How to make choux pastry

Choux pastry can have a sweet or savoury filling and it's ideal for making profiteroles or chocolate éclairs. In just a few simple steps, I will show you how to make the perfect golden, crisp, light pastry puffs that will work every time.

So first, preheat your oven to 200 degrees C, 180 for a fan oven or gas mark six. Place 75g of cold cubed butter into a pan and 200ml of cold water and bring to the boil. When boiling hard, turn off the heat and add 100g of flour. Beat this to a paste until it comes away from the edges of the pan. Remove from the heat and let it cool for ten minutes.

Whisk together three eggs with a pinch of salt and add it to the choux mixture one tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until smooth.

Now this does take a few minutes but what you're trying to achieve is this lovely silky smooth paste. Put the paste into a piping bag with a plain nozzle and pipe your choux onto lined baking sheets; walnut size for profiteroles and finger size for éclairs. Dab each one with a wet finger to remove the peaks. This should make approximately 12 profiteroles and 12 éclairs. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.

When cool to the touch, skewer a small hole in the bottom of each bun to allow the steam to escape. This will allow the buns to dry slightly so they don't collapse or become soggy.

When the choux is completely cold, it can be filled and I'm going to use a crème patissiere and this could be flavoured with Cointreau, coffee liquor or vanilla but you could just use whipped cream. So simply fill at the base and when they're all filled, drizzle generously with chocolate sauce.

Choux pastry, divine.

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