A Mexican Sweet Treat: Churros
This is the traditional Mexican equivalent of a doughnut.
From Chef Tim Byres's cookbook Smoke: New Firewood Cooking
Yields 3 dozen (3- to 4-inch) churros
Pâte à choux
¼ lb. (1 stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup corn or soybean oil
¼ tsp. kosher salt
4 tbsp. sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
8 oz. Mexican-style chocolate, such as Abuelita, coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
To make the pâte à choux, bring 1 cup water, the butter, oil, salt, and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Using a wooden spoon, quickly stir in the flour and continue to stir it until it forms a ball and a residue coats the pan. Remove the dough from the heat and transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment; if you don’t have a stand mixer, you can mix by hand using a wooden spoon. Allow the dough to cool slightly, then, using the lowest mixer speed, add one egg at a time to the bowl, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Once all the eggs are fully incorporated, transfer the dough from the mixer to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
Using a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot, add enough oil to reach a depth of 4 inches and heat to 350°F (use a candy or deep-frying thermometer to check the temperature). Squeeze the dough out in lengths of 3 or 4 inches, directly over the hot oil, and use kitchen scissors to cut the dough, letting it drop into the hot oil. Don’t crowd the pot: fry 5 to 10 churros at a time, turning, until they are a golden color, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted metal spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
To make the sugar topping, mix the sugar and cinnamon in a large, shallow bowl until they are completely combined. Toss the drained churros in the cinnamon sugar to coat.
To make the chocolate sauce, place the chocolate in a heatproof medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream, sugar, and salt over medium-high heat until bubbles begin to break just around the edge. Do not boil. Pour the warm cream over the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add the butter, allowing it to melt into the chocolate, and stir to combine. Serve the churros with a bowl of the chocolate sauce for dipping.