For a new venture I introduced chef-inspired daily delicious ice-cream, made from all natural seasonal ingredients, available to take home from the restaurant. To promote this offer I created a fun spin on the classic tubular churros. We piped them flat like tacos so you can eat your ice-cream and churros together, rather than dipping them. The churros can be either fried or baked. Both elements in the dish can be made in advance so you can have a delicious dessert at a moment’s notice.
- rice bran oil for frying
- cinnamon sugar for dusting
- Salted caramel sauce (see below), to serve
- Nut praline (see below), to serve
Salted caramel ice-cream
- 8 large egg yolks
- 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) pouring (single/light) cream
- 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) fullcream (whole) milk
- ½ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- 165 g (6 oz/¾ cup) sugar
- 1½ tsp sea salt
- 100 g (3½ oz) butter
- finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) plain (allpurpose) flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 3 large eggs
Salted caramel sauce
- 145 g (5 oz/⅔ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- 180 ml (6 fl oz) pouring (single/light) cream
- 1½ tsp sea salt
- 125 g (4½ oz) hazelnuts, pistachio nuts or blanched almonds
- 45 g (1½ oz/½ cup) flaked almonds
- 140 g (5 oz/⅔ cup) sugar
- 2½ tbsp liquid glucose
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.
Chilling time 30 minutes
Freezing time 4 hours
Resting time 10 minutes
To prepare the ice-cream, place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk until pale. Combine the cream, milk and vanilla bean and seeds in a medium saucepan and heat until simmering. Set aside.
Combine the sugar and 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) water in a medium heavy-based saucepan set over medium–low heat and cook until the sugar begins to caramelise. Swirl the sugar to help create an even caramel.
Gradually pour in the hot cream mixture, stirring continuously to combine. Take care it doesn’t splatter. Add the salt and cook over low heat until all the caramel is melted.
Gradually pour the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, stirring to combine. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, or the temperature reaches 85°C (185°F) on a sugar thermometer.
Pour the custard into a stainless steel bowl and set it over a larger bowl of iced water, stirring, to chill rapidly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Once chilled, remove the vanilla bean, pour the salted caramel custard into an ice-cream machine and churn as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 4 hours, or until firm, before use.
To prepare the churros tacos, combine 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) water with the butter and orange zest in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat.
Combine the flour, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Add the flour mixture to the boiling water and stir to come together to make a dough. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the dough forms a ball and comes away from the side of the pan.
Transfer the dough to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the dough, adding the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, to incorporate and make a smooth and glossy paste. Set the dough aside to rest for 10 minutes.
Cut four 10 cm (4 in) squares of baking paper.
Spoon the dough into a piping (icing) bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe the mixture onto the paper squares in a spiral, circular fashion, working from the inside out, to form approximately 10 cm (4 in) diameter discs. Store in the freezer until required.
To cook, pour enough rice bran oil into a large deep frying pan to fill it 4 cm (1½ in) deep. Heat the oil to 180°C (350°F).
Carefully slide the piped papers of churros into the oil, 2 at a time. Fry for 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Dust with cinnamon sugar.
Serve the churros tacos on plates while still warm, top with a scoop of ice-cream, drizzle generously with salted caramel sauce and sprinkle with praline.
Sprinkle the sugar over the base of a medium saucepan. Gently heat over low, until the sugar begins to caramelise. Swirl the sugar to help create an even caramel. Gradually add the cream, stirring continuously, to make a smooth sauce. Add the salt and stir until dissolved. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Spread the hazelnuts and the flaked almonds over separate trays. Roast the hazelnuts for 5–8 minutes and the flaked almonds for 3–5 minutes, until golden.
Place the hazelnuts in a clean tea towel (dish towel) and rub to remove the skins.
Lightly grease a small baking tray with cooking spray.
Place the sugar and glucose in a medium heavy-based saucepan. Gently heat over low heat until the sugar begins to caramelise. Swirl the sugar mixture to help create an even caramel. Add the nuts, stirring constantly, to combine.
Pour the nutty caramel onto the greased tray and allow to cool.
Once cool, crush the praline into rough pieces with a rolling pin. Transfer to a food processor and coarsely blend.
Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
• Churros dough can be made and piped into shape in advance. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a month. Store salted caramel ice-cream in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Recipe and image from Cantina by Paul Wilson (Hardie Grant Books, $49.95, hbk, available here)