HBK Incubates‘ Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop delivers small-batch cookies and cookie pies, baked with mostly organic, fair trade or non-GMO ingredients. Owner Susan Palmer shared her favorite recipe for a sweet Valentine’s Day treat: fresh churros with a cinnamon and cayenne-spiced chocolate sauce.
For the churros:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon cane sugar + 1 cup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon + 1 1/2 teaspoons
1 cup water
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 large egg
vegetable oil for frying
For the chocolate sauce:
2 cups whole milk
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and water. Heat until the butter is melted, then add the flour. With a wooden spoon, mix the flour with the liquid and cook for about 2-3 minutes until the dough forms into a ball and rolls around the pan.
Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes before adding the egg. It’ll look curdled at first but the egg will combine the with the rest of the dough.
Let the dough cool down for about 10 minutes before adding to a pastry bag filled with a large star tip.
Fill a dutch oven or large pot with deep sides with oil, about two inches deep. Attach a fry thermometer and heat the oil until it reaches 375 degrees.
Pipe the dough directly into the oil or pipe the shapes onto parchment paper first. Pipe small circles or 3″ long sticks, whatever you prefer. Very carefully drop the piped dough into the oil (five or six pieces at a time, so as not to crowd the pot) and fry for two minutes, using chopsticks to flip the dough over for even browning.
In between batches, make sure the oil comes back up to the correct temperature so the churros won’t be greasy.
Drain on a paper towel before tossing with cinnamon sugar.
For the cinnamon sugar: mix 1 cup of sugar with 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon in a brown paper bag or large bowl.
To make the chocolate sauce – in a medium saucepan, combine the milk, chocolate, cornstarch, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and salt. Bring to a simmer and stir until the chocolate is melted. Bring up to a boil and then back down to a simmer: the sauce should be thickened at this point.
Serve the dipping sauce hot with the churros. They’re best served the day they’re made.