Soulful Baker by Julie Jones (Murdoch Books RRP $39.99)
“Homemade churros are an absolute treat and they tend to be loved by all – children and adults alike. We try and make a batch during the school holidays when they are enjoyed as a mid-morning snack. They also make for a quirky and fun dessert, dipped into chocolate sauce and served with an extra pot of sprinkles for the kids. It’s best to make the chocolate sauce first so that you can eat the churros as soon as they have been fried.”
75g (23⁄4oz/1⁄3 cup/3⁄4 stick) unsalted butter
250ml (9 oz/generous 1 cup) water
150g (51⁄2oz/generous 1 cup) plain (all-purpose) our
pinch of salt
1 litre (333⁄4 oz/4 1⁄4 cups plus 3 tbsp) sun flower or vegetable oil, for frying
100g (31⁄2oz/1⁄2 cup) caster
(super fine) sugar
1 tsp ground spices, such as cinnamon or allspice (optional)
50g (13⁄4oz) dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
50g (13⁄4oz) milk chocolate, broken into small pieces
1 tbsp golden syrup (light corn syrup)
50g (13⁄4oz/31⁄2 tbsp) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
180ml (6 oz/3⁄4 cup) double (heavy) cream
To make the chocolate sauce, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set on top of a pan of simmering water. Add the syrup and butter and allow the heat to gently melt everything. Once melted, stir everything together to fully combine, then add the cream in 3 stages, mixing well with each addition. Once all of the cream has been added and the mixture is both smooth and glossy, remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl.
To make the churros paste, add the butter and water to a large pan and bring the water to the boil, melting the butter as it does so. Mix the flour and salt together and add this to the pan, stirring well until the flour and water form a stiff paste. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes, beating occasionally to aid the cooling process.
When suitably cooled, beat the eggs together in a jug, then add a little at a time to the flour paste – mixing well between each addition. It may seem like the egg will not combine at first, but it will. Once all of the eggs are fully combined and your paste is thick and glossy, transfer it to a disposable piping (pastry) bag fitted with a star nozzle (tip).
Make the coating by mixing the sugar together with the ground spices (if using) and spread onto a large plate or tray and set aside.
If using a deep fat fryer, set the temperature to 180°C/350°F; if heating the oil in a pan carefully bring the oil to temperature. Check with a digital thermometer or test by dropping a little of the batter in to the oil – if hot enough, the batter should immediately start to sizzle.
The churros paste can be piped directly into the oil by squeezing the bag and snipping of lengths with some scissors. If you would like to make hearts, pipe the shapes out onto individual pieces of non-stick baking paper. Cooking in batches, carefully drop the churros (paper and all) into the hot oil. As soon as the churros start to cook, the paper will slip away and the piped shape will remain. The paper can then be removed with tongs. Fry for 2–3 minutes, turning once. The batter will turn golden and the exterior will be crisp when ready. Remove from the oil, allowing any excess oil to drip away, then immediately toss in the spiced sugar. Leave to cool for a few minutes before enjoying with the chocolate sauce and sprinkles, if using.