We woke up one grey morning and in an effort to brighten the day, decided to try our hands at making choux pastry. It’s a task that seemed really intimidating at first (think Eclairs) but is actually pretty straightforward to make. The ingredients are really simple and most likely things you would already have in your pantry if you bake often. The inside of choux pastry should be airy and moist, not wet and eggy. The great thing about these little puffs is that you can take one out of the oven (close to the time they are done , not before!) and check that they are just right inside. If not, you can keep them in the oven a little longer so they rise and dry out inside. Then leave them to cool a bit and fill with the cream of your choice- we did a simple chocolate whipped cream this time (whipping cream whipped up with a handwhisk and then stirred together with melted chocolate)
This recipe is taken from James Martin’s Sweet. Here are some of his tips for making choux pastry;
- Make sure butter , sugar and salt are brought to a boil slowly. The butter should not melt before the water evaporates. I basically just kept the heat very low over a small flame and stirred gently to help the butter dissolve.
- Dice the butter small- again to help it melt quicker
- Add half a cup of cold water to a preheated tray in the oven before cooking , this will make the texture crispy.
- 20 minutes into cooking , open the oven door to let the steam out.
The flavorbender has some great troubleshooting tips too.
Makes 18 medium choux pastry
Prep time : 20 mins Bake time :
For the choux :
100g cold butter diced small
1 tablespoon caster sugar
150g strong flour
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius
Line a baking sheet with silicone paper or use a silicone mat
Place water , butter , sugar and salt in a pan and slowly bring to a boil over low heat. Once the mixture starts to boil, continue to let it boil for one minute.
Then add all the flour in at one go. Keep beating the mixture until it starts to thicken.Depending on the amount of heat, this could happen relatively quickly. The mixture should thicken , be smooth and come away fro the sides of the pan cleanly. This should take a few minutes. Remove the mixture from the pan and place it on the silicone sheet or mat to cool for 5 minutes.
You can use a kitchen mixture for the next step, but we did it by hand- beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure mixture is smooth after each addition. Then continue beating until smooth and shiny,resembling a thick , smooth custard. If you pick some of the mixture up between your fingers, it should take 3-4 seconds to drip.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a large nozzle (plain or otherwise) with the mixture and pipe out small buns about 2 cm apart. You can smooth out bumps using a wet fingertip (the mixture should not stick to your finger).
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the buns are golden grown. Allow them to cool on a wire rack when done.
When cooled a bit, use a small knife to make a cut at the base of each bun.Insert a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle and filled with filling of your choice. Just pipe the filling into the bun , easy as that!
x Anu & Suba