Baked Churros & Caramelised Salted White Chocolate

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Churros from the Spanish restaurant at the end of my road replaced sticky toffee pudding as my favourite dessert last year. While the baked variety doesn’t hit the same notes as fried churros, they have a charm of their own – somewhere between a doughnut and a cake, and with the same sugary cinnamon loveliness on the outside as the real deal. The recipe below is adapted from a really good one I found on Erica’s Sweet Tooth blog here (i added more milk to make them a little more moist and reduced the cooking time, other measurements below just switched to grams/ml). Traditionally these are served with dark or milk chocolate, but having recently discovered caramelised salted white chocolate (thank you Food 52) I jumped at the opportunity to bring that into the mix. Any spare chocolate sauce can be kept in a jar and reheated as soon as you can think of another excuse to use it (on ice cream is simple, but yummy – the Food 52 suggestion of eating it in between two biscuits is firmly on my to do list). S

Churros Recipe (makes 30):

190g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
110g caster sugar
75g unsalted butter (slightly soft)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
130ml milk

For the coating: 50g butter, 200g caster sugar and 3 tsp cinnamon (you don’t use it all – I bulked this up to make the coating easier)

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Method:

Preheat the oven to 170°C

Step one: Sift the flour, baking powder together with the spices and salt and set aside

Step two: Beat together the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy (pics below when it first comes together and then a couple of minutes later so you can see the colour change you are looking for)

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Step three: Add one egg and beat until combined

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Step four: With a spoon, stir in the flour mix and milk alternately. Mix until just combined taking care not to overwork the mixture

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Step five: Take a mini cupcake tray (around 1 inch diameter) and lightly grease with butter and rub over with a paper towel to remove any excess

Step six: Using a teaspoon, spoon the mixture into the cupcake tray (they will rise so you do not need them to be as big as you think, around the size of a brussels sprout)

Step seven: Bake for 12-14 minutes until risen (they should spring back to you when you lightly press the top when cooked).

Step eight: Remove from the tray and cool on a wire rack. At this point I panicked a little bit that they didn’t really look like churros, but they transform when sugar coated. If making in advance I would store them like this in an airtight container and do the final step on the day you use them.

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Step nine: When cooled, set up a little production line of a tub of melted butter, and a bowl of sugar and cinnamon. Using a pastry brush, cover the outside of the churro in butter and dip in the sugar mix, tossing to coat evenly. Serve with chocolate sauce (recipe below).

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Caramelised Salted White Chocolate Recipe (makes 2 x 220ml):

4oog white chocolate (I used Green & Blacks)
Salt (to taste – you can see in the picture roughly how much I used)

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Method:

Preheat the oven to 125°C

The method is fairly simple but a little bit time consuming – I was worried about the temperature getting too high so this probably took a bit longer than it needed to (1 hour, stirring every ten minutes). I took quite a few pictures so you can see the colour change – It took a while to get going but once it did it step changed quite quickly.

Step one: Break the chocolate into pieces in a baking tray and place in the oven.

Step two: Every ten minutes, remove to stir. I may clump together a bit but you can loosen it again easily by stirring when you take it out. Again for the first few stirs mine looked pretty similar apart from the clumping when it came out, stick with it…

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Step three: When you have the desired colour, add salt and stir. I did two lots of the salt shown below – taste as you go.

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Step four: When you are happy with the flavour, pour into a jar and leave to cool. Reheat when ready to serve, or whenever you think of an excuse.

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