Choux pastry

Rachel Allens easy pastry can be used for a delicious array of puffs, éclairs and profiteroles
By Rachel Allen
Choux pastry
  • Rating:
  • Serves: about 850g
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 100 g plain flour, or strong white
  • 150 ml water
  • 75 g butter
  • 3 eggs, beaten

Tips and Suggestions

Choux pastry is spooned or piped into shapes and then baked for chocolate profiteroles or éclairs and is deceptively easy to make.

Try Alistair Hendy's glossy profiteroles or Roopa Gulati's chocolate eclairs.

To make cheesy choux puffs, add grated gruyere, shape into balls on a lined baking tray and bake in the oven at 200C for 30 minutes. When they are golden and hard, remove, poke a hole in the bottom and put back in the oven for 5 minutes to dry out the inside.

Adapted from Rachel Allen, Bake (Collins)

Method

1. Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a large bowl and set aside.

2. Put the water and butter into a medium-sized saucepan with high sides set over a medium-high heat and stir until the butter melts. Allow the mixture to come to a rolling boil then immediately remove the pan from the heat.

3. Add the flour and salt and beat very well with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together.

4. Reduce the heat to medium and replace the saucepan, stirring for 1 minute until the mixture starts to fur (slightly stick to the base of the pan). Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 1 minute.

5. Pour about one-quarter of the beaten egg into the pan and, using the wooden spoon, beat very well. Add a little more egg and beat well again until the mixture comes back together. Continue to add the egg, beating vigorously all the time, until the mixture has softened, is nice and shiny and has a dropping consistency. You may not need to add all the egg or you may need a little extra. If the mixture is too stiff (not enough egg) then the choux pastries will be too heavy, but if the mixture is too wet (too much egg), they will not hold their shape when spooned onto baking paper.

6. Although the pastry is best used right away, it can be placed in a bowl, covered and chilled for up to 12 hours, until ready to use.

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