25 Jan 2010

how to: choux a la creme

Half a year of of through research on one particular recipe, the choux pastry and how to make a perfect cream puff. I bring you this un-professional commentary of my experience :) Sorry if you don't understand my notes...

Cream puffs have always been on my baking list. However I thought it was a lot of work making the pastry and custard. As I always seem to burn my custard, I didn't dare bake choux shells since I'll have no filling! Recently I had luck with custard, so I decided to finally give choux a go. To be honest, this time is my second time baking choux shells. The first time was a flop. The choux shells deflated upon cooling.

After that failure, I decided to research about choux pastry (wiki information) ; how it's made and the method to make a perfect choux shell. I combined the recipe, baking times and tips from Keiko, Matt Moran's new cook book "When I get home" and publisher Hamlyn's "How to cook".

I'm not going to post the ingredients, but only the method, because I'm not even sure if this is going to work out a second time. This is only going to be a guide and a personal reference.

choux a la creme guide

  • Melt butter and bring to a boil with the milk (butter and milk must be combined - not a layer of butter on top)
  • Turn of heat and add all the sifted flour
  • Stir until dough comes together and doesn't stick to the sides
  • Add beaten egg one at a time and beat hard to incorporate
  • The dough will break up, but keep stirring until it comes together
  • The dough will look something like this, beat in another egg until the dough reaches the correct consistency (3 small eggs)
  • the correct consistency - soft enough to fall of a wooden spoon
  • Put dough in a piping bag and pipe out 4-5 cm diameter rounds (15 on one tray) using a pastry brush, flick water droplets on the dough and tray
  • Bake: 180 degrees fan forced for 15 minutes, reduce temperature to 130 degrees fan forced for 8-10 minutes until dry
  • Take out of oven and prick a small hole at the bottom
  • Return to oven, door ajar and cool

Yummy, yummy choux a la creme :) Tastes best on the day made!

I've tried Puffy, which is a a cookie crust on top of a choux. Yet to try Beard Papa's cream puffs. Although Jun did say Beard Papa's were expensive and not as nice as Puffy...