Churros con Chocolate

To make the dough for the churros, put the butter, the salt and 225ml 
(8fl oz) water in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Once the butter has melted, add the plain flour, whisking it on a low heat for about a minute or until the mixture forms a smooth ball. Remove from the heat.

Beat the eggs in a separate small bowl along with the vanilla extract and the tablespoon of caster sugar. Gradually add this mixture to the dough, beating it all the time until it comes together as a silky-smooth paste. Spoon the mixture into a bowl, cover it and place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to allow it to set a little. After this time, remove it from the fridge and spoon the dough into a piping bag that has a large star nozzle.

Mix together the 50g (2 oz) of caster sugar and the teaspoon of ground cinnamon, then spread the mixture out on a plate. Preheat the oven to the lowest temperature. Heat a deep-fat fryer filled with sunflower oil to 180°C, 350°F. Alternatively, pour the sunflower oil into a large saucepan to a depth of 2cm (¾in) and bring to the same temperature on the hob (checking with a sugar thermometer, or using a 1cm (½ in) 
cube of bread, which should sizzle and turn nicely golden brown in about 
30-40 seconds).

Working in batches of about 3-4 at a time, carefully squeeze 8cm (3in) strips of dough into the preheated sunflower oil, slicing the dough from the nozzle with a knife, being careful not to burn yourself on the very hot oil. Deep-fry the strips for about 3-4 minutes or until they are golden brown, turning them halfway through cooking. Briefly drain the strips on kitchen paper before rolling them in the cinnamon sugar to coat, then put them in the oven, uncovered, to keep warm while you make the rest.

As the churros cook, make the chocolate sauce. Put the cream in a saucepan on a high heat and bring it to a simmer, then remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it has completely melted.

Pour the chocolate sauce into serving cups or bowls and serve with the warm churros for dunking.

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