So what are these crazy little sugar-covered, golden brown non-churrosy churros all about? Well, let me tell you…
Early on in the month, I’d been going through my regular food blog reads when I happened across this post over at Matt Bites. Hoboy. Those golden brown nuggets of bliss absolutely won me over, and if that wasn’t enough temptation, there was then the question of that oozy, gooey, sticky dulce de leche which looked and sounded just marvellous! I wanted to run straight to the kitchen and give them a try, and would have if it weren’t for two small problems:
- I had about 10 minutes before I had to leave the house to go to uni, and
- I’d never tasted this mysterious dulce de leche before
I left a comment expressing my woe at the situation regarding point 2, and the next minute I received an email from Matt saying that we Aussies had Tim Tams, so he considered it only fair (OK, I’m totally putting words in his mouth there, though he did point out our bounty and his lack of these chocolate biccies). Within the next few minutes, an impromptu food exchange had been set up – I was going to send a few packets of timtams, and in exchange I would receive a jar of this fabled milk caramel!
The lovely package that I received from Matt in the mail – a nice big jar of dulce de leche (which we have already consumed 1/3 of), a little business card and another card stating that I rock. Matt, I disagree – you’re totally rockin’ my casbah!
As soon as the caramel arrived yesterday, I tore open the packaging and scooped up a spoonful for myself and for my ma, both of us marvelling at the smooth sweetness (so different to every caramel we’ve ever tried) and rich flavour. I immediately began to worry – the jar that I had initially thought of as being large suddenly looked much smaller, and I began to worry about what I’d do when it all ran out. I wanted to get started on those churros straight away, but having just put a pie in the oven and needing to get to class, I sadly put the recipe away and resolved that nothing would stop me from making them the next day, and I knew that till I had attempted this dish, I would find no peace.
So, when I woke up this morning with the day ahead of me, I was a woman on a mission. And the mission? To make myself a batch of churros so I could experience the delight that Matt had described when consuming churros dipped in dulce de leche. I measured out all the ingredients, reread the recipe 3 or 4 times to make sure that I knew what had to happen when, and then I started what I thought would be an extremely quick and relatively painful journey towards the land of deep-fried bliss…
But of course things weren’t gonna go quite that smoothly. Not being entirely too sure just how thick the batter was going to be, my little handheld eggbeater was on standby for the mixing of the flour and water, and I had mixed for all of about 2 minutes when the poor thing started whining and emitting plumes of smoke. Not ready to be defeated, I turned the overworked little machine off and instead started furiously beating with my trusty wooden mixing spoon. One egg yolk, two egg yolks, and I had quite a pretty pale yellow dough that was ready to be piped and fried. And that was when I encountered problem number 2 – the star tip of my piping bag was barely 1cm in diameter. What could I do at this juncture? I could proceed with the tiny star tip and make churros the size of your average straw, or I could pipe the churros without using a tip and live with the smooth sausage-shaped doughnuts for now.
As you can see, I went with the second option And although they aren’t quite as crunchy as if they had been ridged, these churros are still delicious, and with the addition of the dulce de leche? I think it’s best described by the exclamation of my kid brother after he had his first bite:
Churros (recipe by Jane Milton from her book ‘Mexican’)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 egg yolks
Oil for frying
To serve: cinnamon sugar and dulce de leche
1. Sift together flour and baking soda, then set aside. Bring water to a boil then stir in the salt and dark brown sugar and stir till dissolved.
2. Beat water mixture into flour till smooth and well combined (do not use a handheld beater, if you have a kitchenaid great, if not use your hands), then beat in the egg yolks one at a time till the mixture is smooth and glossy.
3. Heat oil in a large saucepan to 190 degrees C, then fill the piping bag (fitted with a star nozzle) and pipe 5 to 6 churros into the hot oil.
4. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes or till the churros are golden brown. Drain them, shake them in some cinnamon sugar and then set dulce de leceh next to them. However, if you don’t have any dulce de leche, make yourslf some thick Mexican drinking chocolate and dip it in there
Or, you know, you could try making your own dulce de leche Trust me, it’ll be worth it in the end!
[tags]doughnuts, fried food, food blogging, events, mail, dulce de leche, churros, recipes[/tags]
*edit – Joanne over at Slashfood has put up a way to make your own dulce de leche as a pairing to this post! If you have no access to this delightful milk caramel and would like to try making it, then head on over to see her recipe