Choux pastry is a French dessert that acts as more of a vehicle for pastry cream than anything else. It’s not terribly delicious on its own, but they expand during baking to create a hollow inside for delicious fillings! This is quite a technical recipe, as there are many techniques needed and a lot of judgement used when making the pastry and creme!
We may have eaten one or two…
- 200 ml water
- 2g salt
- 90g butter
- 110g bread flour
- 160 g eggs (approximately 3)
- Heat together the water, salt, and butter until they reach a rolling boil.
- Once it has reached a boil, remove from heat, add all of the flour at once, and incorporate as quickly as possible.
- Once the flour is incorporated, return to the heat and roast the dough. There should be a a film on the bottom of the pan; it will be a slight golden colour.
- Transfer the dough from the pan to a medium mixing bowl and allow to cool down (bowl should still be warm to the touch).
- Add the eggs in 3 – 4 additions until they pass choux diagnostic tests*
- Bake at a high temperature (380 – 420) until half risen; drop oven to low temperature (280-320) until done.
- Because the flour proteins have already been cooked, you cannot overwork choux pastry dough. Mix those eggs in!
- If you add more egg, open up an egg and whisk it together, and add some egg, not the whole egg.
- Bake until there is a nice even colour all the way around, and no white areas in the centre.
- The egg whites are what allow the pastry to expand. Cooking the paste is what allows the eggs to be added in. The goal is to incorporate as many eggs as possible, without making it too runny.
- After piping any shapes, put water on your hands to fix any areas or push down any pokey bits.
Choux Diagnostic Tests:
- The French Test – Scoop it up and turn the spoon upside down. If it falls within 15 seconds, it’s good. If it takes longer, it’s a bit dry and could use more egg.
- Run a finger through and look at the walls. If they don’t move at all, it’s a bit dry and could use more egg.
Pre-egg choux paste.
Nice piping Roopa!
“Whisk like your life depends on it!” – Chef Marco
CREME PATISSIERE (VANILLA PASTRY CREAM)
- 500 ml full fat milk
- 100g granulated sugar
- 40g cornstarch
- 2 egg yolks
- half a vanilla bean
- Pour ¾ of milk into a saucepan, and ¼ into a separate bowl.
- Put the saucepan over medium heat, and add in the split vanilla pod and seeds.
- Dissolve the sugar and cornstarch into the bowl, and then mix in the yolks. Whisk extremely well to get out any lumps.
- When the milk comes to a boil, pour half of it on the egg mixture (and mix well) to temper the eggs. Then add the egg mixture back into the saucepan, and whisk hard!
- When it starts to boil, take off heat.
- Use a whisk!
- Cornstarch binds at 72˚C, but it’s a good idea to cook until boiling.
- If you mix the heated custard in a machine until cold, you’ll get a very fine and smooth custard.
The final assembly of our pastries!