A few days ago, I spent a lovely afternoon in the kitchen with my gorgeous friend Grace from Agent 86 Photography.
I had made some basic choux pastry and a bunch of different flavoured fillings and she got shooting as I played and assembled the pretty little pastries.
This post is going to give you a basic choux pastry recipe that you can adapt to make eclairs, choux buns for chouquettes, or your own choux pastry creation.
In the coming weeks, each blog post will give you a recipe for a specific flavour of choux bun or eclair.
I hope you enjoy this series of me in the kitchen, some action-shots of processes and piping, and all the different choux variations to come.
And a huge thank you to Grace for the beautiful photos, props and setting! It’s so nice to have someone else behind the camera and to see a different perspective of my baking. X
P.S. Here’s a little sneak peak of what’s to come in the next few weeks…
- FOR THE SABLE:
- 150g unsalted butter, softened and diced
- 150g brown sugar
- 175g plain flour
- Pinch salt
- FOR THE CHOUX PASTRY:
- 150g unsalted butter, chopped
- 160g water
- 200g milk
- 15g caster sugar
- 7g sea salt
- 200g plain flour, sifted
- 300g eggs
- To make the sable, put all the ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
- Mix on a low speed until the dough comes together.
- Remove the sable from the bowl and roll out between two sheets of baking paper until it's 3mm thick. I did mine in two batches.
- Place on a baking tray and put in the freezer.
- To make the choux pastry, preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F).
- Grease and line 3 - 4 baking trays with baking paper.
- Put the butter, water, milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over a high heat. Once it comes to the boil, dump in all the flour and working quickly, mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together into a ball and away from the sides of the pan. Cook for a further minute.
- Put the dough in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle and turn onto a medium speed, beating to allow some of the steam to escape.
- Add the eggs slowly, one by one, beating until completely incorporated between each addition. Then continue to beat for a few minutes until the dough is glossy.
- Use a rubber spatula to spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium plain round nozzle.
- To make choux buns, pipe continuously straight down onto the tray until you have puffs that are 1 - 2 inches in diameter. Allow room for spreading.
- To make eclairs, pipe straight lines of choux about 10cm long, allowing space for spreading.
- If you've got any bumps or uneven choux, dip your finger in some cold water and smooth them out.
- Remove the sable from the freezer. Use a round cutter that's a little bigger than your puffs to cut out circles and place them atop the choux buns (there's a link to a photo of this below the recipe!).
- If you're making eclairs, use a sharp knife to cut rectangles out of the sable a little bigger than your eclairs, and place them over the top.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then open the oven quickly to let out the steam and bake for a further 5 - 10 minutes until golden and firm.
- Turn off the oven, open the door and allow the choux to cool in the oven so their centers dry out.
- Makes 30 - 40 choux buns / eclairs.
Check out a photo of the unbaked choux topped with sable here!
Recipe adapted from Adriano Zumbo.