In my opinion, churros are some of the best doughnuts ever. Why, you ask? They have the greatest surface area to volume ratio, meaning more crispy, sweet, cinnamon bang for your buck.
I recently (aka yesterday morning) came back from a trip to South America. Over there they make these slightly fatter and inject them with dulce de leche or chocolate sauce. They sell them on the side of the road for, like, a dollar. While these are just the measly dipping variety, I shall be on the case of the injectable churro quick smart because they were just too good not to happen.
Either make up a salted caramel sauce as below or be a little more Argentinian and use the nearest thing I can find to dulce de leche here in New Zealand, Nestlé Highlander condensed milk caramel.
Makes around 20 SMALL churro sticks
For the churros
- 1 cup water
- 100g butter
- 1 cup plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- oil for frying
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the salted caramel
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- 300ml cream
- salt to taste
- To make the caramel sauce, melt the sugar in a small- to medium-sized saucepan over a high heat, and continue to heat until it turns a rich amber. Remove from the heat and gently pour in the cream while stirring. The caramel will bubble like crazy so be careful and keep stirring. Once all the cream has been added, return to the heat to thicken it slightly and to darken if you feel it isn’t dark enough. Once the caramel has cooled to a lickable temperature, gradually add in the salt until it is to your saltisfaction.
- To make the churros, take a medium-sized saucepan and boil together the water and the butter so that the butter melts. Sieve in the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and beat strongly with a wooden spoon over the heat until a thick dough forms that comes away from the sides. Remove from the heat and transfer the dough into a cake mixer with a paddle attachment. You can also do this next step by hand with a wooden spoon if you wish.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla one at a time until each egg is fully incorporated and the dough gets progressively stickier and fluffier with each addition. After the last egg, beat for another minute or so to remove any lumps and to make the batter extra smooth.
- Heat 5cm deep of frying oil in a medium-sized saucepan to 180 degrees Celsius (a candy thermometer is handy). To test whether the oil is hot enough, drop a small ball of batter into the oil — it should bubble fiercely almost immediately and float to the top. By the time the ball has turned dark brown, it should be cooked all the way through. If it isn’t, turn down the oil a little.
- Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Hold the bag over the saucepan of oil and pipe out 10cm strands of batter. I use a pair of scissors to cut my batter ribbons. Fit as many as you can in the pan without the churros overlapping. Fry until they turn a dark golden brown. Transfer to a plate covered in paper towels to drain for a minute before tossing them in the sugar mixed with the cinnamon. They are now ready to be dipped into caramel!