with orange pastry cream filling and a dark chocolate ganache topping
After a recent choux pastry fail…
… where I had been a bit lazy about measurements and rushed a couple of steps, I thought I’d try again. This time I was more precise about measurements and times and I did it at a sane time of day so I was awake so the results were a bit nicer.
So I’ll try to quickly show/tell what I did this time.
To start with, a used a kitchen scale to measure with instead of cups and spoons. It is more accurate and like it or not, choux pastry works best if you are precise.
125 grams of milk (about 1/2 cup)
125 grams of water (about 1/2 cup)
5 grams of sugar (about 1 teaspoon)
2 1/2 grams of salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)
100 grams of unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 1/2 cup)
150 grams of flour (about 1 cup)
150 grams of eggs (approx. 3 large, beaten)
Pre-heat the oven to 425F
Put the milk, water, sugar, salt and butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan on the stove.
Heat this on medium heat, I tend to gently stir while it’s heating.
Heat till the butter is fully melted then if the mixture is not simmering, bring to a simmer.
Briefly remove from heat and add flour all at once and stir quickly to mix it in.
Place back on heat stirring quickly the whole time. It will soon come together in a ball and you’ll see some residue on the bottom of your pan
Place in the bowl of your stand mixer (or if you’re using a hand mixer, place in a mixing bowl).
Allow the dough to cool for 3-5 minutes so the eggs won’t cook when they’r being mixed in.
Then with the mixer on medium, add beaten eggs a little at a time and wait till that much is fully incorporated before adding more. It should have a smooth, silky look when you’re finished.
Now, either spoon or pipe the batter onto a pan that’s been lightly greased or a pan with parchment paper on it. Make whatever shape you want but if you’re doing the round shape, make the dots about 3″ across and a couple inches apart. If you’re making tube shapes (eclaire) then pipe out about a 4″ tube with a couple inches around each one.
Before you pipe them out, quickly brush a little water onto the pan or parchment paper. It causes a tiny bit of steam when you put them in the oven that helps them rise.
Bake at 425 for ten minutes then turn the oven down to 350 and bake for about another 25-30 minutes. If you can see through the window in your oven door, stop cooking when they’re nice and golden brown.
After that, turn the oven off and open the door slightly and allow to cool for another 30 minutes. Many people poke holes in them to allow for the steam to escape but I’ve found that if you just take your time allowing them to slowly cool, you don’t usually need to poke them but if you really want to, just don’t do it till after they’ve cooked for that initial 40 minutes and don’t take them out of the oven too fast after you turn it off. Wait 5-10 minutes after you open the door slightly just to open it far enough to reach in and poke a small hole in each one.
After they’re fully cooled you can use them for either savory snacks or sweet treats. There really is not much difference between choux pastry and a brioche except the brioche has yeast and some rising time(s).
This pastry works great as a sandwich…
Or, it works great as the dessert it’s known for
This is a very versatile pastry and really not that difficult if you just set aside a little time so you won’t be rushed and keep two important rules in mind:
1) Do not open the oven door till they are fully cooked (approx. 40 minutes or they will deflate quickly)
2) Be as precise as possible when measuring and timing things
Most of all, if it doesn’t turn out quite right the first time, just take a breath and try again.