Last week’s food headlines proclaimed that the Mediterranean diet, according to an American study, may slow the aging process of our brains considerably. How fortunate for me that I had just purchased a kitchen gadget that would ensure my following of that particular diet: a churros press.Similar to donuts, churros are deep-fat fried and covered with cinnamon and sugar. They are very much the Spanish-speaking world’s answer to donuts. Who would have thought, though, that they would also make your brains grow bigger and fend off dementia, the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, according to the Columbia University study? Well, nobody, really, apart from a few funny guys in the marketing department of said churros press, who decided to google translate that claim and put it into the manual:
Personally, I would take this with a pinch of salt and would advise you to consume churros as part of a balanced diet, for example by filling them with dulce de leche, South America’s favourite caramel sauce. The sticky sweetness of the dulce de leche balances perfectly with the chrispness of the churros, which is probably what those guys meant by ‘nutritional balance.’
You can make churros using a sturdy piping bag witch a big star nozzle, as I did here, but to be able to fill them you’ll need to get your hands on a proper churrera, a plastic gadget that comes with a range of different nozzles. To fill them, II used a so-called ‘infuser’: they’re supposed to be used for roasts etc. but it worked brilliantly with the dulce de leche.
Churros (serves 4 as a dessert)
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 1/4 cup water
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 l vegetable oil or similar
- 2 tbs caster sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
for the filling:
- 1/2 cup dulce de leche
Bring the water to boil, then mix it with the flour, salt and baking powder, using a wooden spoon or similar. You’ll end up with a rather stiff, splodgy mix but don’t worry, it’ll all come together in the frying pan. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Mix the sugar and cinnamon and set aside. Fill the meat infuser or a piping bag wit a long nozzle with the dulce de leche. Place some kitchen paper onto a plate to collect the fried churros.
Heat the oil in a deep frying pan; to see if it is hot enough, drop a dollop of the batter into the hot oil: it has reached the perfect temperature when the dollop turns golden brown within 30 seconds.
Fill the churrera with the batter and close it carefully. Squeeze out the churros, 3 to 4 at a time, straight into the frying pan. Use a pair of scissors to cut them. Fry until golden brown, then lift them onto the kitchen paper to soak up the surplus fat. Repeat until you have used up all of the dough.Fill the churros with the dulce de leche (or the nutella, for that matter), sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon mix, and scoff them down, in the hope that those heath claims were true, after all …Surely, this must have been one of the most outrageous health-benefits-claims ever. But just to be sure, please let me know if you notice any unusual brain growth as a result of consuming churros!