Points to remember:
- Boil the kettle, then measure 300ml boiling water into a jug and add the melted butter and vanilla extract. Sift flour from a freshly-opened bag (old flour will have absorbed moisture that stops the mixture being thick enough to hold its shape) and baking powder into a large mixing bowl with a generous pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre, then pour in the contents of the jug and very quickly beat into the flour with a wooden spoon until lump-free.
- Cut out 6 10cm x 10cm squares of baking parchment and grease them well with oil. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle, and pipe spiralled circles of batter onto the parchment. Be very careful here as if air bubbles form in the churros they can explode – keep children out of the kitchen and protect yourself by wearing long sleeves and keeping your face away from the pan. This is easiest if you start from the centre, and swirl the nozzle round and round until you reach the edge of the paper, avoiding any gaps. Chill for 45 mins, or up to 2 hrs, until the batter feels firm to the touch.
- Fill a large deep saucepan one-third full of oil. Cooking with hot oil can be dangerous, read up on how to deep-fry safely to avoid accidents in the kitchen. Heat until a cube of bread browns in 45 seconds – 1 min (about 180C). Cover a tray with kitchen paper and mix the caster sugar and cinnamon together.
- Remove the churros from the fridge and drop 2 or 3 directly into the pan, discarding the parchment. Fry until golden brown and crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on the kitchen paper-lined tray. Carry on cooking the rest of the dough in batches, sprinkling the cooked churros with some cinnamon sugar as you go. Once you’ve cooked all the churros, toss with any remaining cinnamon sugar and sandwich with balls of your favourite ice cream.
Cooking with hot oil can be dangerous. Read up on how to deep-fry safely to avoid accidents in the kitchen.