Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Churros y Chocolate Sin Gluten

(This post is a continuation of June's Gluten-Free Ratio Rally challenge of pate a choux: http://thesensitiveepicure.blogspot.com/2011/05/gluten-free-gougeres-filled-with-herbed.html)
All throughout Spain churros and chocolate can be found on many street corners called churrerías.  Churrerías are a sort of small bakery shops that sell all different kind of churros, homemade potato chips, and drinks including fruit juices and hot chocolate.  Spanish hot chocolate is too thick for drinking.  It is better suited for dipping, perfect for dunking churros.  Even though Spain was extremely gluten-free, I was unable to indulge even though my husband and friends were.  I made churros at home using a traditional patê á choux recipe (using all sweet rice flour) for the final World Cup final in homage to team España.  They were incredible, but the frying oil stunk so bad and at first I did not know why.  While playing around, hosting the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally patê á choux challenge, I decided to revisit making churros.  After some fellow GFreeRally bloggers stated how they wanted to focus on vegan, it challenged me to make the recipe for churros vegan.  I figured the eggs were the cause of the malodor, and resulting in a thinner batter which can be a disaster for frying churros.  Another strategy was to decrease the fat and change it to a neutral vegetable oil from butter.  In making the patê á choux, I find it critical to cook the flour on the stovetop for a minimum of two minutes which usually separates the butter.  This way, it is a much easier dough to work with to shape and fry.  Yes, churro dough is a thick dough, thicker than the usual patê á choux dough.  I had a very difficult time pushing the churro dough through a pastry bag and finished up the batch of churros by shaping the dough by hand.  This method leaves for less surface area, leaving less residual oil.  In the picture the hand formed churro is the third one from the top.  Both forms are delicious, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar while hot, right out of the fryer.  My husband said that this version was crisper while more tender than the ones he remembered eating in Spain.





The hot chocolate I made was a spiced chocolate ganache with a little bit of salt to add a slight richness.  A chocolate ganache is made from 3 parts semi-sweet chocolate gently melted with 2 parts heavy cream.  An easy swap to make this vegan is to use coconut milk for heavy cream.  That may even give a really nice character.  I will have to try it next time.  The churros are perfectly fine on their one.  However, this hot chocolate adds a decadence to the churros.  I cannot wait to make these again.

Ingredients:
Churros:
  • 70 grams sweet/glutinous rice flour
  • 60 grams brown rice flour
  • 6 grams (1 teaspoon) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 20 grams (2 tablespoons) sugar
  • 250 grams (250 milliliters) water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Cinnamon sugar = 50 g sugar + 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon mixed

Chocolate Sauce:
  • 150 grams semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 100 grams heavy cream or coconut milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle or cayenne powder

Directions:
Churros:
In a medium bowl, scale/weigh the sweet rice flour, brown rice flour, and baking powder.  Mix well until homogeneous.
In a medium sauce pan, scale/weigh the salt, sugar, oil, and water and heat on medium to high heat until it comes to a roaring boil.  Add in the flour mixture all at once, and vigorously stir with a wooden or metal spoon for at least two minutes until the dough is thick and elastic.  Turn off heat and cool to a temperature that you can handle.  In the meantime, fill a large sauce pan with 3-4 inches deep with vegetable oil and heat to a constant 325oF.  Turn the churro dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip that is well secured.  On a sheet of wax paper, pipe out churros about 4-6 inches in length, about 4-5 in each batch.  From there, carefully transfer to the hot oil.  I find this method safer and easier than piping directing in the hot oil.  Fry until golden, turning once with a spider/handled strainer over the course of a couple of minutes.  Remove with a spider or other utensil and place on paper towels to blot excess oil.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar evenly, turning the churros.

Spiced Chocolate Sauce:
In a medium microwave safe bowl, scale out the chocolate and heavy cream.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Stir thoroughly.  If not all completely melted, return to microwave for additional 15 seconds and repeat.  Allow time during the stirring process for the chocolate to melt.  It is easy to burn chocolate, so patience does pay off.  Once it is a smooth sauce, add in the salt, cinnamon, and chipotle/cayenne and mix again until smooth.  Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking for spice.


I made another item for our patê á choux challenge: Gluten-Free Gougeres filled with Herbed Goat Cheese Mousse Check it out, too!

-Erin Swing
The Sensitive Epicure

Check out what the rest of the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally did with their take on patê á choux:
Amanda of Gluten Free Maui | Earl Grey Cream Puffs
Amie of The Healthy Apple | Pate Choux with Creamy Macadamia Icing
Britt of GF in the City |    Pâte à Choux
Caleigh of Gluten Free[k] | Savoury Paris-Brest
Caneel of Mama Me Gluten Free | Key Lime Cream Puffs
Claire of Gluten Freedom |  Chocolate Eclairs
Jenn of Jenn Cuisine | Gruyère & Herbed Gougères
Lisa of Gluten Free Canteen | Cracked Pepper & Cheese Gougères
Meredith of Gluten Free Betty | Gluten Free Churros
Meaghan of The Wicked Good Vegan | Cardamom and Rose Water Cream Puffs (with Rad Whip!)
Meg of Gluten-Free Boulangerie | Chouquettes
Morri of Meals with Morri | Draft Cider, Saffron, & Chive Gourgères 
Pete & Kelli of No Gluten, No Problem | Almond Choux Florentines
Rachel of The Crispy Cook | Cream Puffs Filled with Coffee Cream
Robyn of Chocswirl | Gruyere & Parmesan Gougeres with Sage & Thyme    
Silvana of Silvana's Kitchen | Gluten-Free Spinach Gnocchi Parm
T.R.of No One Likes Crumbley Cookies | Beignets

5 comments:

T.R. said...

These look delicious! Congrats on a successful recipe. I'll definitely have to try these.

Caneel said...

My family will love these - churros was one that I wanted to try when I saw what we were doing. I will try soon!

gretchen said...

ooo... i'm making these this weekend. and the chocolate too!

Tara Barker said...

Ok, so I was planning on making some more choux tomorrow, to fry up in honor of National Donut Day, but realized I'm out of eggs and wasn't planning on going to the store. I was feeling disappointed until I realized that your churro recipe is vegan - no eggs needed! Hurray and thank you!

Anonymous said...

Ooh. I soooooo want these!