Whether straight or spiral-shaped, fried doughnuts don’t get much better than churros. Churros are crunchy fried pastries dusted with cinnamon sugar and are a popular street food in many regions of Europe and Latin America. The crispy golden exterior, enrobed in sugar and spice, hides a fluffy texture that can be served with sweet sauces or thick hot drinks for dipping.
There’s much debate on the origin of churros. Some say they were invented by Spanish shepherds, while others believe that they originated from a Chinese pastry that was brought over to the Western world. Either way, these crispy treats are delicious bites for a decadent breakfast, dessert or sweet treat.
Traditionally, churros in Spain are made without eggs. This provides you with a crispier exterior, but churros can also be made with traditional choux pastry that’s enriched with eggs. Using eggs results in a softer but richer fried pastry.
Creating deep ridges in each churro provides you with the crispiest fried pastry. Using a star nozzle is the best option to ensure a crisp texture.
Because this recipe contains no eggs, the mixture is quite stiff and a bit of elbow grease is needed to squeeze out the dough from the piping bag.
Line the baking tray with baking paper then hold the tip of the piping bag right above it and push out the dough. Let it gently fall onto the tray while you squeeze out a line of dough. Cut the dough loose from the piping bag by using a small palette knife or a serrated knife.
Churros taste best when eaten straight away. They can stand for about 10 to 15 minutes before they lose their signature crisp exterior.
Churros with chocolate sauce
Difficulty: A LITTLE EFFORT
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Combine 375ml (1½ cups) water and 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence in a saucepan and bring it up to a boil.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in 375ml (1½ cups / 187g) cake flour and a pinch of salt.
Stir in 15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil.
Cook the mixture on low heat while continuously stirring, 30 seconds.
Spoon the mixture out onto a clean surface and allow to cool, 5 minutes. While the dough is still slightly warm, knead it for about 1 minute.
Transfer the mixture to a canvas pastry bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Line a large baking tray (8cm to 10cm in length) with baking paper. Pipe strips of dough onto the lined tray and release the piped churro from the piping bag with a palette knife or serrated knife.
Heat a pot of sunflower oil to 180°C. Lift each piped churro off the baking paper and fry them off in batches until golden and crisp, 2-3 minutes.
Remove the churros with a slotted spoon or tong and drain on kitchen paper.
Stir 125ml (½ cup / 112g) caster sugar and 2.5ml (½ tsp) ground cinnamon together. Add each churro to the cinnamon sugar and toss to coat.
Combine 200g finely chopped dark chocolate, 125ml (½ cup) cream, 80ml (? cup) milk, 30ml (2 tbsp) maple syrup and 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence in a saucepan over low heat. Heat until smooth. Serve the warm churros with the chocolate dipping sauce on the side.