Fried and tested

Whole wheat churros with chocolate, fleur de sel and orange sauce

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Unless you are willing to settle for an apple, there is no such thing as a healthy dessert. But surely there are numerous ways in which you can cut down on your dessert’s calories.

One such trick is to replace refined flour with whole wheat. While both the ingredients work flawlessly as bases for simple desserts such as tea cakes, sweet breads and mud cakes, it gets complex if daredevilry is on your mind.

When it comes to bakes such as croissants, éclairs, soufflés and other French-sounding names, whole wheat doesn’t work as well as refined flour. This is because with fine flour, an impeccable buttery, flaky exterior or a moist interior is guaranteed, but with whole wheat, the bake turns out tad bit denser than then usual.

Thankfully, when it comes to churros, whole wheat seems work equally well. Also known as Spanish doughnuts, churros are long pipes made using a combination of flour, water and yeast. The technique to make them is very similar to a Maharashtraian snack known as chakli.

To make them, the batter is filled in a piping bag topped with a star-shaped nozzle. The paste is squeezed out in hot oil and fried to obtain crisp, brown, rigged pipes that are dusted with sugar and cinnamon before serving. The dessert is ideally chomped with  a generous helping of molten chocolate sauce.

My churros are healthier than traditional ones. Since eating fried food in itself is a guilty ride, I thought swapping flours would make it a comfortable one.

I’ve teamed the tubes with a hot chocolate sauce that has been spiked with a touch of orange zest and fleur de sel. While the former addition adds fragrance and fruitiness to the dense sauce, the latter helps in offsetting the sweetness of chocolate.

Ingredients for whole wheat churros: 200 gm whole wheat flour, 50 gm refined flour, 80 gm caster sugar, 1 tbsp cinnamon powder, a pinch of fleur de sel or sea salt, 2 tbsp butter, 400 ml hot water, oil for frying

Ingredients for chocolate and orange sauce: 100 gm bitter/dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids, 25 gm milk chocolate, zest of 1 orange, 1 tbsp fresh orange juice, 100 ml full-fat cream, a pinch of fleur de sel

Method to make whole wheat churros:

– In a bowl, sift both the flours.

– Add caster sugar, cinnamon and fleur de sel to it.

– Pour butter and water into this and mix the mixture to obtain soft and paste-like batter.

– Fill a piping bag with this paste and use the star-shaped nozzle on top.

– Heat oil and release 3-4 inch lines of dough to make churros.

– Deep fry the churros on a low flame until they are perfectly brown and crispy.

– Drain on a kitchen paper and dust them with powdered sugar when it they are still hot.

Method to make chocolate and orange sauce:

– Finely chopped both the chocolates and heat them in a microwave.

– In a heavy-bottomed pan, pour chocolate, orange juice and cream.

– Once all the ingredients have mixed well. Add orange zest, fleur de sel and give it a final mix.

– Remove in a serving bowl and serve hot with churros.

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