Photo by Farideh Sadeghin
Makes about 20
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
for the caramel sauce:
¾ cup|150 grams granulated sugar
1 cup|250 ml heavy cream
6 tablespoons|85 grams unsalted butter, cubed
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
large pinch kosher salt
for the churros:
½ cup|100 grams granulated sugar
½ teaspoon freshly ground canela, for rolling
3 cups|750 ml water
2 long sticks canela, broken into pieces
8 tablespoons|113 grams unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups|270 grams all-purpose flour
4 ounces|113 grams queso fresco, crumbled
2 large eggs
vegetable oil, for frying
- Make the caramel sauce: Mix the sugar with ½ cup|125 ml water in a medium saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Wipe off the sides of the saucepan with a wet brush or hand so there are no sugar particles left to avoid crystallization. Cook over medium without stirring until it starts turning golden, about 15 minutes. Lightly—and carefully—swirl your saucepan so it caramelizes evenly. Cook until you have a deep golden brown with a slight smoky, but not burnt, scent, about 2 minutes more. Turn off heat and carefully add a bit of the heavy cream (careful as it will bubble and steam). Allow that to settle a bit, then whisk lightly to dissolve, adding the rest of the heavy cream little by little. Stir in the butter to combine, then add the vanilla and salt. Keep warm to serve. Makes 1 ¾ cup|437 ml.
- Make the churros: Mix the sugar and ground canela together in a large bowl and set aside.
- Combine the water and canela sticks in a medium pot and cook over medium heat until reduced to 2 cups, 15 to 20 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the canela. Place back in the pot, add the butter and salt, and cook over medium heat until melted. Remove from the heat and add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously to remove any lumps. Continue stirring until the dough comes together into a smooth ball. Allow the mixture to cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, and then add the queso fresco, stirring to incorporate. Add the eggs, one at a time, and stir until the dough is nice and smooth.
- Pour the oil into a large, deep pan or skillet to a depth of at least 2 inches and heat over high heat to 350°F. (To test the temperature, drop a bit of dough into the oil. It should sink and quickly float to the top and bubble.)
- Put some of the dough into a churrera or a heavy canvas bag fitted with a star tip. (A closed-star tip is best for creating the deep ridges associated with churros.) Squeeze or press out long strips (5 to 6 inches) of dough directly over the oil and cut off the ends with scissors. Fry a few at a time, turning so that they are evenly golden on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes. (Caution: Air pockets that form in the dough as you press it out and a frying oil that’s not hot enough will make the churros burst.) Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper bags or towels. Let cool slightly so you can make sure they are cooked through (they should be soft inside and an even color, with no traces of raw dough). Roll in the canela-sugar mixture while still warm so that the mixture sticks to them. Eat warm with some frothy hot Mexican chocolate.
Reprinted with permission from My Sweet Mexico: Recipes for Authentic Pastries, Breads, Candies, Beverages, and Frozen Treats by Fany Gerson copyright © 2010. Photographs by Ed Anderson. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
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