Last night I hopped a plane, enjoyed a movie, caught a quick nap, and olé! I arrived in Madrid!
I’ve always wanted to visit Spain to enjoy the sun, see a bull fight or two, and check out all the amazing galleries and cafés. But when I travel, I like to fit in as much as possible, to do what the locals do. So here it is, I’m in Spain, it’s breakfast time and what’s this girl to do? Act like a Madrileña and hit the Churrería!
Churrerías are as common here as Starbucks or Tim Horton’s. But that’s where the similarities end. Unless Starbucks starts serving rich, strong drinking chocolate, thick enough to stand your churro up in. Or if Tim’s offers freshly fried donut sticks, dusted with sugar and cinnamon, sold by the kilo.
I must confess, I am writing this from the comfort of my midtown Toronto apartment, not the local Churrería around the corner from my hotel. And no, I haven’t had the pleasure of fulfilling my Spanish dreams…yet. So here I am, taking my tastebuds to imaginary Spanish heaven. It’s like time travel for my appetite. Minus the hefty plane ticket and nasty jet lag.
In Spain, churros and chocolate are eaten as a decadent breakfast treat or a way to top off a memorable night out that lasts past sunrise. A place to socialize with friends, strangers, or maybe just to people watch. Can you think of anything better to do? A better reason to share a moment with a friend? A better way to meet someone new? Do you think it’d be inappropriate if I were to dunk my churro in someone else’s drink? Maybe only if I’ve run out of chocolate;)
Ok, enough of the chit chat, let’s get to the good stuff. I used Toasty Biscuit’s recipe but instead of making a chocolate dipping sauce, I made a thick hot chocolate using milk, whipping cream and chocolate shavings (thank you Koko Black!).
The recipe is very basic and the dough is easy to handle. Using only pantry staples, you can whip up a batch in no time. I halved TB’s recipe and then fried up only half the batch as I knew that once they were cooked, I’d want to eat each and every one. This recipe is easy to make and even easier to inhale. But overindulging is allowed, encouraged even, while on vacation, right?
So as hard as I tried to eat them all, and it was a struggle (as if!), I just couldn’t stomach it. Even though I had decreased the recipe, there were still leftovers. Hoping beyond hope that they’d survive another day, I stored the extras in a Ziploc bag for the night. For the full Spanish experience, I reheated them in the oven and had them with the rest of the hot chocolate for breakfast. They lost their crispy exterior but hey, I am not going to complain about having liquid chocolate and donuts for breakfast. I mean, you just don’t tempt the food gods like that. As sugar-laden as my first meal of the day was, I have to admit it was delicious and satisfying. No mid-morning grumbles or sugar lows. The Spanish are definitely on to something! I went to work with a full belly and the sly satisfaction of having treated myself to a delicious dish, as though it were just another day living across the pond.
I suggest you book your trip as soon as you can. Even if it’s just with your tastebuds. It was spicy, sweet, crispy, creamy…delicioso!
Churros with Chocolate Dipping Sauce via Toasty Biscuit
2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
500ml of boiling water
2 tablespoons of olive oil
vegetable oil, to fry
cinnamon sugar, to dust (just combine caster sugar with ground cinnamon)
Chocolate Dipping Sauce
150g milk chocolate, chopped
100g dark chocolate, chopped
300ml of cream
For the sauce:
1. Combine all ingredients in a double boiler and mix until melted and smooth (alternatively, you can pop it in the microwave and blitz it in short bursts of 20-30 seconds, mixing thoroughly at each interval. Repeat until all is melted and smooth).
For the doughnuts, it’s easy as 1, 2, 3:
1. Fill a deep, heavy based saucepan with vegetable oil. Place on medium-high heat and allow to heat. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, water and oil. Mix with a fork and make sure there are no lumps.
2. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a star tip. When the oil has reached 170 degrees, pipe 12cm lengths into the oil, using scissors to snip them from the bag. Be careful not to splash the hot oil.
3. Fry until golden brown and dust in cinnamon sugar.
Serve warm with the sauce. That’s it 🙂