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Asked by gretaparker. Answered on 28th May 2011

Full question

Hello I followed Nigella's recipe for Churros (Kitchen, p438) today, they sort of worked and the chocolate sauce was delicious, but the inside of the churros remained rather thick and gooey. I deep fried them until they were golden brown, kept them warm in oven until all were cooked and left them to stand for 5-10 mins, but the inside had not puffed up, they seemed rather dense. Am I doing something wrong with the actual mixture, or do they need longer cooking. What do you suggest? thanks Greta

Our answer

The churros recipe in Kitchen is made with baking powder rather than eggs so may not be quite as puffy as some of the churros than contain eggs - but they are just as delicious! However we suspect here that the temperature of the oil may be the main issue. With all deep-fried foods the oil temperature is important as if the oil is too hot then the outside of the food browns before the inside is cooked though and if the oil is too cool then the food will absorb oil and become greasy and soggy.

The oil temperature here should be 170c/350F. If at all possible use a sugar thermometer (candy thermometer) to measure the temperature of the oil - some of the models available come with a handy clip so that you can clip the thermometer upright in the saucepan and keep a regular check of the temperature. If you don't have a thermometer then a cube of bread should brown in about 30 seconds. Once the oil has reached the correct temperature you may need to turn the heat source down slightly to maintain a constant temperature. Add only a few churros at a time to the pan as the oil temperature drops as the food is added and takes a short while to come back to the correct temperature - but the more churros you add, the more the temperature will drop and it will take longer to come back to the correct level. Finally make sure that the oil comes back to the correct temperature in between cooking batches of the churros.

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