I love Madrid. I mean really love it. It’s in the blood. And if I haven’t visited for a while, I get a craving for the heat (‘Three months of winter, nine months of hell,’), the huge blue skies, and churros con chocolate for breakfast.
If you’ve never had the joy of eating churros, they are long, crisp, choux-pastry style donuts that are deep-fried. They are served with cups of hot chocolate, thick enough to stand a spoon up in. The churros are dipped into the chocolate and gobbled up. It’s the most indulgent breakfast known to man, and sometimes I just have to have it.
This morning I could’ve got away with lounging in bed whilst the kids watch cartoons, but churros are on my mind and I am up and out as soon as the shop opens, for a litre of sunflower oil and 100g of dark chocolate. Everything else you require for churros is store cupboard stuff, plus half a dozen eggs and a strong arm for whisking.
The children are overjoyed to hear what’s for breakfast, and they abandon the telly to help out. I beat the choux pastry, Daisy melts the chocolate and adds the milk and corn flour (to thicken), and Ollie sprinkles cinnamon sugar over the crisp, golden churros once they’ve been fried. It’s chaotic happiness. We test each batch until we reach perfection.
As we sit down to eat, Ollie dips his first churro into the unctuous chocolate, “Ummm, I definitely remember this!” He exclaims. How could you forget? We get through a whole plate of the cinnamony donuts in seconds, and it makes everyone so happy that I wonder why we don’t make them more often.
Ollie’s first churro at ten months old
Later, I send photos to my dad of our churros-making. He is at home in Madrid, ill with flu and watching Inspector Lynley, (the Spanish have never mastered the skill of making good detective dramas). Out of his window he can see Jamie’s Bar, our usual haunt for breakfast when we are in Madrid. Fingers crossed, we’ll be back soon, but until then we’ll just have to keep making our own churros con chocolate.
Churros at Jamie’s Bar, Madrid – summer 2014
If you’d like to have a go, we used the recipe below and doubled all quantities to feed four. I exchanged the milk for coconut milk to make the hot chocolate dairy-free and no one noticed! We also added three tbsp of sugar to it, as the dark chocolate makes it bitter.