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Vanilla Bean Churros with Chocolate Dipping Sauce

Gesine Bullock-Prado's recipe for vanilla bean churros with a chocolate dipping sauce
TODAY Show: Gesine Bullock-Prado heats up delicious vanilla bean churros with a chocolate dipping sauce. -- April 18, 2016Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Chef notes

All you need is a few pantry staples and 20 minutes for DIY churros, plus an easy chocolate dipping sauce.


  • Neutral oil for frying (canola is fiNeutral oil for frying (canola is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 to 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Chocolate Dipping Sauce
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


Heat about 2 inches of a neutral oil (like canola) in a wok or deep/heavy dish to 350ºF. In a separate shallow dish. pour in sugar and cinnamon (if using) and stir to combine. Line a plate with paper towels. Set both aside.

In the meantime, make the chocolate dipping sauce. Bring together the 4 ounces of heavy cream and 1 tablespoon butter for the ganache in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and pour over the bittersweet chocolate. Allow to sit for a minute and then whisk to smooth. Set aside.

In the same saucepan, combine the sugar, salt, water and butter for the churro batter and heat over low heat until the butter, sugar and salt have completely melted and the mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from the heat and dump in the flour all at once, along with baking powder if using. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth and return to low heat, stirring until the mixture thickens and pulls away from the side and leaves a starch film at the bottom of the pan. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix to release some steam. In a separate bowl, whisk the vanilla and eggs together. Add vanilla bean paste and egg mixture to the churro batter in three additions, allowing to completely incorporate between additions. The batter should be smooth but not runny.

Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a medium star tip.  For an easier to handle piping experience, refrigerate for 1 hour. Gently squeeze a few inches of the batter into the hot oil, using a scissor to snip off the pieces (make them 3 to 4 inches long). In a wok, you can pipe out 4 to 5 at a time without worry, but don't overcrowd the pot. Fry for 2 minutes and then flip and fry for another minute more or until uniformly golden-brown.  Immediately transfer to the paper towel-lined plate just to absorb some of the oil and then transfer to the pie plate with the sugar mixture and turn to coat.  

Serve immediately with the chocolate dipping sauce.