For the Hot Chocolate
Dutch-processed cocoa powder
8 -12 ounces
semisweet chocolate, chopped
For the Churros
light olive oil, not extra-virgin
1 1/4 cups
unbleached all-purpose flour
peanut oil or
( for deep frying)
heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
- Pour 5 1/2 cups milk into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Add the remaining 1/2 cup milk to form a smooth paste.
- Heat the milk over medium heat and add cocoa mixture just before the milk boils.
- Allow to boil, stirring constantly for one minute or until slightly thickened.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and 8 ounces of the chocolate. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and combined. Add more chocolate, little by little, to taste.
- Set aside and keep warm.
- Start the churros.
- Combine the water, olive oil, and salt in a medium heavy-bottomed non-aluminum saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Remove from heat and add all the flour. Stir briskly with a wooden spoon until the dough gathers in a clump around the spoon and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
- Place the pan over medium heat and stir the batter briskly for 30-60 seconds more to dry out any excess moisture and eliminate raw flour taste.
- Turn the dough out onto an aluminum foil-lined work area.
- Pat the dough into an 8 inch circle and let cool for 5 minutes. Return the dough to the pan.
- One at a time, beat the eggs into the dough, stirring briskly after each addition just until the egg is fully incorporated and the dough is smooth.
- The dough should end up smooth, slightly sticky, and malleable, but firm enough to form soft peaks and hold its shape when piped or scooped.
- Pour 3 inches of oil into a heavy pan or deep fryer. Heat the oil to 365°F.
- Meanwhile, stir the sugar and cinnamon together in a large, shallow dish.
- Put a large, star-shaped pastry tip into a pastry bag and pipe strips or coils of dough into the hot oil.
- Fry one large spiral or 4 strips at a time.
- Fry until golden brown, using tongs to turn the pastries about 2 minutes per side.
- Use a wire-mesh skimmer to transfer the hot churros to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- While still warm, roll the churros in the cinnamon-sugar.
- Place churros on a baking sheet and keep warm at 200°F in an oven.
- Betwen each batch of churros, allow the oil to return to 365°F
- When all the churros are finished, gently rewarm hot chocolate if necessary.
- Pour the hot chocolate into six 1-cup bowls or cups and top each with a dollop of whipped cream. Serve with churros for dipping.