Churros are a traditional Spanish treat made with dough similar to a choux pastry which is piped into cylinders and deep-fried. They are crunchy and golden on the outside but wonderfully soft on the inside. If that doesn’t sound indulgent enough, they are then coated in cinnamon sugar. A definite crowd pleaser!
Ingredients: (Makes about 14 churros)
For the churros:
40g unsalted butter, cubed
2 tsp granulated sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
140g plain flour
1 large egg at room temperature
650 ml vegetable oil for frying
For the coating:
100g granulated sugar
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
To begin, prepare the coating by mixing the sugar and cinnamon together in a large shallow bowl and set aside. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Preheat the oil in a deep pan or wok (ideally you want a depth of about 1½ inches of oil) over medium heat to 170°C/338°F. A sugar thermometer is a useful tool to use here if you have one. Be aware of the dangers associated with pans of oil, never leave them unattended. While the oil is preheating prepare the batter. Over medium-high heat in a saucepan bring the water, butter, sugar, vanilla extract and salt to a boil. Now working quickly add the flour all at once, reduce heat to medium and stir constantly until the mixture thickens and combines into a smooth dough.
Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the dough to a mixing bowl. Leave to cool for about 5 mins. In the meantime beat the egg. The next step involves adding the egg to the flour mixture. This should be done with an electric mixer. Initially, the dough will seem like it is separated but keep mixing and it will come together. Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped tip about ½ inch wide. Pipe 6-inch strips of dough onto the prepared baking tray and then drop them into the preheated oil to fry. Alternatively, you can pipe the strips directly into the oil and cut them off after 6 inches using scissors. Fry 3-4 churros at a time for about 2 mins on each side until evenly crisp and golden. Overall they should take 4-5 mins. Transfer them to a plate lined with kitchen paper to dry for about a minute and then toss in the cinnamon sugar coating. If they are completely dried out the sugar won’t stick. Make sure the oil returns to temperature before frying the remainder of the churros. They can be eaten as they are but they also taste great dipped into a homemade chocolate or butterscotch sauce.