A month has flown by and its time to share a sweet something for my 'Sweet day'.
Vaanya has turned 3 years and 1 month old. We had the most amazing birthday celebration for her 3rd birthday in Lucknow with family. The theme was Mickey mouse clubhouse as it is her new fetish. Kids and adults of the family joined in to decorate the house and have a Clubhouse party. From the food to the games, every little detail was planned collectively a month back. I tried my hands on a Surprise Mickey mouse cupcake and shared here for my last Sweet day. You can view the fun we had through some pictures that I shared here.
Today I planned to share something that I have attempted various times for family and simply love the texture of this unique pastry called Choux pastry(pronounced shoo pastry) This is a classic french pastry which is first made on the stove and then baked in the oven. The pastry has an amazing crispy,buttery and extremely light texture. The Choux pastry can be used to make Cream puffs, Profiteroles or even Eclairs where the basic mixture is piped in different shapes and baked.
Having tried this recipe several times, I have realized the importance of technique which is solely responsible for success in this pastry. It is a very simple pastry but only if you follow the instructions carefully otherwise you can end up with a flat disc of baked dough. The pastry is supposed to puff up in the first few minutes of baking getting the quintessential crinkles on top and then it is given further time in the oven to get cooked from inside.
Once mastered, this pastry will become your favourite and will win many weak 'sweet' hearts. In the past I have also tries a Savoury variation in this pastry with some savoury fillings.
Ingredients : Makes about 10-12 profiteroles
- 1/4 cup +2 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 egg, room temperature
- 1/4 cup +2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- a pinch of salt
First things first :
- Preheat oven to 200 degree Celsius
- Sift all purpose flour, salt and sugar and keep aside
- Beat the eggs lightly and keep aside
- Line the baking tray with an aluminium foil, lightly greased and keep aside
Now take butter and water in a pan and bring it to a rolling boil. Remember to use butter at room temperature otherwise the butter will take longer to melt and by then the required quantity of water will reduce due to evaporation.
As soon as it starts to boil, take it off heat and dump the flour,salt and sugar mixture into it. Mix well.
Put it back on low heat and let the mixture attain a dough like consistency, mixing all along. Do not let the flour mixture scald.
Take it off heat and allow to cool. Keep checking, when you can touch the bottom of the pan with your finger you are ready for the next step.
Add a tbsp of the beated egg and mix. Keep adding a spoonful or two and mix. Do not dump in the entire quantity of egg as the size varies which can change the consistency.
You need to achieve a consistency where when lifted with a spatula, the mixture falls off in 3-5 secs in a 'V' shape. Do not add any more egg , once this stage is achieved.
Put the mixture in a ziplock bag or a piping bag and snip off one end.
Make rough round shapes around 2" diameter on the prepared baking tray(lined with aluminium foil)
If there are any pointy ends, smoothen with a wet finger.
Put the baking try in the oven and bake on the same temperature(200 degree Celsius) for 10 mins. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN. This is because in the first ten minutes the pastry puffs up in the hot oven and opening the oven door in between can prevent a good rise of the pastry.
Check if your pastry has risen well otherwise give a little more time.
Now reduce the oven temperature to 176 degree Celsius and let the pastry cook for 15-20 minutes. The oven temperature is reduced to ensure that the pastry gets well cooked from inside.
Take them out and allow to cool. But while they are still warm make horizontal slits on the sides for hot air to escape.
You can also cut the pastry in half to make room for any filling.
Your pastry is ready for infinite number of fillings. I have used a whipped cream filling which I have just piped in with a star nozzle.
Drizzle or spread a generous amount of melted chocolate on top for an amazing french pastry experience.