Friday, June 24, 2011

Food Friday: Choux

For Father's Day, I asked Mr Foodie what type of treat he would like me to bake. Ever so helpful, Mr Foodie couldn't make up his mind, only guideline: not chocolate again. So I decided to try my hand at something new. And I decided to try and make some choux.

Choux are one of those pastries that look really impressive and that people think they can't make. It has to be complicated, right? I mean, look at them, they're puffy and sweet and golden. It has to involve some kind of trick of the trade, some kind of big secret. Well, let me tell you something. It's really not that complicated. I was one of those people thinking: I can never make that. But I tried and it worked..

Now, because I didn't know how they would turn up, I didn't take pictures at every step of the way, I have to say I should have because the result was quite something (if I may say so myself). The only thing I would warn people about is this: If you don't have one of those fancy free standing food mixers thingies, you have to use a wooden spoon which is not really a problem in itself unless you are like me and your hands are quite delicate and you then end up with a blister from the quite heavy stirring you need to do.

So here is what you need to make some lovely, puffy, golden choux:


- 250 ml of water.
- 100 grs of butter.
- 125 grs of flour.
- 4 eggs.
- 1 pinch of salt.

How to:

- Preheat the oven at 180 C.
- In a pot, bring the water, butter and salt to the boil.
- As soon as it starts boiling, take off the heat and add all the flour in one go.
- Stir fast and furiously with a wooden spoon.
- Return to a medium heat and continue stirring with the wooden spoon until the mix dries up and comes off the sides and bottom of the pot easily (making a ball).
- Take off the heat again.
- Once cooled down, add the first egg.
- Stir until fully incorporated (it looks like it will never happen but then all of the sudden it incorporates!)
- Repeat one egg at a time.
- Once your pastry is ready, put little blobs of pastry onto a baking sheet and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
- Bake for a further 5 minutes with the oven door open (it will help the steam escape and ensure that your choux don't go all floppy when you take them out).

This should be the result you get:

It is then up to you to chose what you want to fill them with. We had a few sneaky ones in the afternoon, filled with squirty cream.

The girls and myself had some more then for dessert, filled with vanilla ice cream, and covered in melted dark chocolate and grilled almonds. Yes, my favourite dessert: Profiterolles au chocolat. Yummy.
Mr Foodie not being a lover of chocolate, went for a creme patissiere filling which looked like this.
The filling has to be done at the last minute, because otherwise your choux will start soaking up the moisture from the filling and go slightly soggy.

What about you? Which filling would you go for?

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