Savory Churros and Morel “Hot Chocolate” – Recipe plus an Invite To Dinner


This is one of the dishes I’m working on for my next “underground” dinner party. Cafe Flora (where I previously interned) has graciously agreed to host this time. The menu I’m working on will be Spanish, with both traditional and modern elements. (If you are interested in attending the dinner on Tue. 1/27, there might be a few spots left; drop me an email at, let me know how many in your party, and I’ll be in touch).

Churros and thick hot chocolate are popular throughout Spain and much of Latin America, often as a breakfast treat or street food. They can be made thick or thin, straight or knotted, and from a potato based dough or wheat flour, but they are always extruded and fried like a doughnut.

Churro dough is similar in conception to a choux paste – you make a hot mixture of flour, butter and water, and then beat eggs into it. I used a┬árecipe from Michelle Bernstein, which worked terrific. Since I had a savory application in mind, I rolled them in smoked paprika (pimenton dulce), cinammon, and salt instead of cinnamon and sugar.

I’ve had dried morels in my pantry for a bit, and my friend Dan has been challenging me to invent “s’morels” – s’mores somehow involving savory marshmallows and morel mushrooms. The snag on that has been a good vegetarian marshmallow recipe, but I still like the concept. Anyhow, that thought must have put me in the mindset to come up with this idea, where the morels make a soup for dipping the savory churros.

I still used some cocoa powder in the soup as well. The combination is pleasing. As in a mole, chocolate used without sugar provides a subtle, earthy, slightly bitter note that marries easily with the mushrooms.

For the final dish, I plan to froth the soup, serve it in a demitasse and use a star-shaped tip for the churros. Here is the recipe for the soup, which would also make a fine first course without the churros. It is rich, so plan on only about 1/2 cup per person.

Morel “Hot Chocolate” Soup
Serves 4 as a tiny appetizer, preferably with churros rolled in pimenton and cinnamon
Vegetarian and gluten-free; not vegan

  • 1.5 cups heavy cream
  • 0.6 oz. dried morel mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons high quality cocoa powder (not Hershey’s please); I used Lake Champlain Chocolate
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • sea salt
  1. Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add the morels, and simmer on lowest possible heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Turn off heat and allow to rest for 30 more minutes.
  3. Add the cocoa powder, half & half, and a couple pinches of salt.
  4. Puree very thoroughly in a blender, then strain through a fine mesh sieve.
  5. Taste and adjust the salt.
  6. To serve, reheat and then carefully froth with a handheld blender.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, January 5th, 2009 in Appetizers, Experiments, Gluten-Free or modifiable, Recipes.

7 Responses to “Savory Churros and Morel “Hot Chocolate” – Recipe plus an Invite To Dinner”

  1. Reply
    January 5, 2009 at 11:53 am #

    i somehow missed the information about you interning in your sabbatical time – that is soo great!

  2. Reply
    January 5, 2009 at 2:11 pm #

    Love churros with chocolate!

  3. Reply
    January 5, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

    this is so unusual! gorgeous picture! im guessing the soup tasted mole-esq, with the cocao powder ? and im totally with you on the ‘no hersheys’ part ­čÖé

  4. Reply
    January 7, 2009 at 7:14 pm #

    Sounds great. I’ve been working on a vegan marshmallow recipe and so far have had 2 failures (using different starches) and 1 semi success. The one I made with agar (kelp) foamed up properly but it didn’t have the right texture (more like meringue than marshmallow). I’ve added lecithin to my stable though so I may retry some of the past attempts with the stabilizer.

  5. Reply
    January 7, 2009 at 7:36 pm #

    Wow! What a neat recipe for churros. I’ve only had the cinnamon and sugar kind. The smoked paprika is a neat twist!

  6. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    January 13, 2009 at 9:04 am #

    For what it is worth, there is supposed to be a working recipe in Demolition
    Desserts, but I haven’t tried it yet. If you just want to *buy* vegan
    marshmallows, the ones from Sweet & Sara are really, really close to the
    real thing. They even toast well.

  7. Reply
    May 3, 2009 at 9:47 pm #

    I thought you may be interested to know you can make fantastic vegan marshmallows at homemade.

    My recipe uses agar agar and soy protein isolate which most commercial brands use too. The soy protein isolate makes a fluffy mix into which the jell mixture is beaten.

    Follow the link below to be taken to my recipe

    link to

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