In my junior year of college, I studied abroad in Granada, Spain. From my first day there, I heard about churros con chocolate, but didn't know what they looked like or where to get them. I went to bakeries and asked for churros con chocolate, but they didn't have any. I checked the coffee shops, only to find out that the coffee shops were actually primarily bars. Halfway through my semester, I finally found some at a place called Cafe Futbol. The treat was not, as I had originally suspected, like Mexican churros filled with chocolate. They were more donut-like, smooth instead of rigid, unadorned and accompanied by the thick Spanish hot chocolate that you were supposed to dip it into. It was love at first bite. My friends and I went there about once every other week to eat churros con chocolate, though we started going more and more during finals as we realized that we would soon have to leave everything in Spain behind.
Once we returned to San Diego, I searched for Spanish restaurants and cafes in the area that might have churros con chocolate, to no avail. It didn't occur to me to try making them myself until three years later, when I was searching for a recipe for my host mom's chorizo lentil soup and stumbled across a recipe for churros con chocolate. I excitedly tried the recipe, trying to improvise and use a cookie press, as I didn't have any large frosting tips. It did not turn out so good.
|Cafe Futbol churros|
I shelved the idea in favor of new projects, until a tapas bar opened near my apartment and reminded me of my favorite Spanish treat. I decided to try again, using a different recipe and a large coupler instead of a star tip.
These churros are smaller, but taste just like I remember - crispy on the outside, soft and custardy on the inside. The hot chocolate is rich and thick - almost like a cross between fudge sauce and pudding. Served together, they're as warm and comforting as cookies and milk.
Churros con Chocolate
Adapted from Chocolateria San Gines, Madrid, Spain
8 cups vegetable oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
Heat oil to 360 degrees Farenheit.
Heat water, butter, and salt to rolling boil in a 3 quart saucepan. Add flour and stirr vigorously over low heat until it forms a ball (about 1 minute). Remove from heat.
Beat eggs until smooth, and add to saucepan while continuously stirring mixture.
Spoon dough into piping bag. Squeeze 4-inch strips into oil. Fry for 3 or 4 minutes until golden brown, turning once halfway through. Drain on paper towels.
Spanish Hot Chocolate
2 ounces dark chocolate
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
Place chocolate and half of milk in saucepan and cook over very low heat, stirring, until chocolate has melted. Dissolve cornstarch and sugar into remaining milk and whisk into the chocolate. Cook on low heat, whisking constantly, until chocolate thickens (it will take about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and whisk til smooth; pour into mugs.