Its hard to not like churros. Fried dough covered in cinnamon sugar and dipped in chocolate. Nothing short of perfect. Even a bad churro is still mostly great. Mostly.
My favorite churros are of course those purchased on the street. A particularly memorable one were those from Plaza Zaragoza in Hermosillo, Sonora, my hometown. There you see the classic street churro set up. Large drum fryer, a churrera attached to it, shaping a continuous coil of dough into the hot oil. Notches made into the dough as being dispensed allows for easily separating the coil into just the right size for stuffing into little glassine bags, only after being sweetly coated. Then stuff into yourself as walking about the busy plaza.
A churrera, the device used to pipe the churros is a nice tool but unnecessary as a sturdy coated canvas or silicone piping bag and a large star tip will do just fine. I don’t recommend using disposable plastic bags in general, but particularly not for churros, as the batter is piped while still warm and the bags tend to burst with something of this density.
The recipe isn’t complicated, but may take a couple of tries before betting it right. A very sturdy wooded spoon is an essential for making the batter, and perhaps a bigger pot than I show here in this video.
Churros and Chocolate
- For the sauce:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 oz unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp salt For the churros:
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 oz unsalted butter
- 1 sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 or 2 eggs, beaten
- Oil for frying as needed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground Mexican cinnamon
Set up a double boiler with a small saucepan with one inch of water and a tightly fitting stainless or glass bowl on top. Be sure water does not touch bottom of the bowl. Set over low heat. Add sauce ingredients and allow to gently heat while making churros. Once chocolate melts completely, whisk to combine and set aside to cool.
Bring water to a boil. Add salt and butter. Heat until butter melts. Reduce heat to low and add all the flour at once. Stir well with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated. Remove from heat and cool for one or two minutes.
Add in one beaten egg, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until incorporated into dough. If dough appears dry, add in remaining egg, approximately 1 teaspoon at a time. Dough should appear smooth and soft enough to be pliable, but not soft enough to slump.
Heat canola or vegetable oil in a 2 quart saucepan to 350F. Prepare for piping by dough into a canvas or silicone piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Tamp down the dough gently to remove any air pockets and establish pressure by pinching the bag closed at the top and twisting until dough begins to come out from the tip.
Bring the tip of the bag about an inch above the hot oil. Pipe out churro to desired length and cut with a paring knife dipped in oil. Continue pipping, but be sure to not overload oil as temperature would drop.
Fry until golden and crisp, approximately 4 minutes. Drain slightly on towels, then toss in cinnamon sugar to coat.
If desired, churros can be piped out on a lined baking sheet and frozen to firm them up for about an hour then fried.
Churros are best eaten freshly prepared.