I may have made it many times before, but until now I have never really got it right with choux pastry. In fact, my choux pastry has always turned rather soggy. I admit. It has tasted good, but in a sort of limp slightly floppy éclair sort of way. Well this has all changed… I have achieved one of my life goals: to make perfect choux pastry. Yeah, so some of my goals are bigger, don’t judge me. Just get out a pen and paper and I’ll tell ye all I know.
Note: Exciting news, I’m planning a giveaway in the next week! I have a certain blog anniversary to celebrate, so stay tuned. 🙂 Anyway…
**** Recipe ****
I decided to go for half milk, half water. You need 150ml altogether whatever combination you use for this recipe. Heat this with 60g of butter until the butter is melted. Bring it to a rolling boil, at which point “shoot” in 90g plain flour while beating the mixture until it turns into a ball. Make sure you have measured the flour out first thing – then you can throw it in really quickly.
After this, I kept it heating gently for a while as I continued to beat the mixture – water evaporates off the ball of dough, which makes it less soggy later on. Then leave it to cool a little.
Beat 2 eggs and add them gradually, beating until you have a smooth mixture. This is the crucial point – your mixture needs to be soft and shiny, not a stiff heap when you stir it. I ended up adding another 1 egg, but add it bit by bit until you have a shiny mixture. You’ve gone too far basically if it won’t keep its shape when you pipe it. But don’t let that happen!
Then pipe out your shape – you have many to choose from! Choux buns, long thin éclairs… although I didn’t expect how much these were going to rise, and mine turned into MONSTER-size éclairs! Oddly enough, no one complained. But next time I want long thin, French sophisticated ones…
The final part, just as important, is baking them. Have your oven really hot already, at about 200 degrees, when you’re ready to bake them. Then, pour some boiling water into a roasting tray and place underneath the shelf where you put your eclairs – it will create a nice steamy atmosphere in the oven.
Finally, put your éclairs or choux buns in the oven and DON’T open at all within the first 15 minutes. Then cook them until they’re really golden brown, around half an hour, and 5 minutes before finishing put some holes in the bottoms and cook them upside down so that the steam escapes. You want the sides to be golden brown too, otherwise they will collapse.
Crispy. Light. Puffy. Finished with strawberries, patisserie cream and chocolate icing. NOM.
Did you notice, I have curly hair in the photo? I’m always trying to make my hair curl! And lately I found this tutorial and was dying to try it out. It kind of worked, though my hair is a little too short right now, and my first attempt had me looking like a Bavarian shepherd girl, but after a few minutes with the straighteners and a clip I liked it a bit more. I’m just desperate for her hair colour now!