Puffs and eclairs share festive accolades
CREAM puffs and chocolate eclairs, made from choux paste, are easy to make with a food processor.
Cream Puffs and Chocolate Eclairs: For 12 puffs or eclairs:
cup water 60g butter, cubed
cup standard flour 2 large eggs Heat the oven to 200 deg Celsius (190C fanbake) with the rack just below the middle. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Bring water and butter to the boil. Tip in the flour when butter melts. Stir briskly with a wooden spoon, lifting the pot off the heat as soon as the dough forms a ball that does not stick to the side.
Break the dough ball into three or four spoonfuls and drop into a food processor. Break in an egg and mix well. Drop another egg in and process for 20 to 30 seconds.
For cream puffs put spoonfuls on to baking tray. For chocolate eclairs put mix in a forcing bag and pipe sausage shapes on to the tray.
Bake for about 40 minutes. Lower the temperature if they brown too much after 20 minutes. Puff walls must be set and should sound hollow when tapped. If in doubt, take out a puff, let cool then cut it open. If it has uncooked mixture inside, leave the others to cook for longer.
When cold, fill puffs or eclairs with sweetened whipped cream (flavoured with vanilla and/or finely grated orange rind).
Dust tops of puffs with icing sugar and ice eclairs with chocolate glaze before or after you fill them. Chocolate glaze: Heat 2 level Tbsp cocoa and cup water in a pan. As this thickens and starts to look dry, remove from the heat. Stir in tsp vanilla essence. Sift 1 cup icing sugar.
When the pan has cooled so you can touch its bottom with your hand, add half the icing sugar. Magically, the dryish chocolate mixture becomes thin, dark brown and shiny. Add enough extra icing sugar to make the icing less runny.
Tilt the pot or pan and dip the top of unfilled eclairs in it (or spoon glaze over). The icing should run a little. If it runs too far, add more icing sugar. If it doesn’t run, add water but do not heat the pan.
PUFFED PERFECTION: Cream puffs are a breeze if you have a food processor.