The other day I had an idea. It was a brilliant idea. An idea I couldn’t get out of my head, one that I had to try as soon as possible. Someone in our EOE support group shared a picture of donuts she had made using nothing but a gluten-free cake mix, a bottle of Sprite, and some Enjoy Life chocolate chips (which you already know I am a big fan of). Mix the ingredients together, pop them in a donut maker, and bish bash bosh, you’ve got safe donuts. I don’t have a donut maker, but this was my thought: what if I put the batter into a piping bag, squirt it into some hot oil, and have some safe churros (or at least a churro-like product)? This would have to be put to the test. So this morning, I got to work.
I gathered the ingredients (which didn’t take long) and heated up the oil. I know churros for breakfast is a bit of a stretch, but we eat donuts for breakfast, so is it really that much different? I’m going to go with no.
Churro batter is a little thicker than cake batter, so I only used about half of the 20 oz bottle. It foamed up quite a bit (you know, because, it’s a soda….). I stirred it up, and it made a relatively thick, sticky batter. Emily helped me load it up into a zip-top bag (and felt the need to include herself in a picture). We snipped the corner off the bag, and piped a bit into the hot oil, with some cinnamon and sugar at the ready for rolling.
And then, the unexpected happened. What was supposed to become a churro instead became a mess. It completely disintegrated right before my eyes. Instead of a tasty, fried tube of yummy goodness, it turned into this:
Uh……………………………… I… um…….. I mean….. well……… whatever that is, it’s not churros.
I have said before that I love to experiment in the kitchen, and it’s not uncommon for my experiment to not go they way I planned. But this was a whole new level of failure. I’ve never seen an experiment fall apart in such dramatic fashion. It was as if I had put the batter into hot acid rather than hot oil. I felt like I was recreating a scene from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and I was the bad guy.
It turns out that the eggs in a traditional churro recipe are extremely important. They hold the batter together during the trauma of the deep fryer. I haven’t given up on finding a Reese-safe churro recipe, but this “simple fake” of a recipe is NOT it.
Not one to completely trash something because it doesn’t turn out right, I figured I’d try to salvage it. So I preheated my oven to 375 and piped the rest of the batter onto a parchment covered cookie sheet. I spooned the cinnamon and sugar over batter and baked it for 12 minutes.
What came out of the oven were like cinnamon madeleines, if, you know, you’ve never actually had madeleines. Not bad at all. In fact our kids polished off almost the whole batch before bedtime.
It turns out that a failure can still turn out pretty sweet.