Valentine’s Day is almost here and I invited my amazingly talented friend Meg from Beard +Bonnet to share one of her favorite love-inducing desserts. If you haven’t read her blog, now my friends, is the time! Her beautiful photography and tasty recipes are some of my favorites on the web. I’m talking Vegan S’mores Sandwich Cookies, One Pot Weeknight Curry, and Pomegranate and Citrus Punch Bowl good. When you’re done snooping over there though, come back and check out her recipe for cinnamon drenched churros with silky chocolate dipping sauce….you might have just found the Valentine’s Day dessert you’ve been looking for.
Gluten Free Churros and Chocolate Dipping Sauce
by Meg from Beard + Bonnet
I am so excited to be visiting Hola Jalapeño today! I have a serious crush on Kate’s food; I wish I could sit at her dinner table and sip on Fizzy Mezcal Margarita’s all the time. It would be epic and I might never leave, but for now since we live so far apart I will settle for hanging out for the day on her site. It’s nice to meet all of you wonderful Hola Jalapeño readers. My name is Meg and I share recipes and stories about my family’s culinary adventures over on Beard and Bonnet each week. Feel free to hop over and check out our tasty recipe archives, but for now let’s talk about churros!
I have been trying to nail a gluten free churro for a while now. You see my son has a gluten intolerance and the one thing he wants every time we go to Disneyland is a churro. I can’t say that I blame him; their crispy exteriors all speckled with cinnamon and sugar are really hard to resist!
My quest for delicious homemade gluten free churros has had it’s moments of complete and utter failure as well as recipe epiphanies in the way of street fair style fried donuts. My attempts never lended a true churro though…until now!
I don’t know why it took so long for me to wrap my head around the fact that a churro is made from pâte à choux. Pâte à choux ( AKA: choux ) is a light pastry dough used to make pastries like profiteroles, croquembouches and éclairs. Usually this type of pastry dough is baked, but in the case of churros, it is fried to golden perfection.
Why on earth was I trying to make things more difficult than they need to be? Please, tell me I am not the only person that does this to themselves. Last week I decided to give churros one more try with the gluten free pâte à choux recipe that I use to make cream puffs. Guess what? It totally worked!!! My sweet son was able to chow down on churros without the fear of gluten and the rest of my churro loving clan enjoyed them too.
Here are a few tips for making great gluten free churros:
- I suggest making the chocolate dipping sauce first and allowing it to cool and thicken while you make the churros. Otherwise it will be runny when you are ready to dip.
- Avoid gluten free all purpose flours that contain bean flours. They will have a strange after taste that is undesirable in a sweet churro.
- Slowly heat the oil while you make your choux pastry. I use a candy thermometer to help me easily see the temperature of the oil at all times. When you are cooking make sure that your oil temp stays at 350°F when frying the dough. Any lower and the churros will take too long to cook and they will begin to absorb the oil making them heavy and greasy, not light and airy.
- This is one of those recipes that should be eaten pretty soon after they are cooked, preferably while they are still warm.
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups 2 % or low fat milk
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 cup + 2 tsp water
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour ( I used King Arthur Flour)
- 5 large eggs
- oil for frying, I used coconut oil
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla powder, optional
- Place the chopped chocolate and 1 1/4 cups of the milk in a small, heavy-bottom saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the milk begins to simmer.
- While the chocolate is melting, in a separate small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the remaining 1/4 cup milk until smooth. Pour the cornstarch and milk mixture into the saucepan, and stir to combine.
- Simmer the chocolate mixture, continuing to stir occasionally, for about 2 minutes or until it coats the back of a spoon. Pour into a small container for dipping, and allow to cool to room temperature before serving. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
- Combine 1 cup of water, butter, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, and immediately remove from the heat. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour, when it is completely incorporated return to the heat.
- Dry the mixture by stirring constantly over the heat until it pulls away from the sides and the liquid has cooked out, about 4 minutes. Some of the dough will create a thin film on the bottom of the pan, this is perfectly normal.
- Transfer the dough to the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, and mix on low speed for a few minutes to cool slightly. Add the eggs, one at a time mixing until each addition is incorporated.
- Once all of the eggs are incorporated test the batter by touching it with your finger or a rubber spatula, if a sticky ribbon forms when you pull away the batter is perfect. If not, add an extra teaspoon of water, mix thoroughly and test again. If your batter at this point is still not creating a sticky ribbon you can add water a ½ teaspoon at a time until it does. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip with the pâte à choux and set aside.
- Pour 2 inches of oil in a heavy-bottom pan with high sides and heat the oil over medium heat until the temperature of the oil reaches 350°F. While the oil is heating, combine the 1/2 cup of sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Once the oil is to temperature pipe out 3 - 4 strips of dough, 4- to 5-inches long, into the hot oil. Fry for about 1 minute, gently flip over the churros, and fry for another minute or until golden brown and firm. Remove from the oil to a paper towel-lined plate, allow to cool briefly before tossing the hot churros in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Repeat with the remaining pastry dough.
Thank you so much Meg! xo