Now that I have some free time at home I am so excited to get back into baking. It’s easily my favourite hobby, and I love experimenting with new recipes and techniques.
If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know that I’ve dipped my toe into choux pastry before – these Salted Caramel Popcorn Eclairs were a big hit! – but I wanted to try something different this time.
In the end I went for these chocolate-y rings filled with crème pâtissière goodness. These ended up quite simple in terms of flavour, but you could easily jazz these up with some fresh fruit, a zingy curd or something a bit more fun like the popcorn I used for the eclairs! The possibilities are endless, which is why I love to bake so much.
85g lightly salted butter
100g plain flour
75ml double cream
1 egg yolk
25g caster sugar
1.5 tbsp cornflour
Here I just used some good old nutella and a dusting of icing sugar – but like I said, this is where you can experiment!
- To make the choux, start by placing the butter in a pan along with 225ml of water and heat until slightly simmering and all of the butter has melted. Then, quickly tip in the sifted flour and beat until you have a smooth, lump-free paste which comes away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
- Once the paste has cooled slightly, begin to add the egg bit by bit, stirring thoroughly after each addition. Continue this until you have a smooth mixture which drops ‘reluctantly’ off the spoon. Transfer your pastry to a piping bag.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C and line two baking trays. To create a guide for the piping, I used a pencil and a glass to draw evenly spaced circles onto the baking paper. I managed to fit about 8 on each tray, but make sure they are well spaced out as these do tend to rise.
- Now it’s time to pipe the choux onto the baking trays using the guide you created. I used a star nozzle with my piping bag to add an extra finish, but you can use whatever nozzle you’d like (or even no nozzle at all!). Once you’re finished, pop them into the oven for around 30 minutes – I often check at about 25 minutes. And once you think they’re done turn the oven off and leave them in there just to make sure they go nice and crisp in the middle.
- While the choux is in the oven, I like to get on with my crème pâtissière. Start by heating up the milk and double cream in a pan until slightly simmering, and then remove from the heat. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, caster sugar and cornflour to make a smooth paste. Tip the milk and cream mixture into the paste, mix thoroughly, and then pour back into the pan and return to the hob. Stir over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until you have a thick custard. Then pour into a jug and leave in the fridge to chill.
- Once your choux rings have cooled completely, and you have left your crème pâtissière in the fridge for at least an hour, it’s time to start decorating. In this instance, I transferred the crème pat into a piping bag and piped small blobs on the bottom ring. I then placed the other half on top, drizzled with some melted nutella and finished with a dusting of icing sugar. This was really simple to do but had a lovely effect.
I hope you enjoyed this little experiment with choux pastry! I’m excited to try them out again with some different flavours and textures. Do let me know if you have any ideas 🙂