Back in 2014 we got a glimpse of Mexican culture and Dia De Los Muertos in a film, “The Book of Life”. With “The Book of Life 2” scheduled to release next year and another seemingly cute look at the ethos of Dia De Los Muertos with the upcoming Fall release of “Coco”, I thought this would be a wonderful time to go back and watch “The Book of Life” once again.
The Book of Life is a gorgeous animation that tells the story of the legend of Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. A conflicted hero and dreamer, Manolo sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds where he must face his greatest fears in order to rescue his one true love and defend his village.
As Halloween is quickly approaching this month, “The Book of Life” is a vibrant fantasy-adventure that is a holiday delight and exuberantly bursts at the seams with irresistible cultural pride. A lovely treat to enjoy with this movie is Churros with Chocolate Sauce. A Churro is a fried-dough pastry that is usually eaten for breakfast dipped in champurrado, hot chocolate, dulce de leche or café con leche. The Churro batter is piped into hot oil and fried until they become crunchy, and may be sprinkled with sugar. Each part of the Latin world serves these differently and in Mexico Churros are usually filled with dulce de leche or cajeta but also with chocolate and vanilla. So, I’m serving Churros with Chocolate Sauce.
Normally you would put 6 to 8 inch pieces of batter into oil to make long strips of Churro, however I made mini Churros because I find it easier to pour into the oil and it is helpful so that you don’t have to use a very large pot to fit the long pieces of Churros. My chocolate sauce is a bit thick, you can add more cream to lighten it.
¼ cup caster sugar (superfine sugar)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
oil for frying
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup chocolate morsels
- Combine sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl, set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the water, salt, sugar, and olive oil. Bring the mixture to a boil then remove it from the heat. Stir in the flour and baking powder, mixing with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball.
- Heat about 2 inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 375ºF.
- Transfer the dough to a cloth pastry bag or heavy-duty plastic bag fitted with a large star tip.
- Squeeze a 3-4 inch strip of dough into the hot oil. Fry the churros, turning them once, until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes per side.
- Transfer the cooked churros to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat, frying 4 or 6 strips at a time.
- Roll churros in the sugar and cinnamon mixture. It's ready to serve.
- To make the chocolate for dunking: Heat heavy cream, add chocolate, and let it sit for 1 minute then stir to combine.
- Serve churros and sauce while still warm.