Ooh la la! Making the perfect pastry

Beautiful profiteroles

Beautiful profiteroles

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Starting on 14 November the Cooking School hosts a two-part French Patisserie Masterclass with our special guest ‘Mike the Baker’ who’ll be helping customers create Mille Feuille and Pathivier.

But if you want to get going today, try this choux pastry.

The pastry forms the base for so many of our favourite treats – from classic chocolate éclairs to fluffy cream puffs.

So perfect this recipe and start to wow your friends and put those shop-bought pastries to shame.

While you’re making your pastry, here are some suggestions:

- Make sure your mix has cooled a little bit before you add your eggs - if your mix is too hot you will instantly cook the egg and the result will be disaster in the pan!

- Don’t add all of the egg at once - add it gradually to make sure you have the right consistency for piping

- Ensure that your pastry is completely cooled before you pipe any filling in - this ensures the pastry and filling maintains a good structure… as the beauty of choux pastry is the texture of aeration

Whether you are making small profiteroles or a large choux bun you can fill your pastry with a wide range of treats. I personally like the traditional cream-filled buns with a chocolate sauce.

Or why not fill your buns with a traditional crème patissiere for a rich, indulgent flavour? Enjoy!

Our 2-part French Patisserie Masterclass is on Thursday 14 & 21 November from 6-9pm and costs £75 for both evenings.

Book your place at www.thecookingschool.co.uk

Choux Pastry

(Makes 12 profiteroles)

Ingredients

125ml water

50g unsalted butter

65g plain flour – sieved on to greaseproof paper

2 eggs – beaten

1 pinch salt

Equipment

- small saucepan

- small bowl

- fork

- plate

- greaseproof paper

- sieve

- wooden spoon

- tablespoon

How to make it

1. Place the water and butter in the pan. Heat gently until the butter has melted. Bring the pan to the boil. Immediately, ‘shoot’ the flour and salt into the pan.

2. Stir well with the wooden spoon and then heat gently to cook the mixture until it comes together and starts to leave the sides of the pan.

3. Remove the pan from the heat. Gradually beat in the egg, a tablespoon at a time, until all the egg has been used up and the mixture is glossy and smooth.

Chef’s tip

To bake choux buns, profiteroles or éclairs, heat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Bake the choux buns, profiteroles or eclairs for 20 minutes or until well-risen and golden-brown. Some chefs and cooks recommend releasing the steam inside the profiteroles or eclairs during cooking.

To do this, after 15 minutes take the baking tin out of the oven, make a small slit in the base of each pastry.

Reduce the oven temperature to 180°c/Gas 5. Bake, slit side upwards, for a further 5 minutes.