by Simon Fernandez (@ferdiesfoodlab), in partnership with Unearthed for Agtion Against Hunger
Churros are one of those fantastic foods that is filled with so many memories for me. You can find churros all over Spain and I have happy memories of them from all ages. My first memories of churros were on holiday visiting gran who was always so delighted to see us would make the dunking chocolate and biscuits for break fast and if we were really lucky we'd get churros yeay!
In August, traditionally the holiday month in Spain - although it's spread to July too - all the villages in the area have fiestas. Each village has it's fiesta on a different dates, which is cool because it means you can go to neighbouring villages a wooing the girls ; ) or depending on how old we were setting fire crackers off just behind them to hear them squeal, he he!
Our village had a massive band!
It would start with a procession, quite a religious affair, and would end up in the main square by the disused - except for at fiesta time - school building. At fiesta there would be games for the kids during the day and in the evening a giant cazuela (a cauldron) of chocolate sauce was brewed up to be served with churros at 7pm to the delight of all the kids and adults and crones, and hairy old men of the village. You know a guy has seen a a lot of years go by when you look over and you notice that somehow - god only knows how - he's got chocolate sauce on his ferociously overgrown nostril hair.
The second day the school hall is used as a bar and banqueting hall where everyone goes have a few wines or beers and each others company and great sides of slow roast lamb, a local speciality from neighbouring village. There aren't words to describe the kind of smile that just the smell of this stuff would bring to my face, to everyones! I'm going on a secret mission to find out how this is reared and cooked! But that is another story!
Years later a little more grown up I'd visit Madrid to see my cousins, I remember one year them surprising we with a visit to Las Ventas, the bull ring in Madrid, thankfully for an evening of entertainment that put the rather impressive building to much better use that it's intended purpose: and ACDC concert! Thunder! Needless to say churros were consumed on the way home…..
And my most recent memory at our Unearthed event getting some fantastic smiles and moans of delight from our guests.
Any way I'll stop rambling, here it is:
Churros with Chilli & Orange Infused Chocolate Dip (Serves 6)
For the Batter
200g plain flour
1/4 tsp of salt
80g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp baking powder
veg oil (for frying - at least 1.5 inches deep)
For the hot chocolate Sauce
125g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) plus extra for grating
300ml double cream
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1 red chilli
zest 2 oranges
For the sugar coating
100g caster sugar for dusting
2 tsp ground cinnamon
piping bag & star nozzle
For the Chocolate Sauce
Put everything but the chocolate into a pot and bring it to the boil, CAREFUL it doesn't boil over it makes a lot of mess!!
Simmer for 10mins allow the flavours to infuse into the cream and milk.
Break the chocolate into small pieces.
Sieve the mixture and remove from the heat, then add the chocolate pieces, and stir until the chocolate has melted forming beautiful chocolate sauce, my ran used to make this for my brother and me for breakfast when we went to visit her tiny mountain village Barahona in central Spain
For the Churros
Do the Churros in two halves - too much to do in one go!!
Put the flour into a bowl, mix in the baking powder and make well in the middle
Melt the butter in the water - don't boil just let it melt and cool a little
put the eggs and water into the well and mix in carefully until you have a smooth paste
put into piping bags and put in the fridge for half and hour, let the baking powder do it's work - makes them lighter!
Heat a pan to full heat or a fryer to 180C.
Hold the piping bag in one hand and the scissors in the other - if you dip the scissors in the oil it stops the churros sticking to them - and snip equal length churros into the oil. Take them out and place on kitchen towel to dry the oil off.
Tip 1: If you're making a lot (when we make it we use a kilo of plain flour) mix in 2 batches half ingredients in each.
Tip 2: When mixing by hand make a well in the flour and gradually mix in the the flour this will stop lumps forming in your batter.
Tip 3: When zesting the orange use a zester (as in picture) or a microplane, they are a lot better at getting into the peel with a lot less effort and rewarding you with a lot more zest.
Tip 4: Take care not to squeeze too hard if you're using disposable (recyclable) piping bags because you might find a massive bloaty churro following your piping nozzle right into the fryer! Creating a bit fat doughnut with a beak, resembling some kind on munchable jurassic treat.
Tip 5: If there's leftover dip, or you've "accidentally" made too much pour it into a jam jar and let it set over night then seal it with an air tight lid, it makes great chocolate spread.
We did these in partnership with Unearthed for Agtion Against Hunger
Churros w/ Chillie & Orange Infused Chocolate Sauce
Unfortunately unearthed don't sell these so you'll have to have a go yourselves!! You can find the whole 7 course menu we served here.