One night last week, I asked my husband to take a look through a couple of cookbooks and pick out some dishes that he wouldn’t mind trying over the next couple of weeks.  Surprise!  He chose Nigella’s churros from her Kitchen: recipes from the heart of the home cookbook… as well as some other great dishes which I’ll be posting over the next few weeks…

Usually I’m not a fan of churros – but these, when fresh – are AMAZING.  Honest to goodness, I’d rate these 5 out of 5 stars. And.. so absurdly easy.  Our son, as you can probably imagine, loved them.

I experimented with two different open star tips with two different batches of batter – a large pastry star tip which you can see in the photos (which I ended up losing into the oil due to the fact that I was squeezing the plastic piping bag so enthusiastically), and later, my usual Wilton 1M stainless steel open star piping tip which I use frequently in piping icing upon my cupcakes.  Personally, I found the smaller churros tastier and easier to achieved a fully cooked sample.  I also thought they looked a bit more appealing with their more extreme asymmetry.  Please note: I refused to use a round tip to pipe them due to the excessively phallic, and thus non-appetising, result I’d seen previously on a brief Google images search!  But hey.. that’s just my personal standpoint.  If you make them with round tips – just don’t expect everyone to want to eat them!

Nigella says that one batch will result in 16 churros which she states “should be enough for 4-6″ but really.. it will probably only serve 4.  Please note that even for a double batch, there was more than enough chocolate sauce; so if you do intend on doing a couple of batches, there’s definitely no need to make a double batch of sauce.

 

Ingredients

Churros
50 g caster sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
125 g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 x 15 mL tbsp olive oil
250 mL freshly boiled water
approx 500 mL corn (or vegetable) oil, for deep-frying

Thick chocolate sauce
100 g good quality dark chocolate
25 g milk chocolate
1 x 15 mL tbsp golden syrup
150 mL double cream

Mix the sugar and cinnamon for the churros in a wide, shallow dish: this is for shaking the cooked churros about in, to coat them later.

Melt all the chocolate sauce ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan, really gently, and once the chocolate starts to melt, stir everything together and take off the heat and leave in a warm place.

To make the churros, put the flour into a bowl and stir in the baking powder then beat in the olive oil and 250 mL freshly boiled water from a kettle.  Keep mixing until you have a warm, sticky dough, and leave to rest for about 10 minutes or for as long as it takes for the corn (or vegetable) oil to heat up.

Heat the oil for frying in a smallish saucepan; it should come about a third of the way up the sides of the pan.  When you think it’s hot enough, toss in a cube of bread and if it sizzles and browns in about 30 seconds, the oil’s hot enough; or if you’re using an electric deep-fat fryer or otherwise have the means as to check the temperature, it should be at 170C.  Keep a watchful eye on your hot oil pan at all times.

When you are ready, load up a piping bag with a large star-shaped nozzle (8 mm) and fill with the churros dough.  Squeeze short lengths (approx 4-5 cm) of dough into the hot oil, snipping them off with a pair of scissors as you go.  I love the squiggy feel of this.

Cook about 3 or 4 at a time and, once they turn a rich golden brown, fish them out of the oil with a slotted spoon or spatula or with tongs onto a baking sheet lined with some kitchen roll.  To keep the cooked churros warm while you fry the remaining dough, transfer them, after blotting with kitchen roll, to a parchment-lined baking sheet and hold in a low oven (100C / gas mark 1/4).  Even if you let them sit out of the oven, they do need 5-10 minutes to rest before you eat them, to allow them to set inside.

Toss all the cooked churros into the sugar and cinnamon and shake them about to get a good covering, just before serving.

Once you have finished making the churros, pour the chocolate sauce into individual pots (to avoid the double-dipping dilemma) and dip’n’dunk away.

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Easy, right?  Now, there’s absolutely no reason to order them at a store ever again because these are fantastic!

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