"If you can't find 'em, make 'em."
That has been my motto since I moved to the Middle East, well at least when it comes to food. One of the reason I pushed myself to learn how cook is to recreate the dishes that I miss back home in the Philippines. I remember how frustrating it was when I was pregnant craving for a Henlin siomai. Thank goodness I was able to convince myself Hongkong Restaurant's siomai was good enough. But I have yet to find a Spanish restaurant that is up to my standard. I'd still claim I make the meanest paella in the island!
Another favorite comfort food and feel good snack that I miss is churros. My favorite is Dulcinea's Churros con Chocolate. If I'm having a bad day, I go grab some and as soon as I dunk the churros into that rich hot cocoa I miraculously feel much better. Ok , I may be exaggerating but you get my point. It is pure, simple pleasure.
So here's my first attempt in making churros. I struggled a bit because my icing nozzle was small, but the taste was phenomenal! I. Am. Home.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Time: 20 minutes*
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
*You can use the inactive time to heat the frying oil, prepare the dusting powder and the hot chocolate
2 cups water
1 stick unsalted butter
4 tbsp granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
canola oil for frying
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a saucepan, place water, sugar and butter and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and transfer the liquid mixture in a stand mixer. Add flour and vanilla and whisk using a paddle attachment. Add eggs, one at a time until well combined.
3. Transfer the mixture in a piping bag with star tip*. Pipe the mixture in any shape you want; I made 3-inch petal shaped churros and 4-inch sticks. Freeze for 15-20 minute.
Note: It is ideal to use a large star-tipped nozzle. The one I have is pretty small so I didn't get the desired size.
4. Meanwhile, heat the oil for deep frying until it comes up to your desired temperature.
Note: I don't use a thermometer; I gauge that the temperature is hot enough when I dip the tip of my wooden spoon onto the oil and it starts to sizzle around the spoon. Also, when I put the mixture in, it should dive up to the middle of the pan and rise up; if it sinks to the bottom of the pan, the oil is not hot enough, and if it rises too quickly to the surface, the oil is too hot.
5. Have your dusting powder ready before you fry the dough. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a paper bag and shake. Transfer on to a bowl. Set aside.
6. When you're ready to fry, cut the parchment paper around the frozen dough and fry the dough with the paper. Once the paper separates, fish it out immediately. Fry just enough number of dough to leave plenty of room for the churros to float freely. This will avoid the dough from sticking together and to keep a steady temperature. Once the surface of the dough is golden brown, fish it out and transfer to a wire rack.
7. Dunk the churros onto the dusting powder and generously coat it.
Now for the Tableya Chocolate (Tab-li-ya Cho-ko-la-te). Tableya is a pure cacao or dark chocolate tablet/balls native in the Philippines. Where I come from, we boast to have some of the best tableya in the country. You can read more about tableya here.
Here's my version of this ultra-rich hot cocoa or Chocolate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
1 cup powdered tableya (*grate the tableya using microplane zester/grater)
2 cups full cream milk
1/2 cup double cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1. Combine the tableya, sugar, milk and double cream in a "batirol" or saucepan and heat over low heat. Whisk using "molinillo"; if you don't have one, use a metal whisk or a wooden spoon instead. Keep stirring/whisking until the cocoa and sugar is completely dissolved.
2. Add the vanilla, cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Remove from heat. Serve immediately.
18 May 2012