Sunday, May 4, 2014

Homemade Churros with Chocolate Ganache Dipping Sauce

Cinco de Mayo celebratory Mexican food dinner menu items are all too easy to come up with, but dessert took a bit more brainstorming.
Dulce de leche cake.  Flan.  Fresh fruit.  or...
The churro! With chocolate ganache dipping sauce!  The clear winner.

A churro is basically just a Spanish fried doughnut, rolled in cinnamon and sugar. 
They can be made with out without eggs in the dough, and it actually seems they may be tastier without.

You will need a piping bag (like for frosting cupcakes) and a large star tip.
If you haven't worked with these before, Michael's craft store has a great baking section where you can find both for a couple bucks.  I love the plastic disposable piping bags that you don't have to clean.
And get a tip like this one: Wilton Star Tip

Makes about (10) 4 inch long churros, depending on how large your piping tip is, and how long you make them.
Or you can make bite size churros, like the original recipe link below!
Adapted from Cooking Classy
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
3 Tbsp butter
2 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

Vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish or plate and set aside.

Combine milk, water, butter, 2tsp sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, then slowly whisk in some flour, gently getting the lumps out. Switch to a spatula and add remaining flour. Stir until incorporated. Dough will form a smooth ball.

Pour an 1 1/2" deep of oil in a large frying pan and heat over medium, until temperature reaches 360 degrees.

If you don't have a thermometer, you can test the oil by carefully (stand back!!) flicking a few drops of water into the oil, and it should spatter, but not go totally crazy. If it doesn't, heat the oil a bit hotter, and if it flies sky high, turn it down a bit. (Fool proof plan, right? LOL. Someone please send me a thermometer ;) )

Transfer dough to piping bag fitted with star tip, and pipe churros into hot oil, using clean scissors to snip dough from tip when desired length has been piped into the pan.

Pipe about 3 or 4 at a time in the pan, let cook a couple minutes until golden, then flip to cook the other side.
Using tongs, pull churros from pan, and lay onto paper towels to remove excess oil. Then, toss into cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.

Repeat with remaining dough.
You can try and make pretzel or heart shapes for fun, too. 

Now, for the dipping sauce!

Chocolate Ganache
Adapted from Good Life Eats
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 ounces high quality semi sweet chocolate (If we are being real, any chocolate chips will work fine. I'm no Ina Garten.)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Place chocolate in medium heatproof bowl, and set aside.
Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until bubbles form at the edges and it is close to boiling. Do not quite actually bring to a boil.
Add vanilla to cream, stir, and pour cream over the chocolate in the bowl.
Let sit to soften chocolate for 1 minute, then whisk until smooth.

Transfer to smaller (or cuter!) serving bowl, if needed, and serve chocolate ganache sauce warm for dipping churros.