I had planned to write this long, long, post about love and relationships and the meaning of Valentine’s day… But after a whole day of non-stop cooking and experimenting in the kitchen all I want to do is collapse on the sofa. As this post is kinda time sensitive, what with Friday being February 14th, you are just going to have to do without my musings (don’t all heave a sigh of relief at once).
All I really wanted to say (in a nutshell) is enjoy Valentine’s day and cherish those you hold dear. Love isn’t really about the flowers, gifts and grand gestures that come once a year. It’s all about the small, everyday, little things that count for so much more.
And speaking of little things… I had originally planned to make these pink mini cakes to celebrate V-day. They would have been very pretty and very tasty but completely not my husband’s cup of tea (it’s a source of endless frustration to me that he doesn’t really like cakes).
So I decided to make churros instead. I had never made – or eaten – churros before today (somehow not popular in the UK?!) but I am already deeply in lust with them.
The dough is very easy to make – ready in under 5 minutes. It reminds me of choux dough (minus the eggs) in texture and cooking method. Normally the dough is piped straight into the boiling oil in long strips but I found piping the shapes first was actually a lot easier.
The frying is not that scary either, as long as you don’t overcrowd your pot. Serve them with hot chocolate or coffee, with or without the chocolate sauce.
- For the churros
- 250 ml | 1 cup water
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 130 g | 1 cup plain all purpose flour, sifted
- 25 g | 2 tbsp butter can replace with vegetable oil
- 2.3 lt | 2 quarts sunflower oil or vegetable, canola etc
- Cinnamon sugar
- 100 g | 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Chocolate sauce
- 100 g | 3.5oz milk chocolate or dark if you prefer
- 125 ml | 1/2 cup double or whipping cream
- Pinch chilli powder optional
- Mix the sugar and cinnamon on a large plate and set aside. Line tray with baking paper.
- Heat the water, sugar, salt, vanilla and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil then turn heat off and immediately add all the flour.
- Stir the flour vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a ball. Set it aside for a few minutes to cool down a little but pipe while stir warm and pliable.
- Fit a large piping bag with a large closed star tip. Spoon the dough into the bag and carefully pipe the hearts on the baking paper. If you mess up put the dough back in the bag and try again!
- Heat the oil in a large, deep pot. If you have a candy thermometer clip it on. The oil is ready when it reaches 190C | 375F. (To check if the oil is ready without the use of the thermometer drop a small cube of bread in it. It should brown within a minute.)
- Lower the hearts into the oil using a wooden spoon (they keep their shape remarkably well). Do not fry more than 2 at a time as the oil temperature will drop. Use chopstick to flip and fry until golden - about 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Drain on kitchen towels then roll in the cinnamon sugar.
- To make the chocolate sauce, heat the cream until just boiling then pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it stand a couple of minutes then stir until chocolate is melted. Stir in the chilli powder if using. Serve the churros plain or dip them in the chocolate sauce.
If you have a fryer, use it - it makes the process a little easier.
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