My first true churro experience was on a trip to Madrid in high school. We stopped into a little shop for a plate of churros with chocolate for dipping after a long day of sight-seeing and man, was it dreamy. I’ve only had them a few times since then (and none as good) so I decided to try my hand at frying up a batch. I used to think that in order to fry anything you needed a big deep-fryer or something, but I’ve learned that you really only need a heavy-duty pot and a couple inches of oil. A cooking thermometer is really helpful but not completely necessary. Very easy, dangerously easy even.
“Hey Reid, what if I fried a slice of banana bread and then tossed it with cinnamon and sugar?”
I bet it would be delicious. The look he gave me told me I was getting out of hand.
Back to the churros, my first attempt yielded less than desirable results. The batter was actually more like a dough, super thick and sticky. It was really easy to pipe but then I couldn’t get them to cook properly. I tried different frying times and temperatures, and even different pastry tips, but the end result was always the same: a gooey interior. Yuck. Not exactly what I was looking for so it was back to the drawing board.
This is the tip I used the first time and the opening was just too big (Ateco #827)
My second attempt was a winner…and thank goodness, as our house was beginning to smell like a fast food joint with all of the frying going on. The major difference this time was that I added eggs. The batter was a lot smoother and thinner this time around, which made it a little harder to pipe but the final product is worth a little mess.
I used my Ateco #846 tip (1/2” closed star), stuffed into a medium pastry bag since I couldn’t find my large one, and it worked great.
These were exactly what I was looking for…a crispy exterior with a sugary coating and a light and airy interior. I added cinnamon to the batter to amp up the flavor and dipped in the chocolate sauce, these were perfection. They are really quick and easy to make and use basic ingredients that you most likely have on hand so here’s the recipe if you want to give them a shot!
Churros & Chocolate Sauce
yields about 16 4” pieces
- 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
- 2 tablespoons and 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
- 2 large eggs
- oil for frying
for the chocolate sauce
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chunks (any variety will do; I used semi-sweet)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, 2 tablespoons of sugar, salt, and water over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in the flour and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon until combined. Add the eggs and whip until smooth. Transfer to a cloth pastry bag with a large star tip.
Combine the 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a heavy-duty pot (medium to large in size), heat about 2 inches of oil to 350˚F. Carefully pipe the churro batter into the hot oil, using a knife or scissors to cut off 4” portions (or whatever length you desire). Don’t crowd the pot; I fried 3-4 pieces at a time. Fry for 1-2 minutes, or until one side is golden brown, and then flip over and cook for about 30-60 seconds longer. Remove from oil and allow to drain on a paper towel for a couple minutes before tossing in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Repeat these steps with the rest of the batter, adjusting the heat to maintain the temperature at 350˚.
To make the chocolate sauce, which is simply ganache before it has set, place the chocolate pieces in a small heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream on the stovetop or in the microwave until steaming but not boiling. Pour over the chocolate and allow to sit for a minute, then stir until smooth.
Note: this sauce will set up as it sits so make it right before serving.