I believe a few weeks ago, I told you that I don’t usually like fried desserts or that I have not had much of a chocolate craving as of late. Well, I must take all of that back as this week I fried up the largest batch of churros and cooked the richest chocolate bisque I have made in a long time. We were able to open all windows this week and let the cool autumn breeze come in. Most of you are probably bundled up in scarves and coats by now, but we have had an unusually warm month (even for Florida), so this was a great feeling.
As I approach the last couple of weeks of this pregnancy, all I want is to be comforted and have all the ones I love close. C. returned from his trip to Montana and now we are getting ready for my parents to arrive.
One night while C. was giving me a much needed foot rub, we were talking about memories and my family back home. Suddenly the thought of chocolate con churros hit me. Cinnamon sugar churros dipped in a thick chocolate custard. “I must make them tomorrow”, I said and so I did.
The traditional hot chocolate served in Spain doesn’t contain eggs. It is a thick chocolate cream usually thickened with a bit of cornstarch or made with a special kind of chocolate that contains thickeners. This recipe is a bit like a creme anglaise flavored with dark chocolate, coffee, orange, fresh ginger, cinnamon and vanilla bean. It can be served warm or even cold, but I really like the churros dipped in a warm custard.
125 ml water
125ml whole milk
110 grams butter
large pinch sugar
150 grams flour
Canola oil for frying
Cinnamon sugar for coating
Place the water, milk, butter, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring this to a boil. Add the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together into a smooth ball.
Transfer this mass to the bowl of an electric mixer (or can do it by hand) and start mixing with a paddle attachment. When most of the steam has evaporated, add the eggs one at a time. Mix until it comes together to a smooth thick mass.
Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip (#5).
In a wide pan that has tall sides, pour about 3″ deep of canola oil. Heat it to 350F. When it reaches the temperature, pipe the batter into the oil and cut with scissors. Fry them until golden brown. Remove the churros from the oil and roll them in cinnamon sugar. Serve immediately.
Spiced Chocolate Bisque
500 ml heavy cream
200 ml whole milk
100 grams sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
1 star anise
1 stick of cinnamon
Zest of 1 orange
3 slices of fresh ginger
5 grams cocoa powder
3 grams instant coffee powder
6 egg yolks
135 grams dark chocolate, chopped
In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, milk, sugar, vanilla bean, star anise, cinnamon, orange zest and fresh ginger. Bring it to a boil. Turn the heat off and let it steep for about 10 minutes. Return the mixture to a boil and add the cocoa powder and instant coffee powder. Whisk well.
Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and temper the milk mixture into them while whisking. Return this mixture to the sauce pan and cook for a couple of minutes while constantly stirring until lightly thickens.
Place the finely chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Place a fine sieve over the bowl and pour the custard over the chocolate. Mix until all the chocolate is melted and you have a smooth cream.
Can be served warm, room temperature or cold. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. It will thicken when it cools.