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Churros con chocolate

Winter comes romantically…
Takes off the scarf to warm the cup, bites a churro and licks the chocolate.
On our side of the window time stands still… the world can wait…

Churros

125 ml water
25 g sugar
½ tsp fine salt
12.5 g butter
100 g flour
1-2 eggs
Sugar to sprinkle

Bring the water, butter, sugar and salt to boil.
As soon as it boils add all the flour and reduce to low heat stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the eggs combining well with the mixer with the dough hook attached until smooth.
Let the dough cool.
Put the dough into a churrera (or pastry bag with a star tip) avoiding air bubbles in the inside.
Squeeze strips of dough into hot oil.
Fry until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes on each side.
Drain on paper towels.
Roll churros in sugar or dump the sugar on the pile of churros.

Hot chocolate

Serves 4:

125 g 67% (minimum) dark chocolate, chopped
500 ml mineral water
50 g icing sugar
25 g cocoa

Bring the water to boil with sugar.
Add cocoa and stir well.
Bring to boil again and remove from heat.
Pour this mixture into a bowl with the chopped chocolate (one third at a time).
Stir gently in circles from the center to the edge.
Mix for 5 minutes with the mixer.
Serve imediately.

Hand made berliners…

After a whole morning making berliners (from 9:00AM to 3:00PM!) I was in need of the delicious yellowish portuguese filling that I always miss…
I’ve started my research and I wasn’t able to find a single recipe of this filling, or even similar, to what I was used to see in the portuguese pastries’ windows… Well… At last I was able to find one single recipe and with a picture of a yellow filling!!!

Despite my fears I’ve tried really really hard to trust the result and I’ve started…

Even with all the changes needed to turn that thing into something realistic (I’ve tried everything from sweet soft eggs with custard to sweet soft eggs with cream or custard with 20 egg yolks…) I ended with lots and lots of egg boxes and a filling far awaaaay from the “original”…

(I’m always sadly surprised by made up recipes, untested, without making any sense and pictures that aren’t true at all, I feel angry with impossible things published without any love or care).

In the end I’ve done a standard pastry cream, without the “coulourant yellow”, powdered yellow, the powder used on almos every filling of the portuguese pastry.

As a convicted supporter of top grade ingredients (a nice chocolate, a nice wine and only butter!!!) I was tremendously disappointed when I discovered that the taste I’ve kept from my childhood comes in a bag and is mixed with water…

Now I wait for another insight on this…

Berliners

Makes 25:

Starter dough:
5 g fresh yeast
275 g All-purpose flour, sieved
180 ml mineral water (at 20ºC)

Dough:
250 g all-purpose flour, sieved
11 g fleur de sel
65 g caster sugar
5 egg yolks
60 g fresh yeast
60 ml whole milk
65 g butter, diced
2 kitchen cloths and flour
Icing sugar or caster sugar to dust

1 l grapeseed oil

To the starter dough:
Dissolve the yeast in mineral water. Combine well with flour.
Bulk ferment the dough about 1h30/ 2 hours, covered with wrap film or until bubbly.

To the dough:
Combine the starter dough with all the dough ingredients and the yeast dissolved in milk.
Mix on medium speed for 20 minutes, or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Add butter and keep mixing until homogeneous.
Bulk ferment the dough until nearly doubled. Fold gently.
Divide the dough to make 25 balls and place on slightly floured kitchen cloths (5 cms spaced). Cover with another kitchen cloth until nearly doubled.

Carefully transfer the dough balls , a few at a time to a deep fryer (160º C) and fry until golden brown, 5-6 minutes each side.
Lift the fritter from the oil with a spider or basket, allowing the oil to drain away over the fryer.
Drain on paper towels.

Fill with pastry cream, jam, chocolate ganache, dulce de leche… I’ve used Pastry cream.

Sprinkle with caster sugar mixed with cinnamon or icing sugar.

Pastry cream:

300 ml cream
600 ml milk
200 g sugar
80 g cornstarch
3 egg yolks
Orange and lemon zest, cinnamon stick, vanilla

In a bowl mix together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and a bit of milk (enough to dissolve the mixture).
In a saucepan bring the milk with cream to boil with orange and lemon zest, cinnamon and vanilla.
Pour the milk and cream into the egg mixture stirring constantly.
Sieve.
Place the pan over the heat again and stir constantly to thick (without boiling).
Remove from heat and strain.
Place into a bowl and cover directly with plastic wrap to stop a skin from forming on the cream.
Chill.

Rolls on my kitchen scale

Yesterday I thought it would be the end of Augusts’ recipes.
I’ve washed so well (“extensively well”) my scale that it started to hallucinate with very strange reads… I even thought to write them down as a secret revelation of some lost recipe, but between ounces and grams at full speed I thought it was better to take it to an exorcism and I’ve put the hairdryer in action.
Without any visible results and with my blown budget I couldn’t afford another till next month…
Early this morning it was alive… and with an enormous happiness and a soft kiss we’re back to hard work!

Banana rolls with mango custard

8 rolls (12 cms diameter):
Brick pastry
2 bananas
60 g sugar
12 g butter
Rum

Mango custard:
300 g cream
200 g milk
5 egg yolks
100 g sugar
175 g mango pulp, sieved

To the custard:
In a bowl mix egg yolks, sugar and enough milk to combine all the ingredients.
Bring the remaining milk and cream to boil and pour over the egg yolks mixture stirring constantly.
Sieve and bring to low heat (without boiling) to cook the egg yolks and the custard stays at the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat and add the pulp.
Refrigerate.

Prepare a caramel with the sugar and butter.
Sauté sliced banana.
Add rum to flambé.
Remove from heat.
With a spoon place the banana on a corner end of the brick pastry. Fold bottom brick pastry over filling, fold in sides, brush the end part with a thick mixture of water and flour and roll over to enclose its contents.
Deep-fry until crisp and golden.
Serve hot with cold custard.

To make this small rolls I’ve cutted 12 cms circles of brick pastry.
I’ve sprinkled the custard with some mango pulp.