Deep-fried desserts are the best and this one is no exception. I embellished the batter for these churros with freshly chopped hazelnuts and rolled the pastries in pumpkin spice sugar.
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Since I recently learned how to make choux pastry I decided it was time to make some churros. Churros are deep-fried choux pastry and they taste awesome.
As you can see, I divided the batter in half and made two different shapes, balls and strands. For the balls I used a 2-teaspoon scoop and for the strands I used a piping bag with a French tip. The strands are a bit of a trick to make, you have to pipe them into the oil, holding the piping bag with both hands, then quickly grab a small kitchen knife with one hand and cut the batter off at the tip. It sounds complicated but it’s one of those things that you get the hang of quickly after doing it once or twice.
I suggest you eat these guys as an afternoon snack with fresh coffee or a shot or two of espresso.
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice
- vegetable oil for deep-frying
- 1 cup whole milk
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup bread flour, sifted
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg white
- ¼ cup finely chopped hazelnuts
- Mix sugar and pumpkin spice together in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
- Fill oil into a Dutch oven until it's about 5 inches deep. Start to heat it.
- While the oil is heating up, add milk, butter, sugar and salt to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to medium, then add the sifted flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon.
- Cook, continuing to stir, until the dough starts to peel away from the sides of the saucepan.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl, then beat on medium speed until it's cooled down to lukewarm.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the egg white.
- Beat in the hazelnuts.
- Fill half of the batter into a piping bag with a French tip.
- Wait until the oil has reached 300 degrees F. on a candy thermometer.
- Working in batches, carefully pipe short strands of the dough into the oil. (Cut them off with a knife at the tip).
- Once they are browned take the churros out with a slotted spoon, briefly set them down on a plate lined with a paper towel, then roll them in or sprinkle them with the sugar/spice mix.
- Working in batches, use a 2-teaspoon scoop to drop the remaining batter into the oil in little balls and proceed in the same way as before.
Food Photography and Styling: Brown goes well with blue so I used my blue metal tray as the surface for this shot. I couldn’t think of any plates or bowls that would have worked for both shapes of churro so I used small pie pans, which also fit with the idea of rolling or sprinkling the pastries with sugar mix. The small coffee glass provided some height in the back and fit color-wise as well and to convey that these guys are a bit of a mess to eat I sprinkled some sugar around the set.
Nikon D600, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec., ISO 100. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight, 35″ x 58″ Softbox.