Saturday, 17 September 2016

GBBO 2016 Week 4 - Coconut Churro Hearts with White Chocolate and Pistachio Custard

Week 4 in the tent saw a first – batter! All of these challenges looked fun, and nothing seemed too meticulous/fancy for me :D
 I started with some churros – I was really impressed by Benjamina’s tropical churros, but also loved Jane’s white chocolate and pistachio sauce, which turned out to be more of a custard.
So, I decided to combine the two.
I was really happy with my churro hearts – the dough was lovely to pipe, and fried really nicely. I don’t own a deep fat fryer, so used a large pan with a sugar thermometer. Just make sure to check the temperature of the oil regularly, as if it drops too low the churros will get greasy, and too high, the churros might explode!
I adapted the custard recipe slightly, but the end result was chocolately and nutty – very nice. I might try the same recipe with milk chocolate in future though – I do love churros and chocolate :)

Easily makes 18 churros


For the custard:
  • 150g (1 cup) shelled pistachios
  • 65g (2/3 cup) icing sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 25g (2 tbsp) butter
  • 50g (1/4 cup) white chocolate, finely chopped

For the churros:
  • 130g (2/3 cup) dessicated coconut
  • 60g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 300ml (1 1/3 cups) water
  • 180ml (3/4 cup) milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 25g (2 tbsp) butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 180g (1&1/2 cups) plain flour


1. Start by making the custard. Preheat the oven to 200c/400f/gas mark 6. Line the base of a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. Pour the pistachios onto the tray and roast for 3-5 minutes, until fragrant. Leave to cool, then blend with the icing sugar until it is a fine powder.

3. Heat the milk in a medium saucepan until it is just bubbling. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and pistachio/sugar mixture. 

4. Once the milk is bubbling, pour the milk onto the egg mixture slowly, whisking constantly.

5. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, and cook on a low heat, stirring constantly, until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. This only takes a few minutes.

6. Sieve the custard to remove any larger fragments of pistachio. Add the butter and white chocolate to the sieved custard and stir until melted. Set aside.

7. Make the churros. Take 30g of the dessicated coconut and blend it with 50g of the caster sugar. Set aside as this will be used for dipping after baking.

8. Add the remaining 100g dessicated coconut to a frying pan (without any oil), and toast on a medium heat. Once it changes colour to a light brown, take off the heat and set aside to cool.

9. Pour the water, milk, butter, salt, vanilla extract, 10g of sugar and coconut oil into a large saucepan. Heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is bubbling.

10. Combine the toasted coconut and plain flour, then tip into the saucepan with the bubbling mixture.

11. Beat vigorously until the dough is pulling away from the side of the pan. Set aside to cool – I found the mixture incredibly hot so left it for a good 10 minutes before using.

12. Whilst waiting for the mix to cool, line two trays with greaseproof paper. Place a large star nozzle (1M) into a piping bag, and snip the end off the bag, so that the tip of the nozzle is fully emerged from the bag.

13. Once cool enough, spoon half the churro dough into the piping bag. Pipe heart shapes onto the greaseproof paper – mine were about 7-8cm in height, but make them as big or as small as you like. If you find the piping bag is getting very hot, use a tea towel to cover the bag and help piping.

14. Place in the fridge for at least 10 minutes.

15. Heat the oil to 190c. Once at temperature, place 2-3 churros into the oil carefully! I started by placing the churros onto strips of baking parchment, then placed the churro + paper into the oil. After a few batches, I just picked up the churros and placed them in without the paper. Both worked well, so it’s your choice what to do.

16. Fry for 2 – 3 minutes, flipping them once during the cooking time. Once they are golden brown all over, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the oil. Place on kitchen roll to drain off the excess oil. Whilst warm, dust in the coconut/sugar mixture.

17. Repeat with the remaining churros. Serve immediately using the custard as a dipping sauce.

18. Enjoy!

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