Choux pastry or pâte à choux is a pastry that I have tried the maximum number of times and failed the maximum number of times as well. It contains only 4 basic ingredients-eggs, flour, butter and water and employs the high moisture content to create steam during cooking to puff the pastry, leaving a hollow center and light texture. Choux pastry is used to make Profiteroles, Eclairs and cream puffs. It can also be used for savoury pastries such as Gougères.
Though normally baked, very interestingly, the same pastry is also fried as in making churros and also boiled to make Marillenknödel, a sweet apricot dumpling (in that case it does not puff, but remains relatively dense)
Choux pastry has a reputation for being difficult to master, and rightly so as half of my attempts have failed to puff up. The pastry relies heavily on the technique and there are a few things to be kept in mind always. Here are some pointers that I have learnt from all my blunders
- Turn the oven on before starting anything. A pre-heated oven is essential to raise and cook the pastry.
- Keep all your ingredients ready eg: whisk egg, sift flour. (In this recipe keep grated cheese ready).
- DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN while the pastry is cooking. It will hinder the puffing and they will collapse.
Recipe Source :
Ingredients: I have halved the quantity
- 1/4 cup+1/2 tbsp water
- 1.1 ounce unsalted butter(2 tbsp)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- a pinch of pepper powder
- 1/4 cup+1 1/4tbsp All purpose flour, sifted
- 75 gms eggs, whisked(A little more than 1 standard egg)
- 1/4 cup grated cheese(I used Amul processed cheese)
Preheat oven to 200 degree Celsius.
Prepare a baking pan lined with lightly greased aluminium foil.
Combine water, butter, salt and pepper in a saucepan over medium heat.
Stir till butter melts. Once butter has melted, increase the heat and bring the mixture to a simmer.
Remove from heat and stir in all the flour, at once, with a wooden spoon.
Continue to stir for 1-2 mins till mixture has a paste like consistency.
Place the pan over medium heat and stir rapidly for 1 min, till dough pulls away from sides and bottom of the pan and dough looks glossy and smooth.
Let the pan cool, till you can touch the bottom with a finger.
Add whisked egg, a tbsp at a time, and beat well till absorbed before adding more. (You may not require to add in all the egg.)
Continue adding till when lifted with the wooden spoon, the batter falls off in 1-2 second delay in a triangular way.
Add grated cheese and mix lightly.
Put the batter in a pastry bag and pipe balls 1" in diameter onto the aluminium foil.
Bake for 10 mins(for the pastry to puff up), then reduce the temp to 176 degree Celsius and bake for another 20 mins(for the pastry to get cooked)