Homemade Churros

Chocolate Orange Churros & Coffee

Chocolate Orange Churros & Coffee

Growing up in southern California I was accustomed to Churros, a Mexican pastry stick that is coated with cinnamon sugar.  They could be found at everything from concession stands and high-school games to theme parks, and most any place where such snack type offerings could be bought.  Recently while updating my “Mexican Fiesta” class I decided to incorporate them as a dessert in the class and anticipated people responding “Really…we’re going to make homemade churros??!”    My anticipation of excitement however has often been greeted with blank stares from people that haven’t heard of them, much less eaten them!  Little did I realize that my knowledge and awareness of them was much more of a regional experience. 

 The traditional dough for churros is technically a form of “pâte â choux” (pronounced “pot-a-shoe”).  Made of nothing more than water, butter, flour, and eggs in its most basic element, it’s probably the easiest and most versatile pastry dough I can think of and is used for everything from cream puffs to éclairs, churros of course, and even Potatoes Dauphine, a classical French preparation that combines the dough with mashed potatoes before they’re deep-fried to light airy potato puffs!  The dough for churros uses a bit fewer eggs than traditional choux pastry as churros are denser than most items made with the same dough.  While teaching them in a class one day I  brainstormed this variation.  To add more pizzazz I was already adding cinnamon and vanilla to may basic version but what else goes great with those flavors?  Chocolate, of course!

Chocolate Orange Churros

Yield:   Approximately 20-24  3-inch churros

1 cup water

½ cup (1 stick) butter

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons bread flour

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Finely minced zest of 1 orange

1 egg

2 egg whites

Oil for frying (Canola, soybean, peanut oil)

 

 

Coating:

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine water, butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a 2 quart saucepan.  Place over high heat and bring to a vigorous boil.  While mixture is coming to a boil, combine cocoa powder and flour in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. When mixture boils vigorously, add flour/cocoa mixture all at once and stir vigorously until mixture forms a ball in center of pot.   Cook and stir for about 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat and spread evenly across bottom of the pot.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.  If short on time, you may cool the dough by beating with a mixer until cool to the touch. 

Chocolate Churro Dough

Chocolate Churro Dough

While dough is cooling down, combine the ingredients for the coating in a baking dish or other pan.  Mix thoroughly and set aside until churros are fried. 

Once dough is cool to the touch, add the vanilla extract and zest of one orange.  Adding the egg and egg whites one at a time, beat thoroughly between each addition with a handheld mixer or stand mixer.  Once all eggs are beaten into the dough, fit a large piping bag with a large star piping tip and fill pastry bag half-full with dough.  Pour about 1-inch of oil into a large 12-inch sauté pan.  Begin heating.  Test oil for proper temperature by sprinkling in a small amount of flour.  When flour sizzles quickly without turning dark it is the right temperature.  If flour sinks to the bottom without sizzling the oil is too cool and if it turns dark it’s too hot.  If using a thermostat-controlled fryer or electric skillet, set temperature to 360-365 degrees. 

Holding piping bag just above oil, pipe dough into oil in three-inch strips, cutting off with a paring knife. 

Forming Churros

Forming Churros

Cook until most bubbles have subsided around the edges.

Frying Churros

Frying Churros

Drain on a paper lined plate or tray and then coat with the sugar, cocoa and cinnamon mixture.  Serve warm.

 

2 Comments on “Homemade Churros”

    1. I think the orange zest adds a nice counterbalance of flavor and of course goes perfectly with chocolate! Please let me know what you think, I hope you like them!
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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