At the time of writing this week’s blog, I can only dream of some delightful choux pastry made into eclairs and profiteroles. You see, my house looks like a bomb’s gone off.
About 3 months ago we thought we’d do a touch of renovating, so we booked in a plasterer. Well, time went much quicker than anticipated, and now here I am with hardly enough room to swing a rolling pin and a strong hankering for those Parisian delicacies. Life’s hard.
My love of choux goes back to my teenage years. We’d been out – a rare occasion when you live on a farm – and as a special treat, we had eclairs. I was enraptured with them. I asked my Mum how to make them, and the rest as they say is history.
In those early days, there were a few batches that tasted just fine, but they looked anything but ‘fine’. They were doughy, under-cooked, or dried out hollow little lumps.
Until, one day I came across this recipe by Judith Ferguson. Now, nearly 30yrs later, it is still the only recipe I use for both my choux and créme patissérie making. It’s so good it even saw me out-do some apprentice chefs (who were years ahead of me) in a competition. I learned a lot through that competition, and the biggest lesson of all was hanging on to a solid recipe!
This Friday night, Larder Pantry and Garden and Chef Kit are hosting a Masterclass on how to make Choux Pastry, eclairs and profiteroles. So, if you’ve ever wanted to know, or to try making these delicious pastries at home, this event is perfect for you!
Ingredients for Choux Pastry
Basic ingredients, amazing results! You will need; eggs, All Purpose / Plain Flourr, butter, and water.
Ingredients for Eclairs and Profiteroles
On top of the ingredients listed above, you will need more fresh eggs, caster sugar, milk, cornflour, vanilla essence, and icing sugar.
Equipment for Choux Pastry and Créme Patissérie
- Small and Medium Mixing bowls
- Hand Whisk/Stand Mixer, w/whisk attachment
- or a hand whisk
- Baking tray
- Cooling wire
- Piping bag, + Piping bag nozzles
- Spatula and Palette knife
- Parchment paper
Now, here’s the recipes for both choux pastry AND an amazing créme patissérie to fill your choux with! Don’t forget, you can always join in the online class.
Eclairs - Choux Pastry & Creme Patisserie
- Small sauce pan
- Wooden spoon
- Piping bag & nozzles
- Cooling wire
- Mixing bowls
- Baking trays
- Parchment paper
- Electric hand mixer
- 200 ml Water
- 90 g Butter
- 90 g Plain/All Purpose Flour
- 3 lrg Eggs
- 1 lrg Egg, whole
- 1 lrg Egg, yolk ONLY
- 60 g Sugar, caster
- 15 g Cornflour/starch
- 25 g Plain/All Purpose Flour
- 280 ml Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla essence
- 450 g Icing/Powdered/Confectioners Sugar
- Hot Water
- Vanilla essence, or melted chocolate (see demo in class)
- Preheat your oven to 190˚C/365˚F
- Combine the water and butter in a saucepan, heat so the butter melts, then boil for 1min.
- Once rapidly boiling, remove from heat, and add all the flour at once. Beat until the batter comes away from the sides of the saucepan.
- Spread out on a plate to cool - it must be cooled down to room temp. before the next step.
- When cool, return batter to saucepan, and gradually add/beat in the eggs - being sure to incorporate fully each time. The batter must be thick and shiny, and holding its shape but still be able to drop from a spoon.
- Carefully transfer the batter into a prepared piping bag with a large nozzle fitted
- On a parchment-lined baking tray, slowly pipe out 12 finger-length eclairs - or small balls for profiteroles - leaving at least two-fingers width between the piping.
- Sprinkle dots of water across the paper, and immediately place in the oven for 20-430mins. If the pastry isn't golden and crisp, cooking for a further 5mins. Allow to cool on a wire rack before attempting to fill.
- Separate the eggs, keeping the white in a separate bowl.
- Using an electric hand mixer, whisk together until thick and creamy. Add in the flours, and half the milk.
- Heat the rest of the milk, and add to the mixture, mixing thoroughly. Pour mixture into a non-stick pan, and cook over medium heat until boiling point is reached, and the mix becomes thick.
- Remove from heat, and quickly whisk egg white until it is firm, but not dry, and stiff. Fold the whipped egg white into the custard mixture. And cook again for another minute.
- Remove from the heat. Add the vanilla essence, and pour into a bowl to cool - a circle of greaseproof paper, or clingfilm over the top will prevent a thick skin from forming.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the icing sugar with the vanilla essence, and carefully add in just enough hot water to loosen the icing - no measurement is given as this will be different for everyone.
- Alternatively, you can also add in melted chocolate as both a flavour, and to mix the icing sugar- but you'll need less water in that case!
- Tip: a drop or two of oil will keep the icing shiny!
Assembling your eclairs or profiteroles
- Once both the créme patissérie and choux have cooled down, carefully split the finger-length eclairs in half sideways, and either spoon in the créme pat, or use a piping bag with a large decorative nozzle.
- For the profiteroles, you can also puncture the bottom with a nozzle, and pipe in the créme pat.
- Once your choux is filled, carefully dip the top of either the balls or fingers into your icing mix, and place on a plate to set. Once ready, enjoy!
Thanks for checking out this blog post on how to make choux pastry, eclairs and profiteroles. I hope you’ve enjoyed the recipes.
Don’t forget to join me, Chef Kit, for the next cooking workshop this Friday, where we’ll be making these French classics.
If you do attend any of the cook alongs, please share a photo of your dish on your social media accounts, and use the hashtag: #LarderPantryandGarden.
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