Churros con chocolate (a deep-fried dough, sprinkled with sugar and dipped in a thick chocolate drink) is about as authentic a Spanish food as a tortilla de patatas. Though its origin is unclear, from my experience living in Spain, it is served traditionally as a breakfast or merienda (late afternoon snack).
This churros recipe, direct from Segovia, Spain, does not use eggs; therefore, the dough can be quite stiff if too much flour is used (which I discovered the hard way.) This can be particularly problematic if you don’t have a churrera, an actual tool used for piping churros. In my case, as likely in yours, we use a plastic piping bag (maybe two) and icing/frosting tip so the dough needs to be more pliable and soft.
If you want to really see how NOT to make a churro and also HOW TO make a churro successfully, check out my ridiculous video here. To watch this you would think I’d never before attempted to make this Spanish classic, when in fact I had — and quite successfully. But this time I was using the authentic recipe which does not use eggs and…well…it was a bit of a disaster.
Authentic Spanish Churros con Chocolate
For the churros
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 - 1 cup all-purpose flour
- pinch salt (coarse salt or table salt)
- 1/2 - 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
- 1 litre vegetable oil (for cooking)
- 1/2 cup sugar (for coating churros)
- 1/2 - 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional to mix with sugar for coating churros)
For the chocolate
- 4 oz dark chocolate squares (chopped coarsely)
- 1/2 cup half-and-half or 10 % cream
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 tbsp sugar
For the churros
Have on hand a large stock pot for deep frying (as opposed to a frying pan, to prevent spatter.) Also, you will need a food-grade thermometer, a medium saucepan, a wire strainer or sifter, parchment paper and plastic piping bag (or two) with frosting tip #1M, for best results.
To begin, add the salt and olive oil (if using) to the water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. This is a good time to also begin heating up your vegetable or cooking oil in the large pot on another burner. Start off on low-medium. You can increase heat a little later.
Once water is boiling, stir with wooden spoon, ensuring salt is dissolved. RESERVE two-three heaping tablespoons of the flour and add the remaining flour all at once to the boiling water. (It is easier to add flour in if necessary, but too much flour will result in too stiff a dough). Mix well for 30 seconds, remove from heat and continue to mix with the wooden spoon, ensuring flour is mixed well.
Now is the time to increase the heat on the oil to medium-high. For best results, oil should reach a temperature of 375ºF (you can test with thermometer). While the oil is heating, pipe the churros onto the parchment paper, this way they will be ready to go.
The easiest way to fill the piping bag (after you have snipped the end and fitted it with the frosting tip) is to place the bag into a sturdy glass and fold the bad over the rim of the glass. Now you can spoon the dough into the bag, a little at a time, pushing it right down to the tip and ensuring there are no air bubbles. NOTE: You may want to double-up the piping bags as the dough is quite hot.
Filling the bag only 1/3 to 1/2 way, remove the bag from the glass and twist the bag closed, pushing all the air out. Holding the bag on an angle, squeeze the dough out into four inch strips or in the shape of teardrops. If piping strips, you will get about double the amount of churros.
Hopefully your dough is not too thick to pipe and you have managed to pipe your churros relatively quickly, filling the bag up. By now, the oil should be hot enough. Don't worry if it's a bit too high, as once the churros are added, they will bring down the temperature.
The churros will lift easily so, one at a time, ease the churros into the hot oil, placing one end in and dropping it gently AWAY from you. Cook no more than three or four at a time so the oil doesn't cool down too much.
Cook about two minutes and gently turn over with a plastic spatula, cooking for an additional two minutes. They should be a nice, light golden colour. Strain onto a plated lined with paper towels.
Toss cooled churros in a bowl with sugar (mixed with cinnamon, if using), coating well and place on serving plate. Admire your handiwork.
For the chocolate
Combine the cream and milk.
Place half of the milk mixture and the chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, until the chocolate has melted, about five minutes.
Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining milk mixture and whisk into the chocolate with the sugar. Cook on low heat, whisking constantly until the chocolate thickens, about 8-10 minutes. Remove and whisk until smooth.
Pour chocolate into small cups and serve with churros.