One of my absolutely favourite things to do when going for a long drive is stop and get a roadside snack. This can be anything from a coffee and freshly made doughnut to a terrible burger and flat fizzy drink. Somehow the romance of the journey lends these foods an allure they would not otherwise have. Driving in different countries you get to experience a myriad of variations on a theme – take these German crullers (Eberswalder Spritzkuchen) for example. They are a type of doughnut in that they are fried but have more in common with Spanish Churros than raised doughnuts.
The dough is actually choux pastry that’s piped into ring shapes on greased squares of baking parchment then fried until golden, puffy and light as air. They are no less addictive that yeasted doughnuts and pretty easy to make even without a fryer. Make a big batch and take along on your car drive but don’t be surprised if they disappear before you are five minutes into your journey!
Making the dough involves cooking the flour and in hot melted butter/water until it comes together into a smooth ball. Once the dough comes together it is then transferred to the stand mixer where eggs are added to enrich the dough until is pliable and super glossy. Piping the still-warm dough is a pleasurable experience – dropping the crullers into the hot oil and seeing them come to life even more satisfying! The vanilla glaze has to then be painted on using a pastry brush and you can add sprinkles, or chopped nuts before the glaze sets.
Keep an eye out for more ‘road trip’ recipes on the blog and make sure to check out the collaborative Pinterest board from Volkswagen for more inspiring DIY projects, recipes and ideas.
- 250ml | 1 cup water
- 50g | 2oz unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking parchment
- 150g | 5oz plain (all purpose) flour, sifted
- 3 level tbsp cornflour (cornstarch), sifted
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 level tsp baking powder
- 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
- rapeseed (canola) oil for frying
- For the vanilla glaze
- 300g | 10oz icing sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 tsbp milk or lemon juice
- Put the water and butter in a small pot. Heat until the butter melts and mixture comes to a boil. Take pot off the heat.
- Immediately add the flour and cornflour and vigorously stir until they come together into a smooth ball of dough. Put back on the heat and cook for a minute, stirring all the time.
- Transfer the dough into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir in the sugar and vanilla extract.
- Gradually add the beaten eggs into the dough while mixing. The dough will separate initially but then come together again. It is ready when shiny and hanging in a long strip from the beater.
- Stir in the baking powder once the dough has cooled a little and transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
- Grease a large piece of baking parchment with a little butter and then pipe the crullers, spaced slightly apart, on it. Cut the paper so each cruller sits on a little square.
- Fill a deep pot about halfway with oil. Bring the oil to 175C (350F) - check with a digital thermometer.
- Carefully drop the crullers into the oil, pulling out the parchement paper (they will slide off).
- Cook them one or two at a time until puffed and golden on both sides - please note cooking time is a guide only. The crullers will feel very light when properly cooked - uncooked dough is heavier. Drain on kitchen towels.
- Mix all the ingredients for the glaze together until is thick but pourable. Brush the glaze on the crullers while still a bit warm. Serve immediately.