Monday, December 23, 2013

Cook Something: Spiked Hot Chocolate and Homemade Churros

For a perfectly cozy evening or a late night Christmas treat, I highly recommend some steamy hot chocolate and homemade churros.I made these a couple Fridays ago on a particularly dreary and frigid night and they were the perfect way to spend the evening.


The churro batter is very similar to a French pate a choux, albeit thicker.  Making churros is a lot less intimating than it sounds, but a couple words of advice. Watch the temperature of your oil.  If your oil gets too hot your churros will burn before cooking on the inside.  If the oil is too cool, your churros will be greasy.  Use a thermometer and keep your oil as close to 350 as you can.  Secondly, invest the $8 in a pastry bag.  Most recipes will say you can use a gallon bag with the corner snipped off.  This. Is. A. Lie.  This batter is thick.  If you try to squeeze it out of a gallon bag the bag will split open and you're going to end up with a huge mess all over your counter.  I bought my pastry bag at Michael's of all places, but you can find them at any kitchen wares store and possibly Walmart (if your Walmart has a cake decorating section).



For the hot chocolate, I used this recipe and to be honest I didn't love it, especially because it required a decent amount of work.  Whatever hot chocolate you decide to use make sure it's super thick and decadent.



Churros
Adapted from here.
Ingredients:

  • 8 cups vegetable oil or other frying oil
  • 1 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon.  Mix together in a gallon size ziploc bag and set aside
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups milk, at room temperature*
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature*
*To bring to room temperature quickly, microwave the milk in 30 second bursts.  Be careful the milk doesn't scald.  Place the eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes.

Instructions:
  • Add oil to a heavy bottomed pot and bring to 350 degrees.  I prefer using my LeCreuset dutch oven for frying.
  • Bring milk, butter, salt, remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar, cinnamon stick, vanilla, and nutmeg to boil on medium-high heat in a large saucepan.  Turn off heat once boiling and allow to stand for 10 minutes so the flavors infuse in the milk.
  • Discard the cinnamon stick.  Bring the mixture back up to a boil then add the flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms.  This is going to take a bit of muscle.
  • Transfer dough to a large bowl and allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes, stir periodically to help with the cooling.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated before add the next egg.  
    • If you do this by hand there will be a moment when you think everything has gone terribly wrong.  The dough will somehow look curdled.  Fear not!  Just keeping beating and like magic the dough will transfer back to a homogenous mixture.
  • Insert a star tip into the pastry bag and add the dough into the pastry bag.  I like to use a chip clip to close the top of the bag to prevent any of the dough from squeezing out the back.
  • Pipe the dough into the hot oil in 4-6 inch long pieces.  Pinch the dough of with your fingers or snip with scissors.  Fry up to 6 churros at a time for 3-4 minutes until a beautiful golden brown.
  • Quickly roll the cooked churros on a paper towel and then toss in the bag filled with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Enjoy while warm!

Merriest of Christmases to those of you who celebrate!









3 comments:

Rebeka said...

Churros are so delicious. I need to come visit and have you cook me all the food, sound good? ;)

SummerBreeze said...

YES!! You should totally come visit and I'll whip up all of my best food tricks! :)

Langley Laramée said...

Very nice post,it looks like pakkoda. I like your blog. http://www.luluhypermarket.com/GoodLife/bake-a-mouthwatering-schiacciata-zzfode36.html

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