Let’s face it: by no mean climate is Finland’s big thing. Finnish weather excel in the extremes: the frosty winter when everything around is covered in a fluffy, magical, enchanting layer of white and the warm summer, when colours are so overwhelmingly strong and lively that thsy can almost be perceived with senses other sight, they almost have a smell and a sound. But the summer is usually too short and, even worse, winter is unbearably long.
Since I moved to Finland everybody seems concerned about how I can survive to the dark of winter, which really is not a big deal for me. Especially on a clear day like today, the amount of light is more than enough to not feel too bad for the dark night; but what really bothers me is the length of the whole cold season. Finnish calendar may have very specific dates for when winter starts and finishes and last 3 months like anywhere else but by the standard of a simple southern European girl used to go around in T-shirt from mid March to mid October, winter is so much longer, at least 6 months of hats, scarf, gloves and that what is really difficult to swallow.
In a situation like this and especially in January, the month unanimously considered like the least exciting of the whole year, one need a little treat every now and then, something spoling and comforting. It could be an old loved movie that we haven’t seen in ages, a long chat with a dear friends after long time, a free Sunday afternoon to spend under a blanket doing nothing, or something to eat that feels like a warm cuddle.
When it comes to the perfect winter treat, I think I have just found the perfect one. I called them Choux-rros becasue the whole thing started from the idea of making churros, last weekend at my house. We wanted something sweet, quick to prepare and simple.
Then I started to look into churros recipes and although I love them, in that particular moment I knew we needed something a bit richer a bit more decadent and I decided to make a little experiment. Instead of using a basic churros batter, I have prepared a basic choux pastry, normally used for thing like profiteroles and eclairs. In addition to fluor and water, choux pastry contains also milk, butter and egg. the way the pastry is made allows for the moisture in the pastry to form steam while cooking which makes it extremely light and moist.
My little french-spanish fusion was a real success, really tasty and rich yet light and not too overwhelming. for that reason I decided to share my experiment here. We coated the choux-rros with sugar and cinnamon, but simple sugar can be enough and, like their original Spanish relatives, they excel with something rich, velevety and slightly bitter like a dark chocolate sauce.
One last tip: the Choux-rros are best eaten out of the pan piping hot, but if, like me, you prefer to make a lage batch to have a stash aside for difficult days, they freeze quite well too. Once deforsted and slightly warmed in the microwave they loos a bit of their crispiness but not their amazing flavour, lightness and comforting feeling.
Have you alla good Sunday!
125ml full fat milk
100gr butter diced
150gr plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 lt frying oil
Combine milk, water, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring to boil. Take the pan off the heat and shower in the flour, mixing with a wisker to avoid that any lump. return the pan to a medium heat and by countinuously mixing with a wooden spoon cook the flour off properly, until the paste is dry a homogeneous.
Take the pan off the heat, place the paste in a bowl and let cool to room temperature. by using a wooden spoon or an electric mix, incorporate the 4 eggs slowly one by one. The paste should be smooth and shiny with a thick ribbon consistency.
Prepare a piping bag with a star shaped nozzle and fill it with the paste. Warm the oil in a large frying pan and when very hot start piping the paste in long sticks, cut with sharp scissors. Fry until golden brown, drain and coat with sugar. The sugar can be flavoured with cinnamon, other spices, lemon or orange zest.