These gluten free churros are made the traditional way, with French choux pastry, but it only sounds fancy. The batter is super simple to make and the churros taste just like you remember!
If you’re like me and you’re making gluten free churros for eating and for show, then you’ll absolutely need to use a pastry piping bag with a large open star tip (like #867, that’s a good one) so you can show off the ridges on the sides of the churros. The ridges are beautiful, but they’re also functional: they hold onto the cinnamon sugar like it’s their job.
The pastry dough is basically choux pastry, a light french egg pastry that is also used to make éclairs, profiteroles, gougères and cream puffs. This dough must be a bit stiffer, though, so that it holds its shape as it fries. I started with my recipe for Quick Chocolate Éclairs on page 160 of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy, and adapted it to a slightly different consistency. These are Mexican-style churros, made with eggs. There are also Spanish-style churros, made without eggs, and with oil and baking powder. I love Spain and I love their churros. I ate my very own weight in churros when I was there for a semester in college. No disrespect intended.
The chocolate dipping sauce is, clearly, optional, but if you’re going to go through the minor bother of deep frying why not go all the way?
I find making choux pastry to be infinitely easier and faster with a blender or food processor. And you get a much smoother result. Plus, when we talked about food processors the other day (when we made gluten free quinoa burgers), you gave me some great ideas for how not to lose my mind trying to get my food processor dry. Those tips have already come in quite handy. My sanity thanks you.
Don’t skimp on the cinnamon sugar, okay? Those ridges in your churros are there for a reason. Do them justice. Here’s how:
Gluten Free Churros (con chocolate)
For the churros
1 cup (8 fl. oz.) milk
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, chopped
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
4 eggs (200 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature
1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Oil, for frying
For the chocolate
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz.) milk
2 teaspoons (6 g) cornstarch
First, make the churros. Cook the milk, butter and salt in a large saucepan until the butter is melted and the mixture begins to boil. Remove the pan from the heat, add the flour and stir vigorously. Return the pan to the heat and continue to stir vigorously for about 3 minutes, until the mixture begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and comes together in a ball. A thin film will form on the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for about 3 minutes.
Transfer half the dough to a blender or food processor. Pour the beaten eggs on top and then add the rest of the dough. Pulse until the mixture is smooth and uniformly well-blended. Set the dough aside to cool. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a shallow baking dish, and set it aside.
While the dough is cooling, pour 2 inches of frying oil in a heavy-bottom stockpot with high sides and heat the oil over medium heat until the temperature of the oil reaches 350°F. Transfer the dough from the blender or food processor to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe out about 3 strips of dough, 4- to 5-inches long, into the hot oil (if necessary, snip off the end of the strip of dough with kitchen shears). Fry for about 2 minutes, gently flip over the churros, and fry for another 2 minutes or until golden brown and firm. Remove from the oil to a paper towel-lined plate, allow to cool briefly before tossing the hot churros in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Repeat with the remaining pastry dough.
Once the churros are ready, make the chocolate sauce. Place the chopped chocolate and 1 1/4 cups (10 fl. oz.) of the milk in a small, heavy-bottom saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the milk begins to simmer. While the chocolate is melting, in a separate small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the remaining 1/4 cup (2 ounces) milk until smooth. Pour the cornstarch and milk mixture into the saucepan, and stir to combine. Simmer the chocolate mixture, continuing to stir occasionally, until it coats the back of a spoon (about 2 minutes). Pour into a small container for dipping, and allow to cool to room temperature before serving as it will thicken as it cools.
Serve the churros warm with the chocolate dipping sauce. The churros are best eaten soon after being fried, but can be refreshed in a 400°F oven for about 5 minutes before serving. They will crisp back up a bit.
Adapted from the Quick Chocolate Éclairs on page 160 of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy: 100 Recipes for the Food You Love—FAST! (Da Capo 2012).