How to Make Spanish Churros

 

I have been to Spain a couple of times. Barcelona has always been my favorite city in Spain. The city is bursting with energy and creativity. The architecture is organic (yes, like it is alive!). I still remember walking down the street of La Rambla. Many buildings there are like pieces of art. I couldn’t take my eyes off Casa Batlló, Antoni Gaudi’s master piece. The mosaics made from broken tiles are so colorful and beautiful. The food scene in Spain is equally intriguing. You start your day with a glass of Cava and tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette). Piella, Chorizo al vino, empanada, Patatas bravas (fried potato with tomato aioli), manchego cheese with quince paste… endless delicious dishes throughout a day, pairing with delicious Arbarino, Rioja or Sangria.

Once when I left Barcelona, I was on a cruise. I saw the port getting smaller and smaller until it finally vanished. I whispered to myself, “I will be back.” There are many ways to travel. We can take transportation to a destination. It usually requires good amount of planning and expense. Sometimes I take a food journey and fantasize being at the destination. For me, it is almost like a getaway from reality for a few hours. I feel I could steal some sunshine from Barcelona when I’m making tapas. A nice escape during the cold New England winters. 

I say, at least once a week, you should take your time cooking, eating and drinking. Cook purely for joy. It can be a breakfast, and you don’t have to worry about sending your child to catch the school bus. It can be a romantic dinner, and you’re not thinking about the upcoming review with your boss. That way, cooking becomes a getaway for you. You will be surprised at how rewarding cooking can be!

So, let me take you to Spain. What should we make today? As you know, dessert is my niche. When it comes to Spanish tapas, flan and churros are the most popular dessert dishes. Speaking of churros, I have to draw your attention to a dough I’ve written before on my blog: “Pate A Choux”! I’ve shared the recipes of Eclairs and Gougeres. Those two French pastries are made from Pate A Choux. You can easily use the same dough and cross the border of France to Spain. 

Recipe for Spanish Churros and Chocolate Sauce 

Ingredients for Spanish Churros

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3~4 eggs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional

Ingredients for dipping chocolate:

  • 8 ounces good semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions for making Spanish Churros

To make the churro dough: Combine 1 cup of water with the butter or margarine and the salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour. Reduce the heat to low and stir vigorously until the mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute. Remove the dough from the heat and, while stirring constantly, gradually beat the eggs into the dough.

To make the chocolate for dunking: Cook the chocolate chips, heavy cream, in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. 

Heat about 2 inches of oil in a heavy, high-sided pot over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 360 degrees F. Mix the sugar with the cinnamon on a plate and reserve.

Meanwhile, spoon the churro dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip. Squeeze a 4- inch strip of dough into the hot oil. Repeat, frying 3 or 4 strips at a time. Fry the churros, turning them once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked churros to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

When the churros are just cool enough to handle, roll them in the cinnamon-sugar (note: in Spain churros are simply rolled in sugar). 

Pour the chocolate into individual bowls or cups. Serve the warm churros with the chocolate dip.

This recipe courtesy of Chocolateria San Gines, Madrid, Spain 

My personal twist of this Classico churro recipe is my cinnamon sugar. Loir is a spice master. He used to work in commercial kitchens for years. I love using his spice since it’s very high quality, and his blends are well balanced and intriguing. I go to his spice shop La Boit in New York every time I visit New York City. For this recipe, I use a pinch of smoked cinnamon, a pinch of Apollonia (coco power and orange blossom) and a pinch of Cara (coffee, clove, cinnamon). It makes the flavor profile of the cinnamon sugar more complex. You can also add some ground ancho pepper to the chocolate sauce to give it some kick! For my readers in the Boston Area, you can get spice of La Boit at Eataly or Sofra Bakery.

If you’d like a personal tour guide to take you to Spain through this food journey, please book a private cooking and wine pairing lesson with me, such as “A Taste of Spain”. Bon appetite! No, I should say, “Bon Voyage!”

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