Xuixo, or as it is known in Castilian “Chucho”, is typical Catalan dessert created in the city of Girona, Spain. This viennoiserie pastry is cylindrical-shaped, filled with crema catalana. The pastry is deep fried and covered in crystallized sugar.
There is a legend about the invention of Xuixo that says this pastry was created by el Tarlà, a pleasant character that appears frequently in legends told in Girona.
According to the legends, Tarlà was an acrobat that would put on shows for the citizens during an epidemic that put them all in quarantine. Tarlà fell in love with a beautiful woman, the daughter of a pastry chef. The amusing tale describes how Tarlà was discovered by the girl’s father when the man entered the bakery with a bag of flower that made the acrobat sneeze, which sounded something like “Xui!”. To appease the baker’s nerves, Tarlà promised to marry his daughter and to give him the recipe for a very special type of pastry, which he named after the sneeze that denounced him.
The tale is so popular, there is even a Xuixo parade in Girona, a procession that takes citizens on a walk through the streets of the city. Afterwards, the participants receive Xuixos, prepared by some of the city’s most talented chefs.
Related article: Crema Catalana – Traditional Recipe
This is what you will need to prepare the cream for the Xuixos:
- 65g of sugar
- 185g of milk
- 65g liquid cream
- 1 vanilla stick
- 1 small slice of lemon peel (without the white part)
- small slice of orange peel (without the white part)
- 20g of cornstarch
- 2 egg yolks
- 30g of butter
And for the Xuixo dough:
- 90ml of milk
- 250g of bread flour
- A dash of salt
- 10g of baker’s yeast
- 45g of sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
- 15g of butter
- Frying oil
The recipe, step by step
Start by preparing the cream, so that it has time to cool down until the rest is ready.
Place milk, cream, 35g of sugar, a vanilla stick cut lengthwise, the orange skin and the lemon skin in a pan. Cook in low fire allowing it to boil. When the milk starts to boil, turn off the fire. Let the milk emulsify for 5 minutes, then strain it, removing the fruit peels and the vanilla. Mix the egg yolks with 30g of sugar, until they turn whiter and increase in volume. Add the cornstarch and mix it until it is fully dissolved. Place the milk on the fire again. When it starts to boil, add the egg yolk mix while stirring, until the mix becomes a little thicker. Cut the butter in small pieces and add it to the mix, stirring until it comes undone. Cover the mix with saran wrap and save it for when the Xuixo is ready to be filled.
Now let’s prepare the Xuixo!
Sieve the flour, salt, and sugar. Place them in a bowl. Warm a little bit of milk in the microwave, then pour the cornstarch in the milk and mix it until it comes undone. Pick up the bowl with the sieved ingredients. Make a hole in the middle and start pouring a beaten egg. Mix it all very slowly using a wooden spoon and add the milk, little by little. Add the butter, which should be at room temperature, mixing it all with your hands until it becomes even. Cover the bowl with a piece of cloth and let it rest, until it doubles in size. This can take from 1 to 2 hours. When the dough is ready, place it on top of a surface that you have previously covered with flour. Flatten it with a rolling pin, until the dough is thin. Cut the dough into tall triangles.
Now you are ready to use the cream…
Place some cream in each triangle and then roll the dough like you would in a croissant. Cover an oven tray with oven paper. Place the Xuixos on the tray and cover them with cloth, letting them rest from 30 minutes to an hour. When enough time has gone by, fry the Xuixos. Turn them frequently to avoid them being burned. The fire can’t be too high, because the Xuixos need cook a little bit on the inside. The Xuixos should look golden, not burnt on the outside.
Place them on kitchen paper and let it absorb the extra oil. Next, roll the Xuixos in sugar and cinnamon, and they are ready to be eaten!