Churros are addictive. My mum and I, both usually very good at restraint, ate so many of these once that we had to skip dinner.
I first made these from Louise Mellor's recipe (http://www.2besatisfied.com/2010/07/churros-with-cinnamon-orange-dipping.html), though I adapted it into my own metric system (I am English).
Recently I got an idea that the cinnamon churros are typically tossed in could be incorporated within the churros themselves. I've therefore developed this recipe where cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and vanilla are used to flavour the paste. The surprisingly soft inside of each crispy churro becomes the fragrant star of the show.
I also like to make mine shorter than most - partly as I like them more bite-size, and partly because my pan isn't that wide! I find these don't need the traditional chocolate dipping sauce as much as plain churros, but I've included a recipe anyway.
I've put American measures as far as I can, I hope they help. I've used both canola and sunflower oil to fry these - I imagine other oils might work too. - fiveandspice —Poires au Chocolat
Test Kitchen Notes
The scene is 10PM. The temperature has dipped below 60 degrees. The children are asleep. The two adults left in the house are prowling for a late-night sweet treat. Doesn’t that just scream “MAKE THE SPICED CHURROS”!? We did (make them, easy peasy, only requires one pan if you wash up between steps) and we didn’t (think of waking the kids to share). Poiresauchocolat is spot on in three regards: Firstly, the ratio of spices is punchy. Secondly, they don’t need sauce. And thirdly, you fry them for the full 2 1/2 minutes because crispier outsides are preferable to undercooked insides. - cheese1227 —cheese1227
Measure out the flour, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg and sift them into a small bowl.
Chop the butter into cubes and place into a medium saucepan. Add the water, salt and sugar. Place over a medium heat and bring to a strong simmer. The butter should have melted into little droplets and the water will be coloured.
Add the flour and spices in one go and start beating with a wooden spoon (you can also use a study spatula) over the heat until the mixture is smooth, thick and comes away from the pan into a glossy ball (this takes a few minutes). Remove from the heat and cool for 1 minute.
Add the egg to the pan and beat vigorously until the paste is thick and smooth again. It will smell of raw egg and look like it won't come together, but keep beating and it will be fine.
Add the vanilla and beat in. The paste should stay on the spoon when it is lifted out of the pan and keep shape.
Fit a piping bag with a medium-large star tip (preferably quite open, as you want a thick middle). Transfer the mixture to the bag and secure at the top with an elastic band (to stop spillage and mess).
Pour the sunflower or canola oil into a large saucepan (any pan with high sides will do) until it reaches a depth of 2-3 inches. Place a thermometer that can cope with high temperatures in. Place a wad of kitchen towels near the pan and then next to that place a dish covered with granulated sugar. Place the pan over a medium heat and wait until the oil reaches 375F/ 190C and stabilizes.
Carefully pipe the paste into the pan in three or four 4-5 inch lengths, using a knife to cut them off - don't worry if they're not quite straight. Cook for 2 - 2 1/2 minutes, turning with a metal slotted spoon about halfway. As the mixture is already brown, they will look quite dark. Remove from the oil to the kitchen towels to cool for a minute before tossing in the sugar.
Repeat until you have finished the paste. Eat while still warm.
Chocolate Dipping Sauce
Place the double cream, sugar and cinnamon in a small pan. Heat until it just starts to boil. Place the dark chocolate into a small bowl. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate. Leave for a minute and then stir until smooth.