If you have never tried a fresh and crispy Spanish Churro that has been dipped in thick hot cocoa, then you certainly have not experienced one the great foods of Spain. Today, when you walk down the center of any Spanish city, especially Madrid, on any morning, and you will see the churrers filled with people. According to the Spanish people, churros and chocolate are an especially good remedy for hangovers.
At fiesta time, there are many stalls and hand-drawn carts selling churros (and chocolate) late into the night and early into the morning. In most towns in Spain, there can be a found a ‘churrer.’ This is a cafe that specially prepares fresh churros for breakfast, along with other traditional Spanish breakfast items.
Spanish Churros are coil-shaped, fritter-like pastries that are eaten plain or covered with cinnamon and sugar. When prepared, they should be crisp and have a lovely golden-brown color, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. This pastry can be enjoyed any time of the day as long as it is made fresh. Throughout most of Spain they are either straight, curled or spirally twisted; however, in Southern Spain, the churro is sold in spirals or wheels, which are then cut into manageable portions after frying. Traditionally, Spanish Churros are consumed for breakfast or as a snack in Spain, as chocolate and churros is a common breakfast for Spaniards, but churros are also available throughout the day and into the night.
History of Churros:
According to legends, it is said that churros were the invention of nomadic Spanish shepherds. Because of their nomadic lifestyle these shepherds were constantly moving with their sheep, and as such they only carried with them that which was essential to their survival. Fried breads (Churros) were easy for them to cook in frying pans over fire.
There also exists a breed of sheep called the Navajo-Churro, which are descended from the Churra sheep of the Iberian Peninsula; the horns of these sheep look similar to the fried pastry.
With the Spanish settlement of the Caribbean and much of Latin America, churros made their way to the New World. As Latin Americans immigrated to the United States, so did this delectable dessert. Churros are now sold in street carts, markets, cafes, and restaurants. Today, churros are also very popular in America, Portugal, and France.
- 1 slice of bread
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 large egg, unbeaten
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar), optional*
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 4 ounces good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)
- Equipment Needed: Cloth pastry bag or heavy-duty plastic pastry bag; a large star pastry tip (such as Wilton #2110). It is important to use a cloth or heavy-duty plastic pastry bag, as a regular re-sealable plastic bag is not thick enough and will split open if you try to pipe the churro dough through it.
Prepare the Chocolate Sauce (Chocolate Caliente).
In a large heavy pot or deep fryer, heat the vegetable oil (1 to 1-1/2 inches deep) to 375 degrees F. Add the bread slice and lemon to the hot oil and leave the bread there until becomes a very dark brown (almost, but not quite burned). Remove the bread and discard. Treating the oil in such a manner before cooking your churros will give them that unique flavor or authenticity.
Make sure your oil is hot enough before cooking the churros. Test by either using your cooking thermometer or by placing a small amount of dough in the hot oil (the dough should bubble up right away - if the dough does not do this, that means the oil is not hot enough).
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the boiling water. Beat vigorously with a whisk until the dough appears light, fluffy, and smooth. Add the egg as you continue to beat. Keep beating until your batter begins to appear shiny.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip with the prepared dough. You could also use a Churro Maker.
Squeeze 3- to 4-inch strips of dough into the hot oil. Use a knife or kitchen shears to slice off each length as it emerges from the nozzle. For best results, a helper in the kitchen is desired.
Fry the churro strips until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes on each side. Cooking too many at a time will drop the oil temperature and cause your churros to cook unequally.
While the churros are still hot, roll or sift powdered sugar over each of them, if desired.
This churro recipe can be easily doubled.
Serve the Churros warm with the Chocolate Sauce for dunking.
This Spanish Chocolate Caliente is a popular hot chocolate sauce that people enjoy all year long. It is so rich and intense! In Spain, it is served both as a drink and with Churros for dipping. As the chocolate sauce will thicken as it cools, it is best to make it right before you are ready to serve it with the churros.
In a heavy pot, whisk together the milk and cornstarch.
Once the cornstarch is dissolved, heat the milk mixture over medium-low heat just until it starts to simmer, then remove from heat.
Add the chopped chocolate and immediately and begin stirring until the chocolate is completely melted. If the milk cools off too fast, place the pan back on the stove on low heat to melt the chocolate. At this point, taste the hot chocolate and add sugar if desired.
The mixture should thicken quickly. As soon as you see it thicken, remove the pan from the heat so the cornstarch will not thin.
Ladle immediately into cups or bowls and serve piping hot.
Yields 2 cups.
* I have had Churros served to me with and without powdered sugar. Usually for breakfast there is no powdered sugar on them.
I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer. Originally designed for professional use, the Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world. I only endorse a few products, on my web site, that I like and use regularly.
You can learn more or buy yours at: Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer.
2 Responses to “Spanish Churros Recipe”
A caution needs to be shared with the churros recipe. My niece was making them and they exploded and burned her, missing her eyes(she could have been blinded).
Whats Cooking America
Yes, everyone should cook with caution when frying any food in hot oil.