Churros

4 May

I think one of the things I like most about living in Spain is the way that certain types of food is just, well, so Spanish!   Churros is one of them.  And the way that you find it – i.e. literally on the streets, out of vans, at fiestas and in cafes.  I can’t think of an English equivalent that is so universally found.  I have mentioned churros before, but thought that some of you might like to have a go at making them and so have included a recipe.  This is something which you will only ever do if a) you love cooking b) you have an extractor fan and c) when it is a miserable day outside and you have nothing better to do!  But let me explain a bit more about the famous Churros.

A churro, sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut is a fried delicacy

There are two types of churros in Spain, one which is thin (and sometimes knotted) and the other which is long and thick (porra). They are both normally eaten for breakfast dipped in hot chocolate

Churros are typically fried until they become crunchy, and may be sprinkled with sugar. The surface of a churro is ridged due to having been piped from a churrera, a syringe with a star-shaped nozzle.

Churros are often sold by street vendors, who will often fry them freshly on the street stand and sell them hot.  You get a lovely brown paper bag full for a euro! In Spain churros are available in cafes for breakfast although they may be eaten throughout the day as a snack. Specialized churrerías can be found in the form of a shop or a trailer during the holiday period. Big Spanish cities have churrerías throughout their streets but we usually just get them from a van either at Vera market on a Saturday or Villaricos market on a Sunday. I have to admit that I have only eaten them 3 or 4 times in 8 years because they are so delicious, but so bad for you and I am scared of it becoming a regular thing!

The dough is a mixture of flour, water and salt.

In south Spain the word churro usually refers to the thicker variant, called porra elsewhere. The thicker variant is usually fried in the shape of a continuous spiral and cut into portions afterwards. The center of the spiral is thicker and softer, and for many a delicacy in itself.

It may seem obvious, but DO TAKE CARE if you decide to be adventurous and try out the recipe below.  This is not a recipe for kids as it involves boiling hot oil!  If the oil is too hot it will really splash so imagine you are making chips – the oil doesn’t need to be any hotter than that!

INGREDIENTS

For the churros:

90g caster sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

125g plain flour

125g self-raising flour

a good pinch of sea salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 litre sunflower oil for frying

For the chocolate sauce:

200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped

50g milk chocolate, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons golden syrup

300ml double cream

METHOD

Serves: makes 16 long sticks

Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and set aside.

Make the chocolate sauce. Put all the chocolate in a heavy bottomed saucepan with the golden syrup and cream and heat over a low heat, stirring continuously, to melt the chocolate, being careful not to let it burn.

Sift the flours with a good pinch of salt into a metal or heatproof bowl and make a well in the centre.

In a separate bowl, mix the olive oil and 450ml boiling water together, and pour into the well, beating it well with a fork to get rid of any lumps. The dough should be slightly soft and sticky to touch. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

Fill a large, heavy bottomed saucepan (or Wok) with the sunflower oil – it should be about one-third full. Heat the oil to 170C or until a small piece of bread browns in less than 30 seconds.

Add the dough to a piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle and squeeze out churros directly into the hot oil, cutting them with a pair of scissors into the length you want. Be careful not to cook more than three at any one time, or they will all stick together. Fry for about 3 to 4 minutes until crispy and golden. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Reheat the chocolate sauce and pour into little cups for dipping with the churros.

If you don’t have the energy to make these, search out a Spanish restaurant on google!

There are plenty in London I know.  El Cantara in Soho is a good start!

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2 Responses to “Churros”

  1. DianaX May 9, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    wow, what a dissertation about the humble churro. thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Gail June 6, 2012 at 7:09 am #

      I know – but until recently you would never see these in England. Spanish food it would seem has become mega trendy in the UK now – unheard of in the past! It is just a fun thing to do on a rainy day in London – lots of my friends read my blog from the UK 🙂

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