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First, boil in water the tablets of tsokolate (say ‘cho-ko-lah-te’), add milk and then put it aside. Warm it again if needed just before serving. It is good served piping hot.
Second, make the churros. On a hot deep fryer, stove top, deep fry these churros. They will cook in just 2 to 3 minutes. This is an AsianInAmericamag recipe and yielded 30 pieces of churros and 4 small cups of tsokolate.
water - 1 cup, for churros
unsalted butter - 1/2 cup or 1 stick, room temperature
salt - 1/2 teaspoon
all purpose flour - 1 cup
eggs - 4 large whole
Filipino tablea chocolates - 4 tablets (from Asian markets, or online sources for Filipino groceries)
water - 1 cup, for tsokolate drink
heavy cream - 1 cup
granulated sugar - 1 cup
vegetable or corn oil - 1/4 cup, for frying churros
How to make the churros: In a medium pot, over high heat, add the water, salt, butter and bring to a rolling boil. Add the flour and blend well into the mixture. Lower heat to medium high. Mix all ingredients till it is a solid, smooth blend and the sides leave the pan, and coat the spoon.
Remove from stove top. Keep mixing well so temperature of batter cools slightly. Add the eggs one at a time. Make sure temperature of batter has cooled so eggs don’t get cooked before they’re supposed to. Blend all ingredients by hand with a cooking spoon well. Return to the stove top, over medium heat; keep mixing till it looks glossy and smooth – for about 5 minutes more.
Remove from heat. Allow mixture to cool for 8 to 10 minutes. When mix is not too hot, place the thick batter into a large resealable Ziploc bag. Cut the tip so you can squeeze out the batter to form into long strips. Or if preferred, put the batter in a pastry bag, add decorator tip # 21 and squeeze out the long strips.
Meanwhile, prepare a large skillet. Over medium high heat, add the cooking oil. After 2 to 3 minutes the oil will be hot enough to deep fry the churros. Slowly squeeze out the churros batter from the Ziploc bag into long strips measuring 4 inches long, straight into the deep fry skillet. Squeeze out several pieces, but do not overcrowd them or the cooking oil temperature will go down and will not result in crisp churros. Let the churros fry and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, turning with a turner or tongs. The churros will puff up and become golden brown. Drain on paper towels or parchment paper to remove excess oil. When churros have cooled after 5 minutes, sprinkle granulated sugar on them. Serve hot together with the tsokolate.
To make the tsokolate: In a small deep pot, place the tableas, and water. Over medium high heat, whisk well as the tableas start to melt, and the solid tablets turn to liquid in about 8 to 10 minutes. Mix and incorporate the melted chocolate with the water. Add the heavy cream and sugar.
To serve: Pour the hot tsokolate in a small demitasse cup that can contain about ½ cup. Serve together with the freshly made deep fried churros. Dunk churros into the tskolate one at a time as you eat and drink along.
Cook's comments: When whisking the tsokolate drink, Filipinos use a handheld wooden 'batirol' (say 'bah-ti-rol') or the Spanish-sounding 'batidor', which is a short, slim rolling-pin look-alike. This is a heirloom kitchen gadget specifically used to mix the tsokolate. There are now wooden replicas sold in Manila, right next to where the tableas are sold. However, for faster results, I used a wire whisk in this recipe.
Recipe Notes: The Filipino tablea package I bought from the Asian market contained a pack of 10 cacao tablets, with a total net weight of 7.05 ounces or 200 g. You can find these at Asian markets, in the Philippine aisle. Online groceries selling ethnic or Asian products may also have them. In the Philippines, they are widely available in supermarkets, neighborhood groceries, major department stores, artisan food bazaars.
Elizabeth Ann Quirino, based in New Jersey, is a journalist, food writer and member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). She blogs about Filipino home cooking and culinary travels to the Philippines on her site AsianInAmericamag.com.
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