Choux pastry is often thought of as difficult to make but, in fact, it’s quite simple! Used to make éclairs and profiteroles, choux pastry is deliciously light and crisp, requiring only few basic ingredients. Once mastered, you can experiment with different fillings, toppings, shapes and decorations. Give our free choux pastry recipe a try to see just how easy it is to make…
To celebrate the publication of Ruth Clemens’ new book, Creative Eclairs, we want to see your choux pastry bakes! Take a photo of your éclairs, profiteroles and other choux creations and upload it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #CreativeEclairs for your chance to win one of 5 copies of the book.
Here’s the free choux pastry recipe – it’s time to get baking:
|Ingredients75ml (2½fl oz) water
55ml (2fl oz) whole milk
55g (2oz) butter
5ml (1 tsp) vegetable or sunflower oil
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
100g (3½oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
4 large eggs
Sunflower or vegetable oil spray
Non-stick baking (parchment) paper
Disposable piping (pastry) bag
Piping nozzle (tip)
Making choux pastry
1. Place the water, milk, butter, oil, salt and sugar in a medium pan. Heat over a medium heat stirring frequently until the butter has melted. Bring to the boil and add the flour.
2. With the pan still on the heat, beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until it comes together into a ball.
3. Turn the heat down to low and continue to mix over the heat for 3 minutes. This helps to reduce any excess moisture and changes the paste from a rough shaggy texture to a much smoother, glossy paste. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 2 minutes to cool slightly.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating the choux well after each addition until all the eggs have been incorporated.
5. Continue to mix until the consistency returns to a smooth, glossy texture before adding the next egg.
6. When all the eggs have been incorporated, the choux pastry will be glossy with a thick, medium-firm texture.
7. Transfer to a bowl and cover with cling film (plastic wrap). Allow to cool fully then refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This makes the choux pastry much easier to pipe neatly.
1. Once chilled, transfer the choux pastry to a piping (pastry) bag fitted with an 18mm (¾in) piping nozzle (tip). A serrated pen (French style) nozzle (tip) is ideal for éclairs as it creates ridges in the piped éclairs which allow the dough to expand evenly on baking, avoiding any cracking across the top.
2. Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan)/180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Pipe the choux pastry into éclairs or choux buns of the desired size using an even pressure to keep the width of each éclair the same.
3. Any peaks or mis-shapen ends can be smoothed with a dampened finger once piped.
4. Spray the éclairs lightly with a vegetable or sunflower oil. This can be bought in ready-filled pump sprays or you can easily fill a spray bottle yourself at home. This light coating prevents the crust from forming on the éclairs too early in the baking process, allows the choux pastry to expand evenly, and helps prevent the top of the finished éclair from cracking.
5. Bake in the oven for approximately: 15cm (6in) éclairs – 50 minutes; 12cm (4¾in) éclairs – 45 minutes; 10cm (4in) éclairs – 40 minutes.
Use this recipe to make some choux pastry and then get creative! Follow us on Instagram or Twitter, snap a photo of your choux pastry bakes and tag with #CreativeEclairs for your chance to win a copy of the book. Hurry – the competition will close on 14th April 2014!
Let us know how you get on with this recipe by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page. If you’ve enjoyed making choux pastry, pre-order your copy of Creative Eclairs for loads of fabulous toppings and fillings to try, or download one of the mini themed eBooks to try out more recipes straight away! Good luck if you enter our #CreativeEclairs competition – check out the photos in our brand new Project Gallery!
*This recipe has been excerpted from Creative Eclairs.