Basic Choux Pastry (Fail Proof!)

August 16, 2016

fail proof choux pastry

You will not regret trying this Choux Pastry recipe (aka pâte à choux) - guaranteed to puff up and rise proudly with a hollow centre. This is after multiple attempts at making perfect choux puffs (aka cream puffs). I've lost count of the number of times when they failed to rise and remained a lump of dough. So it's safe to say that I'M NEVER USING ANY OTHER RECIPES AGAIN. 

Making choux seems straight forward enough - simmering ingredients in a pot, add flour and eggs, pipe and bake. However, the challenge is in precision. The temperature must be just right and steps followed exactly.

This recipe is very forgiving, and thus will be your go-to when making choux pastry (because who hates wasting ingredients on failed recipes?) 

fail proof choux pastry
Left: Salted Egg Yolk Cream Puff
Right: Speculoos Eclairs

This choux pastry is a versatile base for making cream puffs (aka profiteroles / choux à la crème), eclairs, and more! It is often filled with sweet fillings, but sometimes with savoury fillings too. Love how it's still slightly crunch outside but just the right softness inside. Plus, choux pastry always look impressive... especially with a chocolate glaze. 

This recipe includes how to make a classic custard filling. Of course, you can replace it with assorted custard flavours or even with cream - whatever you fancy.

Enjoy!



BASIC CHOUX PASTRY (FAIL PROOF!) 

Yield: About 10 cream puffs

[For Choux Dough] adapted from Grindelberg
100ml of Water
45g of Unsalted butter
1g of Salt
3g of Caster sugar
38g of Cake flour
13g of Bread flour
2 Beaten eggs

[For Custard]
2 egg yolks
400ml of Fresh Milk
140g of Caster sugar
30g of Cake flour/Top flour

[For Choux Dough]
1. In a pot, heat the butter, salt, sugar and water over medium heat. Stir till the butter melts completely and the mixture is simmering. 
2. Sift in the cake and bread flour and mix well, till the pastry starts coming together and does not stick to the pot.
3. Add the beaten eggs a portion at a time. Mix well between each addition. Stop when the batter falls down like a ribbon. 
4. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe out puffs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (*Optional: You might want to spray a bit of water to the surface as this helps puff to expand bigger, but this recipe works well even without this step)
5. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for about 20 minutes. Lower the oven to 150°C and bake for another 15 - 20 minutes. Let the puffs cool completely while left in the oven with the oven door left ajar.

fail proof choux pastry
Look at how they have risen! Nice and hollow centres.

[For Custard]
1. Add half the portion of milk and the egg yolks. Mix well.
2. Stir in the caster sugar, followed by flour.
3. In a pot, bring the remaining portion of milk to a simmer. Pour the heated milk to the mixture in a steady stream while mixing continuously.
4. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a pot. Place it on low heat and mix continuously until the custard thickens. The right consistency is when you can draw an "infinite" sign with the custard. Remove from heat and cover with a cling wrap (make sure cling wrap is touching the surface of custard) or transfer to a piping bag. Chill it in the fridge.
5. With a small piping tip, pierce the bottom of the choux pastry and fill with custard. You should be able to feel the dessert getting heavier as you pipe. This indicates your choux has risen! (P.S. You can melt some chocolate and glaze the top for eclairs!)

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