Churros are a weekly affair in our home. As in maple syrup. We love the deep-fried dough treats, dipped in smooth, rich chocolate.
The sweet dreaminess of the maple syrup comes through, with hints of toasty caramel and toffee.
I orginally planned on studding the piped churros (pre-frying) with candied maple bacon but I didn't manage to get that far. That could be a wonderful variation and a salty counterpoint to the smoothness of the churros, post-fried, What do you think? —Kitchen Butterfly
- Makes about 30 churro sticks
300 - 400g milk or dark chocolate callets or bar, roughly chopped
1/4 - 1/2 cup of fresh milk (or half and half....decandent way)
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
4 tablespoons superfine/caster sugar
4 tablespoons Maple flakes
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup maple syrup
2/3rds of a stick/75g unsalted butter
1 scant teaspoon of fine sea salt/kosher salt
2 loose cups of plain/all-purpose flour sifted with 1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
Vegetable oil, Rice bran oil, Groundnut oil, to deep fry
- To make the Dipping chocolate: set a pot on low heat and add most of the chocolate chips and the some of the milk. Let it melt, stirring often. Once melted, adjust consistency with more milk or more chocolate. Add sugar to sweeten if desired and one or two twists of freshly ground black pepper from a mill or otherwise to the sauce, if you like.
- To make the Maple sugar: Gently blitz 2 tablespoons of the caster sugar and 2 tablespoons of maple flakes. Remove and put into a large ziploc bag. Add the remaining sugar, maple flakes and cinnamon powder. Shake well till combined and set aside.
- To make the churros: Combine water, maple syrup, butter and salt in a saucepan and turn on the heat. Melt the butter slowly, without stirring so the butter emulsifies in the water. If you notice bubbling, remove the saucepan from the heat, letting the butter melt with the residual heat. Then return to the heat till the butter is melted. Bring to the boil. At this point, you should smell the golden goodness of the butter. Once it boils, remove from the heat and add all the flour to the pan in one go
- Stir slowly but continuously with a wooden spoon to combine.Place mixture back on heat and stir until the batter releases from the sides, approximately one to two minutes. The resulting dough should be smooth and translucent with a ‘cooked’ mashed potato look about it. Let cool for about 10 minutes before proceeding to the next step of adding the eggs otherwise the eggs will ‘cook’ on contact with the hot dough.
- In a bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and the cardamom powder. You can do the rest of this step by hand or with the mixer - put the cooked paste into your mixer on low speed and then add the eggs. Let mix till incorporated or, by hand, add the eggs, then using all the effort you can muster (aka elbow grease), turn the wooden spoon round with circular motions, till the eggs are incorporated.
- Put the batter in the churrera or a large piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and fill ¾ of the way full. Pipe the dough onto lined cookie sheets, in the desired lengths.
- Heat up a deep pan with 2-3cm of oil /use a deep fryer set to 350 degrees F. Let heat up on medium heat - test its readiness by dropping a piece of churro dough in. The oil is ready if the churro floats up in 10 - 15 seconds. Fry the churros a few at a time, for 3-4 minutes till golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain for 30 seconds - 1 minute on kitchen paper before tossing in the bag of flavoured sugars. (If the churros stay too long before being tossed in sugar, the sugar grains don't stick to the fried dough!)
- Serve with little verrines/glasses of warm (reheated) melted chocolate. And imagine yourself in a fine Cabane e sucre (sugar shack) in Canada where the memories of Spain are invoked.