Baked churros and hot chocolate

 

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Reminiscing over summer holidays, I came across my collection of ‘I have this thing with floors’ photographs, one of which I’d clicked in Málaga last summer. As clichéd as it sounds, I took that as a sign to attempt some Spanish desserts this week! And what better way than to start it off with churros! A classic Spanish equivalent of a donut, crispy, sugar-coated fried dough that screams Spain in every way. These ones are baked instead served with a divine hot chocolate sauce infused with orange peel; quick to make, not deep-fried that saves you from standing over a hot stove for hours, it’s just what you need on a lazy rainy day!

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PREPARATION TIME: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS (makes about 20 churros)

For the churros:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons demerera sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature)

For coating:

  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the hot chocolate:

  • 1 bar of 70% dark chocolate
  • 1 cup double cream
  • Peel of 1 orange

 

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METHOD

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.

In a medium saucepan, add water, butter, salt and demerera sugar. Place on a medium heat and stir until the liquid starts to simmer.

Sift in the plain flour and whisk vigorously until it forms a dough.

Let the dough cook in the saucepan for about a minute while you stir it around with the help of a wooden spoon and it should pull away from the sides of the pan easily.

Take the pan off the heat and set aside.

Let the dough cool down for a few minutes. Add in the vanilla extract along with the eggs, one at a time stirring vigorously after each one to incorporate the eggs thoroughly into the dough.

Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a star shaped nozzle. Next, line your baking tray with parchment paper and start to pipe the churros spacing them a minimum of 2 cm apart on the tray.

Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the churros achieve a lovely golden brown colour.

While that’s in the oven, move on to making that decadent hot chocolate!

Roughly chop the dark chocolate and set aside. In a small saucepan, pour in the double cream, add the orange peel to it and bring to a simmer  over a low heat. This should only take about a minute or so.

Take the pan off the heat, discard the orange peel from the cream and add in the chopped dark chocolate. Whisk until you achieve a smooth consistency and all the chocolate has melted. Pour the hot chocolate into a serving glass.

Next, combine the cinnamon and caster sugar in a bowl. Once the churros are out the oven, roll them individually in the bowl such that they’re lightly encrusted with granules of sugar.

Serve the churros along with the hot chocolate and dive in! That’s as simple as it gets, classic Spanish favourites that bring back summer memories in the comfort of your home!

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FullSizeRender (41)PRESSURE POINTS

When incorporating the eggs into the dough, it may start off looking a mess but keep stirring well and it’ll come together. DO NOT add in the next egg until you achieve a smooth dough.

Be sure to use a double tray while placing in the oven to avoid burning the bottom of the churros or alternatively double line with parchment paper.

Patience is key! To avoid ending up with deflated soggy churros leave them in the oven to dry out for about 10 minutes after the timer goes off and they should turn out perfect.

If you give this recipe a go, I’d love to see how it turned out. Leave a comment below and share your pictures on Instagram using the tag #thecookbooklife!

Happy baking!

Nikita xx

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