Every culture has their own version of the donut.
The French have the Beignet. The Italians have the Zeppole. And the Mexicans have the Churro. In South Asian cuisine, it’s the sticky sweet Gulab Jabun. Each one is, like a snowflake, special in its own way.
The Churro is special for two reasons: first of all, because of its shape. They are piped out into hot oil in long strips, so the donuts end up looking like thick straws of dough. They are then tossed or rolled in cinnamon sugar. The advantage of having a long, skinny donut, is that it makes it easier to dip into sauces.
There are a variety of different sauces you can dip your churro into, but of course, the most popular one is chocolate. Duh. Although a few times when I’ve had them, the chocolate sauce often has a hint of Mexican flair: either some spice in the form of heat or some cinnamon. A dulce de leche would also go really nicely with these bad boys.
Now, I don’t own a deep fryer. I haven’t in 20 years, so if something calls for deep frying, I need to figure out some way to work around that. And seeing as I love to experiment with my waffle iron, I thought I’d try making waffled churros.
This dough reminds me of a choux pastry, which is the same kind of pastry you’d use to make a profiterole. It loans itself to rising exponentially, creating lots of pockets of air inside the donut, which makes it airy and gives you much more surface to collect all that delicious dipping sauce.
Once you’ve made these in your waffle iron, use the hand-dandy lines in your waffle iron to cut them into strips to enable better dipping.
Just a note: these taste fantastic, but the exterior isn’t quite as crispy as if you had deep fried.
(recipe adapted from Serious Eats)
- ½ c water
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ c AP flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Dulce de Leche
- Chocolate sauce
- In a small saucepan mix together the water and the butter, and melt them together over medium-high heat. Add the salt, sugar and cinnamon and let everything melt together.
- Lower the heat, and then add the flour all at once and mix well. The batter will become stiff very quickly.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before you add the eggs (otherwise you’ll have scrambled eggs). Beat the eggs separately in a bowl, then add into the batter, mixing well until everything is incorporated.
- Preheat the waffle iron. If you have one that allows you to set the heat, set it on medium. Brush the waffle iron with butter or oil on both sides.
- Take about 1/4 cup of batter and place it in the centre of each waffle square. The churros will rise quite a lot. Cook for about 7-10 minutes, until they are golden brown.
- Remove to a plate, and brush with melted butter, then dip them immediately into a shallow plate of cinnamon sugar, so that they coated all over.
- Serve while still warm with the sauce of your choice.