Ask the ex­perts:

Our food ex­perts Fran Ab­dal­laoui and Pamela Clark re­veal the se­crets to pre­par­ing choux pas­try, a tech­nique that is easy to mas­ter with a lit­tle prac­tice.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

how to make choux pas­try

Choux pas­try is un­usual be­cause it’s “cooked” be­fore it’s baked and uses steam cre­ated by the eggs in the recipe as the rais­ing agent. The puffs “puff” be­cause the steam is trapped in­side them, caus­ing them to rise up and out. Each choux puff needs enough room on the oven tray to spread, so leave 3cm be­tween each. This also al­lows the heat to cir­cu­late and brown the puffs evenly. Once cooked and cooled, the puffs can be frozen, then re­freshed in the oven be­fore serv­ing. “Choux”, mean­ing lit­tle cab­bage, de­scribes cream puffs ac­cu­rately.

Choux puffs

MAKES ABOUT 24 PREP AND COOK TIME 45 MIN­UTES

75g but­ter, chopped ½ tea­spoon salt ¾ cup (180ml) wa­ter ¾ cup (110g) plain flour 3-4 eggs 1 Pre­heat oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced). Grease two oven trays. Com­bine the but­ter, salt and the wa­ter in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil – do not let the wa­ter boil for longer than nec­es­sary while melt­ing the but­ter as it will evap­o­rate and af­fect the bal­ance of in­gre­di­ents. 2 Add the flour all at once, beat­ing with a wooden spoon un­til mix­ture is smooth and pulls away from the side of the saucepan to form a ball (Step 2, be­low). Con­tinue to beat for a fur­ther 30 sec­onds1 minute over low heat. 3 Trans­fer dough to a medium bowl. Us­ing a wooden spoon, beat 3 eggs into dough, one at a time, beat­ing vig­or­ously and thor­oughly af­ter each ad­di­tion (Step 3). Add enough of the re­main­ing beaten egg to dough un­til it is thick and glossy and just falls from the spoon – not all the egg may be needed. 4 Drop rounded tea­spoons of dough 3cm apart onto pre­pared trays (Step 4). Sprin­kle or spray puffs with a lit­tle wa­ter. 5 Bake for 10 min­utes. Re­duce heat to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Bake for fur­ther 15 min­utes or un­til puffs are golden. Cut a small open­ing in base of each puff; re­turn to oven for 5 min­utes or un­til puffs are dry. 6 Choux puffs can be filled with sweet or savoury mix­tures (Step 6), such as thick cus­tard or vanilla-scented cream.

Suit­able to freeze. Not suit­able to mi­crowave.

Choux puffs

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 6

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