Sometimes I get a craving for a yummy fresh cream-filled treat, and today was one of those days. Normally I’d quickly bake up a Victoria sponge and cram it with cream and strawberries, but today I wanted something lighter. I love making choux pastry. There’s something strangely satisfying about watching something pale and flat puff up into a golden cloud of scrumptiousness. I’ve tried a few different recipes, but this one is my favourite.
50g chilled butter
150 ml cold water
65g plain flour, sieved twice
2 large eggs, beaten
- Preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan oven. Grease and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (Greasing the sheet keeps the paper nicely in place. Do not grease the top of the paper).
- Put the butter and water in a medium-sized saucepan, and place on a medium heat until the butter has melted. Let it come to a boil, then remove from the heat.
- Quickly add the flour all in one go and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a soft ball and doesn’t stick to the sides of the pan. It will look something like this:
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes. This is important or you will end up with a scrambled egg mixture in the next part!
- Gradually add the beaten eggs, using a balloon whisk to mix well after each addition. It will end up looking like this:
- You can use this pastry mixture any way you want… spoon small mounds on to the baking sheet to make profiteroles, or pipe lines to make eclairs. I used a large round nozzle to pipe rings on to the sheet. This recipe made 6 large rings. When you have piped the shape you want, dip your finger into water and smooth down any peaks that have formed at the end of piping.
- Bake on the middle shelf of your oven for 25 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven, cut a small slit in each ring, and return to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes until crisp. This allows the steam to escape and dries out the inside of the pastry.
- When crisp, remove from the oven, leave on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then cut in half horizontally. Leave to cool completely on wire cooling racks.
You can fill and decorate these however you like, but the usual filling is whipped cream. I piped whipped cream into mine, spread a delicious caramel icing on top, and sprinkled butterscotch pieces (available from Asda) liberally on the icing. The icing was a quick and easy caramel sauce mixed with sieved icing sugar.
They would be just as delicious with chocolate on top or any flavoured icing.