There’s just something special about batter, deep fried and covered in sugar.
A while back, the lovely Nikki Rappaport of Cupcakes for Breakfast spent the afternoon catching up. Talking food, coffee, work, and romance. What more could you ask of a pretty autumn Saturday?
Funnel cakes are what we used to eat as preteens at Knott’s Berry Farm. Or Six Flags — and we’d cover them in sugar, strawberries, and ice cream.
My most recent, authentic excursion with fried dough was in Mexico. Back in July, my close friend and former roommate took a spontaneous week-long vacation in a tiny fisherman’s town on the Gulf of Mexico, just between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. We stayed in a guest house hotel that I cannot wait to get back to, and we biked a humid but worthwhile 2.3 miles to a pristine, crystal clear coastline — pretty much every morning.
At night, we’d explore the hustle and bustle of the locals: tacos, mojitos, and a little cart that had fresh churros. We ordered two churros in semi-broken Spanish, assuming we would get two little gnarled churritos, but he handed us two bags filled to the brim.
Bikini conscious, we drunkenly ate a couple of them. A few minutes later, we ate a couple more. And luckily, halfway back to the hotel, we were followed by an adorable dog without a name. He normally greeted us just outside of our hotel gate as we left for our morning bike rides — but we fed him the rest of the churros, and then we promptly named him Churrito.
I’m itching to go back to that little hotel. And given the severity of my puppy fever, I might just adopt Churrito.
1 cup water
3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs and 2 egg whites
Vegetable oil, for frying
Powdered sugar, for topping
In a medium saucepan, boil the water, butter, sugar, and salt. Slowly add flour, stirring until mixture forms a ball of dough. Then, transfer the dough into a stand mixer to cool for about 5 minutes (so the hot mixture won’t scramble the eggs). With the mixer on its lowest speed, add each egg, making sure each egg is fully incorporating before adding the next egg. Once the dough is smooth, transfer the batter into a piping bag with a simple, round tip. The batter expands when fried, so a smaller tip is better.
In a dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat about 1.5 inches of vegetable oil over medium heat. Pipe the batter into oil, forming little lattices. Cook until browned, and flip each cake once. Remove cake from oil, and drain vertically on several paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.