Sunday, April 15, 2012

Churros Espanoles

Churros with a caramel or dulce de leche filling remind me of school fairs where my sisters used to go to a booth called Noah's Ark, where they bought and pulled out tickets to win live animals. They returned home happily once with approximately seven baby animals (a quail, a couple of chicks, a couple of doves, a black rabbit, and two turtles).
Churros with chocolate remind me of La Rochelle in France. They sold them on the beach front, with a small  disposable cupful of thick melted chocolate so you could dip the churro sticks into them. The booth was next to the ice cream stand that sold oyster ice cream, among other flavors.
One of the versions of churro history is about shepherds who were out for more than a day with their sheep. They decided to make their own bread; however, since they didn't have access to an oven, they fried the batter instead.
Other sources state that in the beginning of the 19th century, churros were served in city fairs, in Madrid,Spain, often along with hot chocolate (hot chocolate in Madrid is so thick that it resembles melted chocolate, or a melted mousse). Churros are meant to be eaten when you're with other people.

The first and last time I tried to make churros the batter was too liquid, so I was careful about its consistency this time. The churro batter is very similar to the french choux batter that is used to make eclairs or cream puffs, so if you have trouble with it being too liquid, the way to solve it is probably by just making sure you cook it on the stove.

Note that it is actually quite simple to make!
All you need is flour and water, in equal quantities, to make the batter. Just make sure the water is warm, because that will guarantee your success.
I was surprised to discover this, because I was more successful at making it from scratch now than I was when I was ten years old and tried to use a mix. I wonder what could be in the mix, other than flour and a pinch of salt.....(!) 

1 cup flour
1 cup water
a pinch of salt
vegetable oil
Measure the flour into a bowl. Heat the water with the salt just until boiling and pour it into the flour. Mix it well. Place the batter in a frosting bag that has a 4B tip (or other large star tip) Heat the oil in a pot. When it is warm enough for frying, squeeze out long snakes of batter into the oil. When they are ready, remove them from the pot with a spoon, onto paper towels so they will soak up the grease. Next, roll them in granulated sugar.
Fill another frosting bag that is prepared with a Bismarck tip, with nutella. Poke 3 or 4 holes in each churro with the tip. Then place the tip in the holes, to pipe the nutella straight into the churro. If you don't have a bismarck tip, you can also try a round tip, such as number 6.
Note: There are other ways to enjoy your churros.
a. You can enjoy it without any filling at all, like many people in Latin America do.
b. You can pour the filling on top of the churro.
c. You can dip your churro into the filling, as described earlier.

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