Prep Time: 30 Mins
Always wanted to learn how to make choux Pastry? well here you are. I am sharing with you my recipe and techniques to make the choux pastry but also how to pipe the “Eclair” shape like a pro. It took me few trial and error to be able to understand how choux pastry works… Hence this video and recipe for you. If you follow it , you should be able to reproduce it just like i do.
Before you start, make sure you read the recipe twice and watch the video carefully… I will try to not be too technical with you and make you focus on the task.
Once you master the art of choux pastry, the world of pastry will open another door for you. In this video and recipe i focus on just the eclair shape. But imagine….. you could do profiteroles, Paris-Brest, croque en bouche, St Honore, all topped with either, fondant, caramel , sable, make a salambo, a gland, swan, cygnet…. and i am not even talking about the fillings and flavours..
Measure correctly all your ingredients using a digital scale. Cut your butter into small cubes as it makes it easier to melt. (Important to do so)
Add your water to a sauce pan.
Add your salt and sugar to the water.
Add your cube butter.
Heat up the sauce pan at a medium heat. we want the butter to melt but we do not want the water to evaporate..So keep an eye on it.
Meanwhile, sieve your flour in a bowl.
Using a wooden spatula, stir the butter in to melt.
bring the liquids to boil.
off the heat, carefully put the flour onto the liquids and mix with the wooden spoon (becareful to not splash yourself. Do that fast if you can and put back the saucepan over the heat (still medium to high).
Mix well over the heat.
Beat hard the pastry with the spoon for 30 seconds. count in your head.
do not stop beating hard to break the pastry. This is what the professional call the drying out process. It is also really good for anger management.
Shape the pan if the dough gather together without sticking to the pan, you are succesful.
Transfer the pastry to a clean bowl and cool down below 60C.
You can leave the pastry out and spread t a bit to cool down faster.
Whilst the pastry is cooling down, crack all the eggs in a jug.
using a hand mixer/blender, blitz the eggs for few seconds.
This tip helps for the perfect incorporation fo the whole eggs in the dough... Making it smoother.
Preheat your oven at 200 C. nad prepare your baking trays. i normally do not use silicon paper on my trays. i just spray them with a little fat and remove the excess fat with absorbent paper. It leaves just a fine film on a tray and it is perfect.
However, if you not use to piping straight and to right length everytime, here is another tip for you. Great the tray, cut a piece of silicon paper that perfectly fit the inside of the tray. Using a ruler and a marker pen, mark a straight line of 10 to 12 cm long for your eclairs. Spave them up by 5 cm as the pastry will double in volume when baking.
Once done, turn the paper upside down and place it on the greased tray. we do not want to see the lines of the markers once the pastry is baked.
Now that your pastry should have coll down enough, start adding 1/4 of the eggs and mix with a spatula.
At first the pastry looks like it it separating. DO NOT panick, it is normal. As soon as you feel the pastry getting back together, you can add more eggs.
Add another 1/4 of eggs and mix with a spatula. You can actually do that in a machine with the spade attachment.
Keep mixing and adding the eggs.
As you can see your mixture is starting to look smooth.
All the eggs should be added, the pastry should look shiny, a little soft but not too runny.
As a good indication, pastry chefs lift the spoon or spatula with choux pastry on it and let it drop over the bowl. Your choux pastry should slowly drop, be shiny, smooth (no lumps) and break softly leaving a "V" shape at the end of the spatula. If you have reach all of this.... Well Done and congratulations. You have just made Choux pastry.
Onto piping now, I used a large jug to help me fill up my bag. I use a disposable piping bag and a Star nozzle (Size 13-15). I fill up the bag with my entire choux pastry. the Use of plain and star nozzles is totaly up to you. but i found out through trial and error that fine star nozzle gave me the best result for eclair piping.
I push down the pastry to avoid air bubbles and keep it tight.
Piping the Eclairs
Twist your piping back on the end of it to apply a good pressure. One hand push the choux pastry by pressing on the bag. the other direct the bag. Start away from you, place the nozzle on the paper, push gently as you move the piping bag backward or towards you. Follow the line. When you reach the end od the line. stop pressing on the bag and have a little motion forward.
Keep going over and over every lines. I recommend you give it few try on a clean bench first before. This will help you have a feel for the pastry. how fast or slow it comes out and how quick or slow you move the piping bag forward. Once you feel confident, put the choux pastry from the bench back in the bag and pipe away.
Your eclairs should look straight. Watch the video over and over to understand how the piping motion works.
Pipe all the choux pastry. remember to leave enough space between them to puff up.
Another tip here, i quickly spray again the choux Pastry once piped. This reduces the cracks on top of the eclairs.
Baking Choux pastry
Once ready, bake your choux pastry in a pre heated oven at 200 C for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 170 C for another 15-20 minutes
Do not open the oven for the first 15 min. After that you can have One quick open and close to remove the steam from the oven but keep baking them.
They should have double in size, keep their shape and be hollow inside.
BLack forrest eclair
Raspberry choux with sable pastry
One day i will show you how to create these delicious dessert.