Churros with Hot Chocolate Dipping Sauce

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To me, churros are reminiscent of a good time.  A sunny day, having fun with your friends kind of treat.  I've never been sad with a churro in my hand.

Churros with a hot chocolate dipping sauce.  I know, right?!

That fist bite of churro is like nothing else.  They may look like squiggly doughnuts but that texture is something else, a crisp sugary shell hiding the silkiest, softest filling.  They're dangerously delicious and ridiculously easy to make, although I have no idea how people manage to make them perfectly straight.  I kinda like the wiggly wormies I managed to fry up.

Churros with a hot chocolate dipping sauce.  I know, right?!

The hardest part of this whole process is also the most fun.  The squeeze and snip! If you're not confident in doing this all yourself, drag in an accomplice.  You squidge the dough over the hot oil (careful now) while your frying buddy snips the dough to form lovely little crispy delights.  Giggling over the silly shapes you make is entirely optional. 

I highly recommend getting yourself a cooking thermometer for the frying process, it really takes the stress out of heating the oil and ensuring it maintains the correct temperature.  Mine was a grand total of £2.50, treat yourself!

Churros with a hot chocolate dipping sauce.  I know, right?!


Churros with hot chocolate dipping sauce

Ingredients
  • For the churros :
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1ltr sunflower oil for frying

  • For the sauce :
  • 250g plain chocolate, broken into squares
  • 150ml double cream
  • 75ml whole milk
  • 3tbsp golden syrup
  • For the cinnamon sugar :
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1tbsp cinnamon

  • Cooking Directions
    1. Start off by making the dough for your churros. Take 350ml of boiling water and add in the melted butter. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour and baking powder before slowly pouring in the water mixture, stir as your pour to make a smooth, lump free batter. Don't be scared to give it a good beating, it can take it. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.
    2. While your dough is resting, make the sauce. Take a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan and place all of the sauce ingredients in together. Melt over a low heat until you have a silky smooth sauce. Set aside.
    3. Back to the churros. Take a large, heavy bottomed sauce pan or I used a big cast iron casserole pan and fill half way with the sunflower oil. Place your thermometer on the side of the pan with the bottom in the oil and heat to around 375ºF/190ºC. Mix your cinnamon and sugar together and pour onto a large baking tray ready for rolling your churros.
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Salty Honey Pie

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When I visited New York earlier this year I made a big, no huge, list of places I wanted to eat.  You know, important things first.  One of the spots on my extensive foodie inventory was Four and Twenty Blackbirds pie shop in Brooklyn.  I've always wanted to visit a pie shop after falling in love with the Pie Hole in Pushing Daisies, so I was beyond thrilled to find this little beauty.  Doubly so when I discovered it was across the road from The Morbid Anatomy Museum, one of the big stops of our trip.

Salty Honey Pie from Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pieshop

While indulging in copious amounts of pie I also managed to pick up a copy of the Four and Twenty cookbook, you know, so I could continue to indulge my greedy little face back home.  I decided to take it for a spin recently and just had to make their crowning glory, the salty honey pie.

This pie, ahh man, it's a sweet tooth's dream come true.  Deliciously sweet custard topped with a sprinkle of crunchy salt, it's just perfect.  Irresistible almost!

I've made this pie twice now, the first time I was feeling a little lazy and used shop bought pastry. Boo hiss.  It was a total failure, if you do decide to make this pie I implore you to make your own crust.  You won't be sorry!

Salty Honey Pie from Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pieshop


Salty Honey Pie

Recipe by Four & Twenty Blackbirds Cookbook
Ingredients
    For the crust :
  • 120g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 360g plain flour
  • 2tsp caster sugar
  • 80ml buttermilk
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • For the filling :
  • 120g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1tbsp polenta
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g honey
  • 3 large, free range eggs
  • 120ml double cream
  • 2tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 - 2tsp flaked salt

  • Cooking Directions
    1. First of all make the crust. Put the flour, butter, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl blend together with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk and stir until the mixture forms a ball. (If the mixture is too crumbly, add cold water as needed to bring it together.) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
    2. Unwrap the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it’s around 11" round, big enough to overlap your pie dish. Transfer the dough to a 9" pie dish, fold any overlap under itself and crimp the edges*. Cover with plastic wrap and pop in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
    3. Heat the oven to 175°C. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Combine the melted butter, sugar, polenta and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Whisk in the honey, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the cream and vinegar and whisk to combine.
    4. Pour the filling into the chilled pie crust and bake until the top and edge of the pie are golden brown and the center of the pie is jiggly but no longer liquid, 45 to 55 minutes. Allow to set for a few hours and serve at room temperature sprinkled with flaked salt. 

     *How to crimp a pie crust
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