My six-year-old son has been learning about Mexico at school lately, so we decided to make the Mexican speciality, churros. These sweet treats are like a long thin doughnut, and at first my son suggested that we make them by flattening out a doughnut.
The recipe is very simple, but a bit fiddly. It involves frying the batter in hot oil, so it's one to try with older children only. My ten-year-old was able to do the frying part, under close supervision. Serve with a chocolate dip or some Dulce de Leche (butterscotch-type sauce available in jars by Merchant Gourmet from larger supermarkets), or just sprinkle with caster sugar.
Here's what you need to do to make around 12-16 churros:
225 ml water
140g plain flour
pinch of salt
3 medium eggs
oil for frying
You will also need a piping bag with a wide star-shaped nozzle, or you can improvise one by using a plastic sandwich bag with a small corner snipped out.
Put the water and the butter in a small saucepan under a medium heat and bring to a boil until the butter has melted.
Remove from the heat and tip in the flour and pinch of salt.
Beat vigorously together until the mixture forms a smooth dough-like ball.
Set aside to cool for five minutes – this bit is important because if it's too hot when you add the eggs you run the risk that they will scramble and turn the whole thing into a yucky mess.
Slowly beat in the eggs a little at a time until they're all incorporated and you have a glossy mass.
Here's where it starts to get a bit fiddly:
Put 2-3 cm of oil into a large pan or wok, or heat up the deep fat fryer if you have one.
Whilst the oil is heating, put the churro batter into your piping bag.
Test to see if the oil is hot enough by putting a tiny bit of batter into the oil. If it goes brown in around 30 seconds, you're ready to go.
Pipe 2-3 lengths of batter straight into the oil. You will need a knife in your other hand to slice off each length. Or get a handy ten year old to do the piping whilst you do the slicing.
Fry the batter until it's golden brown.
Remove from the oil and dry the churros on kitchen paper.
Continue frying until you've used up all the batter.