Choux Pastry

My sister and I were bored yesterday and decided to give ourselves a challenge by making profiteroles and chocolate eclairs. However, we were actually pleasantly surprised by how simple these were to make and the results were great to look at and taste. There are a lot of steps because I have broken down each stage but the method is not difficult if you take your time and complete each step.

Ingredients:

  • 100g plain flour sifted.
  • 5 eggs.
  • 125g unsalted butter or 100 if not making a chocolate topping.
  • 3/4 of a teaspoon of salt.
  • 250ml of water.
  • 100g dark chocolate. Only if making the topping.
  • 100g icing sugar. Only if making the topping.
  • 600ml of double cream or whipping cream.

Utensils:

  • Non-stick baking tray.
  • Cooling rack.
  • Icing board.
  • Pastry brush.
  • Sieve.
  • 2 saucepans.
  • Piping bag with a large nozzle.
  • Cocktail sticks.

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Grease the baking tray well with butter. You do not want the pastry to stick to the tray as it is very thin and scrapping it off with a knife will cause you to remove the bottom of the eclair leaving you unable to fill it with cream.
  3. Weigh out all your ingredients and get out the necessary utensils as you will need to work quickly.
  4. Break one of the eggs into a small dish and beat. Break the other four into a separate bowl and beat together.
  5. For the butter leave 25g to the side as this is for the chocolate icing.
  6. Sift the flour.
  7. Place a saucepan on a low heat and add the water, salt and butter. Stir until the butter is completely melted.
  8. Remove from the heat and add the sifted flour. Stir fast until all the flour is absorbed into the mixture. The mixture should come away from the sides of the pan.
  9. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
  10. Once the mixture has cooled a little begin to add the larger bowl of beaten eggs little by little and mixing it in vigourously. Once this process is complete your mixture should be golden and glossy.
  11. Pour the mixture into the a piping bag. I found that the easiest way to do this because the mixture is so runny is by putting the piping bag into a measuring jug and folding the top edge over the sides of the jug. You may have to leave some of the mixture in the pan and refill the piping bag again later depending on the volume your piping bag can hold, this is not a problem.
  12. Twist the top of the piping bag tightly and squeeze out lines of the mixture onto the baking tray. Alternatively, you can squeeze out little dumplings.
  13. Once you have used up all the mixture brush all the shapes with the single beaten egg. This will give the pastry a nice shine.
  14. Place in the oven and bake for around 25 minutes. When the pastry is cooked it will be a lovely golden colour.
  15. Once cooked prick all the pastries with a cocktail stick to allow the hot air to escape from their hollow centres.
  16. Remove the pastries from the baking tray and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
  17. While the pastries cool whip the cream until it is firm and fluffy.
  18. When the pastries are cool slice in half with a knife and fill with the cream. My mum does not eat chocolate so we also filled hers with jam to sweeten the pastry. You can try this instead of making the chocolate topping which I will outline below.
  19. To make the chocolate topping. Melt the set aside butter with the chocolate in a pan on a low heat.
  20. Add a few tablespoons of water.
  21. Take off the heat.
  22. Add the icing sugar and mix until glossy. If it is bumpy and not shiny and smooth add a little more water and this should correct the problem.
  23. Using a  knife spread the topping over the eclairs.
  24. If making profiteroles: place the pastry on a plate and pour over the topping instead. Serve hot or leave to cool in the fridge and eat later.
  25. For the eclairs leave the topped pastries to set in the fridge. The same applies to those filled with jam and cream.

 

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