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Churros and Turtles

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Churros and Turtles

Serves: 4
Cost: ~€1.20
Preparation time: ~40 minutes
Calories: ~500 per serving, not including sauce

Are you sufficiently confused by the title? You’ll find no turtles in this post, that is more a reference to my current state of being. Severe back pain has currently forced me out of the kitchen onto my bed, where the only comfortable thing I can do without crying out in pain is to lie on my back, kind of like an over-turned turtle (at least that’s what my wife says I look like!). It’s been ongoing for three weeks now but suddenly got a heck of a lot worse on Thursday night, so by Friday morning, a trip to the doctor was in order. Fast-forward to today and here I lie. I can at least walk in a straight line now without collapsing onto the floor (yeah, I almost did that… luckily the cat tree was in the way for me to grapple onto) but it still hurts like hell to be in an upright position for more than a few minutes. Hopefully that too will pass and I’ll be up and about in no time.

Moral of the story? Look after your backs people! I’m sure this all stems from when I used to work in a bar in England. My bar had borrowed a keg of beer from a neighbouring pub as we had run out of this particular brew and when we received our next delivery, we dutifully gave the other place a new keg. I say “we”… I meant “I”. I was responsible for lugging this heavy, metal barrel back, filled to the brim with lager. I rolled it out of our bar and down the road and all was going well. Then something happened. I was young, irresponsible; I saw a group of girls out for a night on the town. Somehow my idiotic man-child mind decided it was a good idea to pick up this keg – macho posturing at its finest. Well, I felt a twinge, I let out a little squeal, and soldiered on. I still feel twinges of pain to this day in that spot, and that’s exactly where the pain is now. Dear oh dear. Oh, and in case you’re wondering – no… the group of girls didn’t pay me the slightest bit of attention, nor were they even a little impressed by my keg bravado!

Ok, so that’s the turtles out of the way. Now for the churros. Luckily I cooked these up last Monday, well before my back started going nuts on me!

Churros

I’ve been wanting to make churros for absolutely ages but it’s one of these things that I’ve just never got around to. Inspired by the delicious post I saw by A_Boleyn I determined that I would make some as a pre-dinner snack for my wedding anniversary, on the 30th of July. As I’m new to the whole churros scene I decided to go for a simple recipe. I worked from this recipe at Taste.com.au which was, conveniently, in metric, and it worked very well. As I was making it I noticed that the dough preparation and ingredients are actually a lot like those for choux pastry which I never realised! A_Boleyn kindly recommended another recipe which had orange zest and juice in which sounded delicious. I’m going to try that next time – this time, the “regular” version was what I needed to break into this delicious snack which I’ve oft eaten but never prepared.

Sadly I didn’t have a nozzle wide enough for “traditional” churros with my piping kit. I did want the ridged shape though so opted to use the biggest one I had. Of course, the overall taste was unaffected. They were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, golden and delicious, as they should be, but a little thin. For the next time, I will try and find a correctly sized nozzle for a more broad finished product. I served them up dusted with sugar and with my strawberry jam as a dip, instead of chocolate and it was a wonderful snack which I highly recommend! Before you say it – I know they should ideally be straight too. When you’re piping out thin lines of dough though, they have a tendency to get a bit curly! :)

I hope you all have a great Sunday, wherever you may be and whatever you may be doing. I’ll be back on Wednesday!

Churros

From Taste.com.au

Ingredients

Churros ingredients

  • 250ml Water
  • 100g Butter
  • 150g Plain Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3 Eggs
  • ~1 litre Peanut Oil, for frying
  • ~100g Caster Sugar, for dusting, or icing sugar

You’ll also need

  • An Oil Thermometer
  • A Piping Bag or Gun

Instructions

  1. Start off by bringing the water to the boil, in a large pan, with the butter inside. When the butter has completely dissolved into the water remove from the heat and then beat in the flour and salt to form a paste.
    Melting the butter in the water
  2. Beat the eggs lightly and then pour into the paste a bit at a time, mixing well between each addition until you have something resembling the photo below. Set the pan aside to cool for 10 – 15 minutes and meanwhile start heating the oil in a pan on the stove. I heated my oil to approximately 140-150 degrees Celsius with the aid of my Oil Thermometer – I found this a good temperature which yielded excellent results, although the original recipe called for a temperature of 180 degrees Celsius.
    Churros dough
  3. When the oil is at the desired temperature, spoon the dough into your Piping Bag or Gun and pipe directly into the hot oil, cutting off the lengths with a knife once they reach 8-10cm. Fry for a couple of minutes until the churros are a nice golden brown before removing with a slotted spoon and allowing to drain and cool slightly on kitchen paper.
    Frying the lengths of dough
  4. Roll the churros in caster sugar, or sprinkle with icing sugar, before serving with a dip of your choice. Enjoy!
    Churros



    Churros

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63 Comments

  1. Your churros look great Charles. I’m so sorry to hear about your back. My back trouble started with a similar defining moment as well although I wasn’t trying to impress anyone, just nursing and trying to stop an elderly woman collapsing in a heap. When I came to her assistance she just went limp and became a dead weight in my arms. That’s when I felt that twinge. Since then I’ve had on and off trouble and the main thing I have to do to help my back is (dare I say), swim. I’m currently doing two, one hour squads a week which isn’t quite adequate but that’s all the pool offers at the moment. Ideally I should be doing four. Well…I hope you’re back on your feet soon because I know how debilitating it is xx

    Reply
    • Thanks Charlie – ouch… did she become limp because she thought “ah, no worries, Charlie’s here now to support me” or did you happen to be grabbing her at the exact moment when she was falling?

      People tell me I should swim too… problem is, I’m so shy :( I haven’t been swimming in… well, about 14 years or more and one could say that I’m not the fittest person around… bit of a belly. I hate the idea of showing it off in public :(

      Reply
      • Well, my husband is large and was recently told by his skinny tiny Asian doctor that he is morbidly obese. My husband just rejected that statement entirely however, it was enough to make him join a swimming club even though he’s always hated swimming. He swims in the ocean and started 12 months ago and shock horror, became addicted to it. Loves it! Six months later he’d lost 15kg and that happened through swimming 4 days/wk and I stopped buying with chocolate and cooking with cream. Over the winter he’s put back on about 5kg because the water temp dropped to about 14C so it would be like swimming in the Thames. Now that the mornings are warming up and Spring is around the corner he’s made a decision to get back into it. So…just thought I’d mention that because it might encourage you to join a swimming club. Don’t worry about what you look like – it’s been my experience that there’s always someone worse! xx

        Reply
  2. Hi Charles,

    Many, many sympathies for your back and although I did giggle at your up-turned turtle image, I know it is no laughing matter so I hope the improvement continues and you return to ‘normal’ soon…

    It’s funny but up until a couple of years ago I hadn’t really come across Churros but now quite often see them for sale at big outdoor events. The smell of them cooking draws people to the stands and they seem to sell very well. Last time I had them they came with a little cardboard pot of warm chocolate sauce to dip them in to-absolutely delicious!

    Reply
    • Thanks GD – I think it’s important to keep a sense of humour… even when you’re lying on your back like a turtle ;) Otherwise, one risks turning into an old cross-patch. I would frequently just start laughing in the middle of trying to hobble across the room because I found the state I was in so hilarious. Desperate but hilarious :D

      Churros are hugely popular these days. Chocolate sauce remains one of the favourite dipping sauces and for good reason too :D It’s so yummy :D. Did you ever try to make them yourself?

      Reply
      • Never made them myself but now I have the recipe I am tempted to give them a try…
        Best of luck with the back though… ‘turtle’ is not a good shape to be in for very long!

        Reply
  3. Hope your back is healing and you have returned to an upright position without any issue.
    I like how your churros curl, they have character.

    Reply
    • Thanks Norma – It’s very kind of you to say, I guess they do have character though… certainly different to the perfectly poker-straight variety :)

      Reply
  4. Well, little did those pretty girls know that the silly keg-juggling boy would grow into a man who makes delicious churros for his wife on their anniversary — their loss!

    Now you just need to get better before my birthday so you can make me cake… ;-)

    Reply
    • Keg-juggling… lol!
      <3

      Reply
  5. The name of this post made me laugh when I saw it in Google Reader but I am so sorry to hear about your back – that is no fun at all. As for the churros, they look divine – love the idea of dipping them in strawberry jam!

    Reply
    • Thanks Laura – it’s good to keep a sense of humour through suffering I think :). Glad you like the look of the churros – have you ever tried making them yourself?

      Reply
  6. Hi Charles!

    I’m praying for your back to get better.

    Have you gone to a Chiropractor? You may have a pinched nerve, and if so they could definitely help you.

    Great recipe.

    Take care and have a Joyful Day :~D
    Charlie

    Reply
    • Hi Charlie, thanks for your kind comment. I didn’t go to see any specialist yet. My back got a little better after my days off of being laid up, although it’s started hurting a little again. I think the time may come when I have to go and see someone. Hopefully get this problem solved once and for all!

      Reply
  7. Oh dear …. get well soon! The whole idea is to glug half the content of the keg before doing the Mr Atlas thing. That way, even if you popped something, you’d be too numb to feel it :)
    Anyway, now’s the time to get pampered and fussed about. And take it easy.
    Those churros look great in all it’s squiggly-ness…. kind of like curly fries. We have our own Chinese version of churros. They are a lot more doughy, not sweet but great dipped in coffee … as these are as well.

    Reply
    • Hahaha, well that’s true… definitely one way of lifting kegs. I guess one could argue that the amount you drink is directly related to the number of kegs you think you can lift! “10 beers? Sure, I can take 4 kegs no problem,… hic”.

      What is the name of the Chinese version of churros? I’d love to look them up!

      Reply
  8. So sorry to hear about your back, Charles. Medication … lots and lots of medication and rest are the answer so no more keg lifting for you. :)

    Your churros look great. I used the largest star tip I had which was probably the same size as yours and thought they churros were a good size.

    Congratulations to you both on your anniversary.

    Reply
    • Thanks A_ – I noticed this comment got classified as spam for some reason, so I rescued it :) I think your star tip might have been a bit bigger to be honest as yours did manage to look more “proper”. Mine definitely look a bit small :)

      My back is feeling much better now – I’m mobile at least, although it still hurts in certain positions sadly. Lots of medication is indeed the answer, but I hate popping 12-13 pills a day. Sometimes the side-effects can be most unpleasant so I’m glad to be off them too!

      Reply
      • Thank you for ‘rescuing’ the comment. I saw that it had disappeared and that’s why I reposted … definitely wanted to comment.

        I certainly don’t recommend 12-13 pills. That seems excessive. :) But I take them for my hip when I’m working. Half of one about 3 or 4 days a week if absolutely necessary as they’re rough on my stomach.

        Reply
        • Well, I’m not a fan of that many pills, but it’s only what the doctor ordered :)

  9. Now you´re making me homesick for Sunday morning churros in Spain :( Great post!

    Reply
    • Mmm, now *you’re* making me jealous of the thought of sunday morning churros in Spain, haha! :D

      Reply
  10. Your churros look delicious, Charles. I hope your back mends soon — I find that hours at the computer make mine tempermental so I try to force myself to take regular walks and not sit so long at a stretch.

    Reply
    • Thank you Sharyn – my job probably isn’t ideal in terms of that then – sitting at a computer all day long :(

      Reply
  11. Sorry to read about your back pain. I hope you’re feeling better! I’ve always wanted to make churros as well. These look delicious and have inspired me to get over the hump and just do it! They look so, so good!

    Reply
    • Thanks MJ – I hope you have a chance to try them! :)

      Reply
  12. Hi Charles, so sorry to hear about your back… I know exactly how you feel as two years ago my very own back strike while I was driving long distance. I barely made it home, went through some therapy, then injections. I couldn’t climb the stairs to the second floor to the bedroom so I slept in the living room for a few weeks. Summary: I didn’t like a bit my condition. I dropped all medications after three weeks, and went to the pool to exercise in the water tree times a week. Days when I didn’t want to go I motivated myself just by thinking back of those days in pain and it was enough to keep me moving. Then I started to run, and one year ago I added yoga practice, that I need to admit, helps the most and the best. Same as you, I’ve had chronic back pain for many years, although I didn’t lift anything.
    I hope you feel better soon and make a delicious cake for your wife’s birthday! :)
    Lovely Churros. Is Oil Thermometer a must? I think I need to invest in it one of this days…

    Reply
    • Hi Marina – I hope you don’t suffer too much from back pain – I hope with some regular exercise and losing a bit of weight, hopefully I can make my problem go away for good :)

      As for the oil thermometer – no, it’s not an absolute must, but I find it very useful. You can get them for very little… ~$5, and it’s a great way of ensuring optimum oil temperature!

      Reply
      • Charles, well, I have to admit that after I changed my lifestyle, I did loose 30 pounds (about 17 kilograms). Plus I continue doing exercises to strengthen back muscles, that physical therapist showed me. Combination of this factors did relieved me from a severe back pain. Good luck, Charles! If you need motivation or inspiration, feel free to contact me. :)

        Reply
  13. I love that they’re ribbed…how can you go wrong with fried, sugar dough?!! I love it =D

    Reply
    • Thanks Angie – did you try making them before? They’re so yummy :)

      Reply
  14. I haven’t had a churro in ages and certainly never tried to make them at home. And a piping gun?! How ingenious! I never knew that’s how they got their shape. Too clever.

    I hope you’re feeling better Charles! Three weeks?! OMG! That cannot feel good. I used to have terrible back pain. Yoga has been a life saver. Probably a life saver to Mike too since he doesn’t have to rub my back every night anymore. LOL. I like the turtle description – makes for a good visual. ;)

    Reply
    • Thanks Kristy – it’s mostly better after my time spent being a turtle. Still twinges periodically though. People tell me to try swimming… I’m a bit shy though :(

      Reply
  15. How horrible, Charles, I’ve never had back pain but ive had debilitating shoulder pain so I can almost understand; I do hope you mend quickly. The churros look wonderful, although not a healthy snack sometimes it’s just worth a splurge! I also like that they are curly.

    Reply
    • Thanks Eva – definitely not a healthy snack, haha. We were so full after them, so tasty though :D

      Reply
  16. Charles, even though I’m not a fan of churros (in deep-fried sweet food I’m rather a doughnut fan ;-) I will post doughnuts soon I think), these look particularly luscious and I’m sure they are different from all the fatty, greasy stuff they sell on markets. Dipped in strawberry jam they must taste heavenly!
    I am really sorry for your back problem and hope you slowly recover from it. I cannot even imagine how difficult it must be.

    Reply
    • Hi Sissi, thanks so much – I’m glad you like the look of them. They were so tasty. A bit involved to make with all the frying, but so good and so worth it :)

      Reply
  17. I’ve certainly eaten these before but I’ve never made any. I know they’re not difficult but they always looked fiddly to me. messy.

    I shall have to try them. :)

    Reply
    • Hi Maureen – they are a bit fiddly, with all the piping into the oil, but definitely worth it :)

      Reply
  18. So sorry to hear about your back Charles, wishing you a complete and speedy recovery.
    Churros have been on my list forever too, this is just the inspiration I needed to give them a go

    Reply
    • Thanks Sawsan – not sure if I can hope for a complete recovery… maybe one day. At least I can move now though :)

      Reply
  19. Yum…I love churros and your long squiggly ones look so crispy and good. Sorry about your back…I was having the same problem two weeks ago. Thankfully, I am back to normal and I hope you will be soon.

    Reply
    • Thanks Karen – glad you’re not having problems yourself anymore :)

      Reply
  20. Hi Charles,
    I really hope your back starts to feel better.
    I had no idea that churros are so easy to make. I love eating these and I am happy to find this recipe on your website.

    Reply
    • Hi Asmita – don’t they make the perfect dessert or snack? They’re so yummy :)

      Reply
  21. Please take care charles :( Have lots of rest and try not to overwork yourself anymore. The churros look divine, I love the pattern of their swirls, and never thought you could make your own just like that. Dipped into that strawberry jam, it must have been awesome! Anyway, hope to hear you up and about tmr!

    Reply
    • Thanks Shuhan – My back was getting better while I was laid up. Having been back at work I have to say it’s getting a bit painful again, but I’ll have to see how it goes!

      Reply
  22. Charles, so sorry to hear about your back… backs are tricky business and it’s so hard to know what may or may not set it off. I’ve found core strengthening (pilates/yoga) really helpful. Do take care of yourself and take the time you need to recover. Thinking of you… I’ve never tasted a churro but I think I would prefer this version over traditional donuts which I’m not very fond of. I especially like the idea of the dip to accompany. Very nice photos Charles! (you make them look so inviting enveloped in the paper – almost like french fries!!! :)).

    Reply
    • Thanks Kelly – I have to say I love donuts too, but churros are definitely a wonderful alternative. I’m going to have to look into some good exercise regimen to help strengthen my back and avoid further problems!

      Reply
  23. i am no expert but i would think that a nice dozen or so of these churros would help the back feel better. At least I think it would work for me! LOL! Hope your back gets to feeling better and soon

    Reply
    • Thanks KB – well, they do say “a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down” :D

      Reply
  24. I’d forgotten just how much I love churros until I saw your cute curly ones, Charles! And a version with orange, maybe some cinnamon and then dipped in chocolate…now I really want some! Take care of that back, and I’m so sorry you’re having that trouble. We forget how precious our backs are until they start giving us trouble.

    Reply
    • Thanks so much Betsy – it’s a little better now… at least I can move, lol :D

      Reply
  25. I realize that I am way behind but Happy Anniversary to you and your wife. I will have to try churros, I have never had them before. Hope you back is better.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Suzi – do let me know if you give them a try, and enjoy! :)

      Reply
  26. I was intrigued by the title. I hope your back feels better now – it really is so important to look after your back. I Love churros and have never dared make my own as I don’t like deep frying anything at home. Yours looks even better than the ones I normally buy at the market.

    Reply
    • Hi BakingAddict – I never used to like deep-frying, but after doing it a bit I realised it’s not really anything to be afraid of. I keep my oil thermometer in the pan, and have a fire-blanket close by in case the worst happens :)

      Reply
  27. Oh no Charles! I hope you’re feeling a bit better now, that’s terrible. But then I sort of understand that ‘man-child mind’ sort of state..I see it happening with my brother all the time, he acts totally differently around girls! My dad also hurt his back when he was young and similarly, he was carrying something bulky and heavy by himself. He has random days of not being able to get up once every few years. It’s quite scary when it happens really. :(

    I love churros, but had a bad experience with them recently, yours looks lovely though, never tried making them at home. :)

    Reply
    • Thanks Jenny – feeling much better now, thanks – at least I can walk now :) I hope you can get over your bad churros experience and give them a try. They’re best when they’re fresh. Hot and crispy! Sometimes a store near me sells them but they’re always cooked in the morning and sold throughout the day so if you go in the afternoon you have something which is cold, soggy and not nice at all!

      Reply
  28. Thankfully you have a wonderful wife to care for you! I’m sure these churros will have helped your recovery tremendously!!

    Reply
    • Thanks Barb – a wonderful wife indeed! She was fantastic in picking up the slack in the food preparation and clean-up when I was laid up :)

      Reply
  29. I remember A_Boleyn’s churros post! Wow you made it too, and oh my these look amazing!!! I think once you eat homemade you will never go back to store bought.

    I had my back injury when my son was 2 and I picked him up at the beach. Ever since that incidence, here and there my back just gives up. I’m so scared to pick up kids in a wrong position. Hope it’s a lot better by now… I hate backache because it always come back… :-(

    Reply
    • Hi Nami – I didn’t know you had back problems too sometimes! It’s terrible isn’t it? And you’re right… it always sneaks up on you and comes back. Usually caused by something so innocent too… you don’t consider that maybe you did real damage until many years later :(

      Reply