Sunday, 31 August 2008

My Kingdom for a pair of choux (buns)!

Bit of a manic Sunday, had promised myself to complete a challenge set by the Daring Bakers, and August's task has been "chocolate eclairs" - a brilliant choice, who doesn't love good choux? As it's my first Daring Baker challenge as newbie member, I wasn't going to miss out, pastry being my nemesis but thankfully choux buns are pretty foolproof.
So even if you're a bit of a pastry-phobe like me, give this a go, it's much more straightforward than other traditional pastries and so flatmate and her other half happened to be in when I made these and we managed to scoff ALL that I made (which was admittedly a small batch). A confession though: I didn't have time to make the filling, so I cheated by picking up vanilla custard from my local supermarket and cheekily adulterating it with some passionfruit pulp....mmm! Naughty to cheat, but in the broad scheme of things, better to enjoy these babies rather than forego the challenge! 

  • 125g whole milk
  • 125g water
  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 140g plain flour
  • 5 large eggs
Bring the milk/water/butter up to the boil, making sure to melt the butter completely before boiling the water.

Sift the flour with sugar and salt and add this to the boiling liquid whilst turning the heat off, immediately stir the mixture like a mad woman (!) for ca. 20 sec until the mixture is thick, gloopy and comes off the sides.

Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then add the eggs in increments until the mixture reaches a smooth, dropping consistency. 

Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Get a baking tray out and line with silicone paper. As my piping bags are MIA, I simply spooned dollops of mixture on the sheet and smoothed them with a wet finger so there were no spiky bits. So you have choux buns, not eclairs :-)

Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes. It's VERY important NOT to open the oven door for at least 20 minutes as this will lead to deflation of the choux (or at least it has done in my experience)...when they look puffed up and golden, take the baking sheet out of the oven, pierce the underneath of each choux bun with a skewer and place them upside down back on the baking sheet and back into the oven to dry out for 5-10 minutes.

When the choux are dried out, allow them to cool whilst preparing the filling and chocolate glaze. In my case, as I was rushed for time, I made the following glaze:
  • 100g plain chocolate
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tsp golden syrup
  • 1-2 tsp water
Place all of this in a heatproof bowl over a pan with simmering water and allow to met until a smooth glaze is formed. This will require tasting, so dip your fingers in, but no double-dipping :-)

For the filling, I simply added the pulp of 1 1/2 passionfruit to the vanilla custard and improvised with a plastic food bag to create a rather slapdash piping bag to squirt the filling into the choux buns. A bit messy but that's part of the fun of making this...


Anne said...

Passionfruit - what a delicious addition! Great idea!

MaryMary said...

cheers to your first challenge and glad you pushed for completion! Welcome to DB.

Lunch Buckets said...

So cute! So tiny! So naughty! Welcome to the group :)

Candace said...

Very nice first challenge!

Eat4Fun said...

Congratulations on completing your first DB Challenge! Passion fruit sounds like a wonderful addition.

jasmine said...

Congratulations on your first DB challenge!

Your cream puff looks adorable and hats off to using passionfruit.


Dragon said...

Passion fruit and custard is a great choice. These look adorable.

silverrock said...

Good on you for completing this month's challenge. Way to fancy-up a plain ol' eclair with passionfruit... I'll have to try that sometime.