These are like the mini donuts you get at the fair. Only you can eat these for breakfast and and you can dip them in chocolate!
In a medium sized sauce pan bring the water, oil, sugar, salt and vanilla to a boil over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved the mixture has come to a boil, turn off the heat.
Using a wooden spoon, carefully stir in the flour and the beaten egg (if using, if you want to keep this vegan omit the egg). You want to mix the flour and egg until incorporated and there are no traces of flour or egg. The mixture will be very sticky. Allow the batter to cool for 10 minutes before transfering into a piping bag. fitted with a star tip.
While the batter is cooling, place the 3 cups of canola oil into your frying pan and place on medium-high heat. You will know when the oil is ready to fry when you dip a wooden spoon and bubbles start to rise, or you can pipe a bit of dough and once it rises up to the top it is ready to fry. Reduce the heat to medium (otherwise the churros cook to fast on the outside and remain raw on the inside)
Start piping out the dough into the oil, using a paper of scissors to snip the batter once it reaches about to 3-4 inches in length. Depending on the size of your frying pan you can cook 3-5 at a time. Be sure not to crowd the frying pan. Cook the churros for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes or until they are nice and brown). To see how to pipe and cook the churros see the video link in the notes section.
Using a slotted spoon remove the churros and drain them on a plate lined with paper towel (to absorb excess oil). While the churros are still hot place them in a shallow dish (that has your cinnamon and sugar mixture) and coat the churros.
Serve immediately with the chocolate ganache.
Either in a saucepan or a microwave heat up the heavy cream until scalded. Around 2 minutes on low heat on the stovetop OR 30 seconds in the microwave. Remove from heat and place the chopped chocolate into the heavy cream. Stir the mixture until the chocolate has dissolved. Serve immediately with the churros.
Video on how to pipe and fry churros:
Sometimes you skip over the blog post and go straight to the recipe. Don't worry I do that too. To avoid writing a lot - I am sharing a video from Bon Appetit that shows you how to fill the piping bag with the batter and how to pipe the churros into the oil. Skip to the 2:50 minute mark. You may notice that their dough pipes out easier than my recipe - and that is because they use butter. To make this recipe easy (with the option for vegans) I have omitted butter entirely and instead use an egg to give it some structure.
Frying seems scary but it is not. Just ensure that you pipe the churros as close to the oil as possible. Snip the churros and use the (clean) scissors to gently place the churros into the oil.
Making it a day ahead:
You can make this recipe a day ahead. Simply follow all the instruction of making the dough. Once the dough has cooled - transfer to a piping bag and then place that piping bag in the fridge. When you are ready to cook, bring the piping bag out to allow the batter to come to room temperature. While you wait for this heat your oil.
You do not need to make the ganache. You can eat them as is or serve them with any chocolate sauce you have. In the photos I actually used Nesquick Chocolate Syrup! And then when I started cooking another batch for the family I made the ganache.