This dish is inspired by Lorraine Pascale in every way except one: the recipe.
I was flicking through Lorraine’s “Baking Made Easy”, and saw her churros recipe (p 208). It’s got butter, buttermilk and eggs in. I’m pretty sure traditional churros are dairy-free, so I wasn’t coninced this was very authentic. So I was surfing the information superhighway and came across this one: http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/churros-y-chocolate-4819 (Thomasina Myers, via Nigella). No dairy (except in the chocolate sauce).
But Lorraine provided more than merely the thought of churros. After the year of 100 Lorraine recipes, deep frying holds no fear for me. Well nearly no fear anyway. Make sure you use a deep pan, and fill about a third of the way up with oil (no more). Keep a lid handy, and never leave it unattended.
I wanted to make a huge batch for a fireworks party, so I decided to treble Thomasina’s recipe. This was crazy. I was deep-frying all afternoon, and the mixture sat for too long. I only ended up using about two thirds of it, though it isn’t much of a waste given that it’s mostly made of flour and water. Doesn’t sound that tasty, does it, but believe me it is!
You need to get yourself sorted with a sort of production line, and also provide yourself with a friend to chat to, because it can get quite boring. Here’s my production line: piping bag with scissors, hot oil, draining on paper, rolling in cinnamon sugar, finished product!
Keep an eye on how hot the oil is (i.e. how fast the churros brown). If they brown too quickly, they won’t be cooked in the middle. If they brown too slowly, they’ll absorb too much oil and be soggy. The best way to do this is to test a few churros by tasting them (it’s also great fun!). You’ll soon get a feel for what’s the best temperature/time. You can only cook about 3 at once, else the pan gets too full, and it reduces the temperature of the oil. So be patient!
Here’s the finished load:
After a while the churros started to fall apart during cooking and go like this:
I think it might have been because the mixture had been sitting too long. So if you need to make a lot, do it in batches. This is where I gave up on cooking them and started eating them!