Spanish Local Recipe: Chocolate & Churros
You know that feeling when you order something new then it arrives and totally blows your mind with how awesome it is? As soon as I tried a hot, crispy churro dipped in a cup of warm, thick chocolate I was convinced that perhaps I should just move to Spain then and there. For me it really begs the question, why hasn't the rest of the world caught on to this?!
Chocolate and Churros, a common Spanish treat has thus far been my favorite food item in Spain (followed closely by the ridiculous amounts of cured pork and cheese). At first I was under the impression that this delightful snack was only served in the afternoon because I had enjoyed it so much that I tried to order more at night and they turned me down. I thought that the thick hot chocolate and crisp churros would make a lovely afternoon snack. Turns out that place had just run out for the day (whew!). Luckily for us, we can eat churros and chocolate all day!
Now, you might be thinking that sweet chocolate with sugary churros might be a bit much on the sweetness scale. However, part of the reason I love it is because neither element is actually that sweet. The Spanish have very cleverly made the churro dough just a tiny bit salty then they serve it with sugar on the side so you can add it to the outside of the churro (if you wish) or stir it into the chocolate. Brilliant.
The chocolate typically comes in a mug or cup as if you're supposed to drink it but in my experience it is usually closer to pudding in consistency than a drink. This fact actually makes its even better as a dipping sauce in my opinion. As an extra bonus it is made with dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate so we hit all the goodness points.
Honestly, other than this being a delightful snack in its own right, I think that the reason I love this so much is that it's basically the snack version of my family's less-than-traditional Christmas breakfast Chocolate Gravy and Biscuits. It also includes a rich puddingesque chocolate sauce over a warm, fluffy buttered biscuit (but we'll save that for another time).
Now it wouldn't be very nice of me to just describe one of the best Spanish treats ever then leave it up to you to head to Spain and find some - that would be mean. So I have included a recipe so you can make your very own chocolate and churros at home, no flight required. Enjoy!
8 cups vegetable or olive oil (for frying)
1 cup water
½ cup margarine or butter
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon, optional
4 oz. dark chocolate
2 cups milk
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
4 Tbsp. sugar
For the churro dough, heat the oil in a deep frying pan to 360° F.
Heat the water, margarine and salt to a rolling boil in a 3-quart saucepan.
Add the flour and stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball, approximately 1 minute, and remove from heat.
Add eggs, one at a time, stirring continuously.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a star tip. Squeeze 4” strips of dough into the hot oil.
Fry 3-4 strips at a time until golden brown, turning once (about 2 minutes on each side). Drain on paper towels.
In a bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon. Roll the churros in the sugar mixture. Set aside until ready to serve.
To prepare the hot chocolate for dipping, place the chocolate and half the milk in a saucepan over very low heat and cook, stirring continuously, until the chocolate has melted.
Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining milk and whisk into the chocolate with the sugar.
Continue to cook on low heat, whisking constantly until the chocolate thickens, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk until smooth.
Pour chocolate into cups and serve with churros.
PLANNING A VISIT?
Churrería Laietana - Best chocolate and churros ever [they even have a to-go option] Cash Only.
Hours: Monday - Friday 7AM–1PM, 4:30–8:30PM, Saturday Closed, Sunday 8AM–1:30PM