I love churros!
Although originally from Spain, they are a very popular treat in much of South America, including in Brazil. The difference is that in Brazil they are not dipped in chocolate sauce but rather are stuffed inside with either a chocolate sauce filling or with other filling flavors such as guava sauce, dulce de leche, etc. They are often sold and enjoyed as a dessert snack on the streets, at mall quiosks, or in cafés.
Churros have come to be one of my children’s favorite snacks. They love their mild sweetness and, of course, their delicious crunchiness. Besides being economical and a real crowd-pleaser, they are perfect to eat with a cup of milk – just like cookies.
To make these Spanish doughnuts tastier, I have added vanilla bean to the original recipe. Since they are filled with chocolate sauce (Brazilian-style) instead of dipped in it (Spanish-style), I am categorizing these churros as Brazilian Inspired.
I hope you enjoy them with a good cup of café com leite (café au lait).
Vanilla Bean Churros filled with Chocolate Sauce
Yield: 16 churros
Segment: Brazilian Cuisine (Inspired)
For the churros:
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 vanilla bean pod, split in half lengthwise*
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 quarters (about 2 liters) vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar to roll the churros in
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- A pinch of ground nutmeg*
- Chocolate sauce (recipe follows)
* These ingredients are not part of the original recipe. They can be omitted if desired.
These churros –when not filled with the chocolate sauce — are both dairy-free and vegetarian. You can fill them with a berry sauce instead.
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine water, sugar, salt, and oil. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the pot with a small spoon, and then add the scraped-out pod to the pot. Bring to a boil, stir, and remove from heat. Remove the split vanilla bean pod and discard. Mix in the flour for about 30 seconds until it forms a ball of dough.
2. In a fryer, heat oil to 375 F (190 degrees C). Put the dough in a churrero or a piping bag with a large star tip attached. Twist and close the bag. Hold the bag or the churrero upright and straight over the hot oil fryer (so the churros come out straight), then squeeze out an appropriate length of dough (the length of the churros should be slightly longer than the index finger of the hand, approximately 9 cm). After it is squeezed out, separate each churro from the piping bag using a sharp knife and let drop straight into the hot oil.
3. Fry the churros until golden brown, turning occasionally to achieve an uniform color on all sides (do not fry more than 4 or 5 churros at a time because the temperature of the fryer will decrease and this will adversely affect the final product). Remove the churros from the hot oil with a slotted spoon and place on a shallow baking pan lined with paper towels to drain. If you have used a piping bag, the churros won’t have a hole. Let them cool a bit and hold the churros upright; then, make a central hole lengthwise from the top almost through to the bottom using a wood skewer. Pass the churros in the cinnamon-nutmeg-sugar mixture to coat while they are still warm. Place the chocolate sauce in a plastic bottle with a fine tip and pipe the sauce into the hole in the churros. Serve warm. Enjoy!!!
For the Chocolate sauce:
Yield: About 3/4 cup
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3-1/2 ounces (99 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour cream over chocolate in a glass bowl. Let stand for about 30-40 seconds. Add butter and whisk the mixture well until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Place into a plastic bottle with a fine tip. Pipe into the churros while still warm.