Hot Chocolate with Churros
Thick, rich hot chocolate, with a texture somewhere between a drink and a sauce, accompanies these crisp deep-fried churros dusted with cinnamon-sugar. Make sure to serve the churros piping hot, and dip them deeply into the molten chocolate.
For the hot chocolate:
- 3/4 cup (2 1/4 oz./65 g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup (3 oz./90 g) sugar
- 3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml) whole milk
- 1 1/2 tsp. arrowroot or cornstarch
For the churros:
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 Tbs. sugar
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Canola oil for deep-frying
- 1 long strip lemon zest
- 1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
To make the hot chocolate, in a heavy saucepan, whisk together the cocoa and sugar. Place the saucepan over low heat and vigorously stir in 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) of the milk, a few tablespoonfuls at a time. When the mixture is smooth, stir in the remaining 2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz./625 ml) milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, dissolve the arrowroot in 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) cold water. Stir into the hot chocolate. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
To make the churros, in a saucepan, bring 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) water, the salt and 1 Tbs. of the sugar to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and immediately add the flour. Beat with a wooden spoon until the dough is very smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 2 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then beat in the eggs, about 1 Tbs. at a time. Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.
Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Pour oil to a depth of 1 inch (2.5 cm) into a deep, heavy fry pan and warm over medium heat until it reaches 350°F (180°C) on a deep-frying thermometer. Add the lemon zest and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Discard the zest. Pipe several strips of dough, each 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) long, directly into the hot oil, using a small knife to cut the strips free from the piping tip and dipping the knife in the oil before each cut. (Be careful not to crowd the pan.) Fry the churros, turning as needed, until golden brown and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain briefly on the paper towels, then place in a large bowl. Continue frying in batches.
In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon and the remaining 2 Tbs. sugar. Sprinkle over the churros and toss to coat. Serve with the hot chocolate. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day, by Kim Laidlaw (Weldon Owen, 2013)