With Cinco de Mayo coming up, we thought we’d treat ourselves to a popular Mexican dessert: churros. These long, thin donuts are often served with chocolate sauce and cajeta, a luscious caramel made from milk and sugar that’s extremely popular in South America.
Churros with Cajeta & Chocolate Ganache
What you need:
For the Churros:
- 1 tbsp (6 g) ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (100 g) Redpath Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp (12 g) Redpath Granulated Sugar
- 1 cup (250 mL) water
- 1/4 tsp (1 g) salt
- 1 cup (225 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- Vegetable oil, for frying
For the Cajeta:
- 4 cups (1,000 mL) goat’s milk OR cow’s milk (2% or 3.5%)
- 1 cup (200 g) Redpath Granulated Sugar
- 1 vanilla bean OR 1 tbsp (15 mL) pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp (1 g) baking soda + 2 tsp (5 mL) water
For the Chocolate Ganache:
- 1/2 cup (100 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) whipping cream
How to prepare:
For the Churros:
- Whisk together the 1/2 cup (100 g) of sugar with the cinnamon, then spread out over a small baking sheet. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the butter with the 1 tbsp (12 g) of sugar, water, and salt. Stir together over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and stir the flour in all at once, stirring vigorously. Continue to stir the mixture for 30 – 45 seconds over low heat, allowing the dough to dry out a little.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture quickly to make sure the eggs are well incorporated after each addition. Beat the mixture until the dough is smooth.
- Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip. Set aside.
- Using a large heavy-bottomed pot filled with 2-inches of oil or a deep fryer, heat the vegetable oil to 350°F (175°C).
- Once the oil is heated, pipe 4 to 8-inch segments of dough into the hot oil, using scissors to cut the dough after piping. Use tongs to straighten the dough, if necessary, and keep them from sticking to each other, being very careful not to burn yourself. Fry the dough for 5 – 7 minutes until golden brown.
- Once cooked, remove the churros from the oil and toss in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat, then transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Continue to fry and coat the churros in cinnamon sugar until all of the dough has been used up.
- Serve the churros warm with cajeta and chocolate ganache for dipping. Churros are best served the day they are made.
For the Cajeta:
- Use a sharp knife to split the vanilla bean in half, then using the tip of the knife, scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod.
- In a heavy-bottomed pot, combine the milk, sugar, vanilla bean, and vanilla seeds, then place over medium heat.
- Stir the mixture frequently until it comes to a simmer and the sugar is dissolved.
- Dissolve the baking soda in the water; set aside. Remove the milk mixture from the heat, then stir in the dissolved baking soda. It will bubble up and become frothy. When the bubbles subside, return the pot to the heat.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and bring the mixture back to a simmer. Continue cooking the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and darkens in colour, 1 – 2 hours. The longer you cook the mixture, the thicker it will become, and the more intense the caramel flavour will be. Note, however, that once it cools it will become even thicker.
- Once the cajeta has reached your desired consistency, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool completely. If it’s too thick for your liking, stir in a bit of hot water. If it’s too thin, return it to the heat until it thickens.
- When the cajeta is completely cooled, remove the vanilla bean and transfer sauce to a resealable jar. Refrigerate if not using immediately, then warm up when you’re ready to serve it
For the Ganache:
- Place the chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl and set aside.
- Over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, remove it from the heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for about a minute, then stir vigorously until all of the chocolate chips have melted and the ganache is smooth and glossy.
- Serve warm with churros for dipping, or keep stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 4 days