The Mexican buñuelo is a descendant of Spanish churros and comes in many forms: a flat stretched disc of dough, a classic ring-shaped doughnut or a simple ball. Usually scented with anise and soaked in brown sugar syrup, this twist on the recipe and adds pecans and coffee anglaise to wonderful effect.
- ⅓ cup ground cinnamon
- 75 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 300 ml milk
- 2 tbsp freshly ground coffee beans
- 3 egg yolks
- 80 g sugar
- 500 ml (2 cups) water
- ½ tsp salt
- 60 g unsalted butter
- 240 g plain flour, sifted
- 4 eggs, whisked
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 100 g pecans, slightly roasted
- 1 litre (4 cups) grape seed oil (see Note)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time 20 minutes
To make the cinnamon sugar, combine ingredients in a medium heatproof bowl. Set aside.
To make the anglaise, split the vanilla bean lengthways. Scrape out and reserve the seeds. In a small heavy-based saucepan, bring the milk and vanilla bean to the boil, then add the ground coffee. Remove from the heat and cover to infuse for 10 minutes.
Whisk yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then add the vanilla seeds. Strain the coffee-infused milk, then slowly add it to the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
Pour the mixture into a clean small saucepan and return to a medium heat. Stir continuously until sauce thickens. The anglaise is ready when it coats the back of a spoon, or reaches 78˚C. Remove the anglaise from the pan and transfer a bowl, then whisk for 1 minute to cool.
To prepare the pastry, place the water, salt and butter in a saucepan and bring to boil. Add the flour and stir vigorously over low heat until smooth and the dough starts to come away from the sides of the pan.
Cool for 10 minutes, then while beating the mixture with a spoon, add egg a little at a time until incorporated. Add the baking powder and pecans, then let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Heat oil to 190˚C. Using two teaspoons, form small balls of dough and drop them into the oil. (Coat the spoons in a little oil to help the ball come off smoothly and be sure to drop them in from a close distance to avoid any hot oil splashes.) Cook for 90 seconds on each side, then remove and place immediately into the cinnamon sugar.
Serve warm with the coffee anglaise.
• Grape seed oil is preferred for this recipe as is has a clean flavour, but a good quality vegetable oil will work well too.