Churros & Hot Chocolate

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When I was in college, I talked my parents into letting me study abroad in London. While I was there, my roommate and I decided to spend a weekend in Madrid. At the end of an evening out (it was 5am) we popped in a Chocolateria for churros and hot chocolate. I can’t remember if I’d ever had churros before, but these were delicious. It was like eating a warm, slightly crispy profiterole. The hot chocolate was morel like a warm pudding, thick and rich. I was in heaven. I never had anything quite like it again, but I never forgot the way it tasted.

A few years ago, my son had his first churro and loved it, and he begged me to make them at home. I started looking for recipes and found one that was from the Chocolateria San Gines in Madrid. I wondered if it was possible that this was the same Chocolateria I went to so many years before. I checked the website, and it was! I whipped up a batch and my son fell in love with them. He tries to get me to make them at least every month, but they’re so addictive,  I only make them about once a year.

I do have to warn you, this is not a simple recipe (for me). It takes no time at all to put together, but the trick for me is the frying. I’m pretty terrible at maintaining a consistent temperature (even with a thermometer), so everything it either slightly pale, or on the verge of burning. I’m super tempted to buy a deep fryer, but I’m afraid I might start frying everything and actually eating it!

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Churros & Hot Chocolate

Note: After you remove the flour from heat and you’re ready to add the eggs, you can put the flour in a mixer instead of beating in the eggs by hand. The eggs have to be added very slowly to be able to be incorporated into the flour. It may be necessary to add a little additional flour at the end.

Ingredients

Churros:

  • 8 cups vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup margarine or butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional

Hot Chocolate:

  • 4 ounces dark chocolate
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons sugar

Method:

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan to 360 degrees F.

Make the churro dough:

Heat the water, margarine, and salt to a rolling boil in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the flour and stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball, approximately 1 minute and remove from heat. Beat eggs until smooth and add to the saucepan while stirring the mixture.

Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a star tip. Squeeze 4-inch strips of dough into the hot oil. Fry 3 or 4 strips at a time until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and roll the churros in the sugar mixture. Set aside until ready to serve.

Make the hot chocolate:

Place the chocolate and half the milk in a saucepan over very low heat and cook, stirring, until the chocolate has melted. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining milk and whisk into the chocolate with the sugar. Cook on low heat, whisking constantly until the chocolate thickens, approximately 5 minutes. Remove and whisk until smooth. Pour chocolate into cups and serve with churros.

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