I once wrote about a disastrous batch of eclairs , and I never tried making them again. I am not much of a baker, but my boys all love their desert, especially the little one who loves cake and bread. Basically anything that requires baking!!! After a few successful tries with cakes I summed up the courage to give eclairs another try. With the help of this wonderful book, Tools and Technique -Williams and Sonoma. I tried their choux pastry recipe. They came out perfect, all soft with hollow insides.
So I decided to share the recipe with you. I have divided the recipe to two, today's post will be just the choux pastry and I will later post the final eclair recipe.Why in two parts? Mainly because choux pastry is a basic recipe and its used not just for making eclairs but other little treats such as profiteroles.
The best thing to do is to get everything ready before you start cooking , get the flour sifted, crack the eggs into a bowl, have the butter and milk out etc. The secret for this is being organised and you do need some muscle to mix the mixture up.
Recipe : Choux Pastry, recipe from Williams - Sonoma : Tools and Technique
1/2 cup full cream milk
1 cup water
1 cup plain flour , sifted
4 large eggs, cracked into a bowl but do not beat them.
1. Preheat oven to 220 degree celsius gas mark 7 , line two cookie trays or flat baking trays with baking paper or foil.
2. Place milk, butter , salt and water in a small saucepan on stove top and melt the butter over gentle heat then bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the flour all at once and start mixing vigourously with a wooden spoon.
3. Return the pan to a medium heat, and continue mixing until the dough starts to leave the sides and forms a ball.Remove from heat. Let the mixture cool a little, about 5minutes.
4. Add the eggs one at time , stir the egg at a time, and give a good vigourous stirring to incorporate the egg into the flour before you add the next egg. By the end of the 4 eggs you should have a nice smooth paste. Let the paste cool.
5. Fill a pipping bag with the paste you prepared. The recipe instructs to fit a nozzle of 1.5 cm nozzle.
6. Pipe the required shape of pastry, round ones for profiterols or long logs for eclairs. with a space of 2 inches between each.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, ( different ovens have different timings so better to check within 10 minutes) the lower the heat to 190 degree celsius, gas mark 5 . Continue baking till golden , about a further 5- 10 minutes. Switch off the oven, remove the tray, and prick the side of puffs of logs with a sharp knife and then return to the oven , and leave it in the oven with the heat turned off and oven door open for 10 minutes. Take them out and let them cool completely.
8.Once cool store them in an airtight container till you get the filling prepared.
Click here for step by step picture tutorial of how to make choux pastry