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Fried Choux Pastries (Churros)

ingredients

serves 4
Sufficient vegetable oil for deep frying
Icing (confectioners') sugar, sifted

for the choux pastry

150 ml (5 fl oz) 5/8 cup Water
40 g (1 1/2 oz) 3 Tbs Butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp Salt
Pinch of grated nutmeg
150 g (5 oz) 1 1/4 cups Flour
3 Medium eggs

method

1. First make the pastry. Bring the water to the boil over moderate heat. Add the butter, salt and nutmeg. When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and beat in the flour. Continue beating until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan.

2. One by one, beat the eggs into the mixture, beating each one into the dough until it is well blended before adding the next. When the eggs have all been completely absorbed, the mixture should be thick and somewhat glossy. Set aside to cool. Spoon the dough into a piping bag with a 1 cm (1/2 in) plain nozzle.

3. Fill a large saucepan one-third full with oil and heat until it reaches 180°C (350°F) on a deep-fat thermometer, or until a small cube of stale bread dropped into the oil turns golden in 55 seconds.

4. Holding the piping bag in your left hand, squeeze out 20 cm (8 in) lengths of the dough into the hot oil, cutting the lengths with scissors. Do not cook more than two or three lengths at a time. Deep-fry the pastries for about 8 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the churros from the oil and drain on kitchen towels.

5. Sprinkle with icing (confectioners') sugar and serve hot. Or set aside to cool, sprinkle with icing (confectioners') sugar and serve cold.

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