixer on medium. Add the eggs one at a time, waiting until each one is incorporated completely before moving on. Once you finish, the dough will have changed color slightly, will be much softer, and will stick together much better than before. Transfer the dough to a large pastry bag with a star tip attached.


By now, your oil should be right at 350. Squeeze out the dough and use your finger to drop the churro into the oil. Dip your finger in water before doing this to keep the dough from sticking to your finger. Fry until crispy and golden brown, a few minutes at the most, flipping halfway through.

What if you don't have a pastry bag with a star tip you ask? You can just use a ziplock bag, cut out one of the corners, and squeeze the dough through there. You won't have the beautiful ridges, but it will still be delicious. What if you don't have a ziplock back you ask? Well, just scoop teaspoons of the dough into the oil. It won't be a churro, but it will be the best donut hole you've ever had.


Drain the churros on a rack for about 30 seconds, and then add to a bag (in which you've already shaken the cinnamon and sugar). Give the bag a good shake until the churros are completely covered in deliciousness.


The chocolate sauce also couldn't be easier. Chop up the chocolate really finely (this is the most difficult part, use a heavy knife and just press it into a corner of the chocolate). Then just put it in a pot with the heavy cream until it all melts and thickens sufficiently.

And to finish it all off, one of my family members (can't remember who) eating a churro as it should be eaten: covered in gooey chocolate sauce.


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Welcome to my blog, where you can join me as I revel in my love of food. Eating it, cooking it, baking it, watching it on TV and even learning about it. If it has to do with food, I am probably interested.

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