The Christmas issue

Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 28th December, 2016 for your chance to win a share of $50,000!

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Top 35 recipes of 2016

2016 was all about slow-roasting, fresh pasta and comfort food. These are the recipes you clicked on most this year, counting back to number one.

Chilled recipes for summer

When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.

Decadent chocolate dessert recipes for Christmas

13 of our most decadent chocolate recipes to indulge guests with this Christmas.

What the GT team is cooking on Christmas Day

We don't do things by halves in the Gourmet office. These are the recipes we'll be cooking on the big day.

Best travel destinations in 2017

We're thinking big for travelling in 2017 - and so should you. Will we see you sunrise at Java's 9th-century Borobudur Buddhist temple, across the table at Reykjavik's newest restaurants or swimming side-by-side with humpback whales off Western Australia's coast?

Christmas vegetarian recipes

The versatility of vegetarian dishes means they can be served alongside meat and seafood, or enjoyed simply as they are. With Christmas just around the corner, we’ve put together some of our favourite vegetarian recipes to appease both herbivores and carnivores alike.

Sydney's best dishes 2016

For our 50th anniversary issue in 2016, we scoured Australia asking two questions: What dishes are making waves right now? What flavours will take us into the next half-century? Sydney provided 16 answers.

Summer feta recipes

Whether in a fresh salad or seasonal seafood dish, feta's creamy tang can be used to add interest to a variety of summer dishes.

Choux pastry


It can seem daunting, but once you know the trick to choux you'll be able to create light, perfectly puffed pastry shells for savoury and sweet affairs.

You'll need

100 gm butter, chopped 150 gm (1 cup) plain flour 4 free-range eggs

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 220C. Combine butter and 1 cup of water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat, ensuring all butter melts.
  • 02
  • Add flour, beat vigorously with a wooden spoon to incorporate and continue beating until mixture leaves the sides of the pan (about 1 minute). Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
  • 03
  • Add eggs to paste, one at a time, beating vigorously to combine after each addition before adding the next.
  • 04
  • To make profiteroles using choux pastry, spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 12mm-plain nozzle. Pipe into 3cm-diameter mounds onto a baking paper-lined oven tray. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 180C, prick pastries with a skewer or tip of a small knife and bake until golden and dry (about 5 minutes). Cool pastries on a wire rack to room temperature.

Note Pastries will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Alternatively, cooked choux pastry stores well in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.


Choux pastry takes a deep breath and holds on, creating a seemingly magical hollow shell that's just right to fill with custard or cream. While the French word choux refers to the cooked pastry's cabbage-like appearance, the perfect choux should be light, airy and crisp - which is not very like a cabbage!

Choux pastry contains a large amount of water in the paste or dough, which turns to steam when baked, puffing the pastry. The first stage of cooking is to create a paste by boiling together butter and water, to which flour is added. It's important the butter and water mixture be boiling rapidly when the flour is added so the starch cells in the flour burst open, allowing them to accept more water, which in turn creates more steam and consequently more puff. When the flour is added, the mixture needs to be vigorously stirred to incorporate the flour evenly and prevent lumps.

Once you have the paste at this lump-free stage, you're home-free. Now the paste needs to cool slightly before adding the eggs, which must be stirred in one at a time. A little perseverance needs to be observed at this stage because you'll find at first the egg doesn't want to co-operate, sloshing around the pastry before it surrenders and combines to give the pastry a glossy sheen. For large quantities, the eggs may be added - again, one at a time - and combined in an electric mixer.

Some recipes advocate the use of sugar in a choux paste if it's to be used with a sweet filling, but this can lead to the pastry browning too quickly. Allowing the pastry to be browned by the flour's natural sugars means they can be cooked longer, which dries out the centre. If it's not properly dried out, choux pastry will soften and become soggy in a matter of hours.

A piping bag is generally used to distribute and shape the choux paste onto a baking tray, but if you find this fiddly and don't require a specific shape, it may be spooned onto the trays. This gives a more rustic shape, which can look beautiful for cream puffs, especially when they're dusted with icing sugar. Ignore the temptation to open the oven door for a peek while you're baking. It's hard to resist, especially the first time when you can't believe the transformation from dense, sticky paste to light fluffy puff, but the loss of internal steam will prevent your choux pastries from becoming all they could be.

When your puffs are nearly done, cut them open or prick them with a skewer and return them briefly to the oven. This allows the puffs to dry out and stay crisp in storage. When cooled, the choux puffs should be stored in an airtight container. If you find the puffs have softened in storage, they can be crisped up in the oven before filling and serving.

Choux can be used for savoury snacks: gougères are choux pastry that have Gruyère cheese incorporated into the paste, and they make great canapés when split and filled like a sandwich. No sweet tooth can resist choux in desserts: profiteroles filled with custard, dipped in toffee and formed into a tower become a celebratory croquembouche; when piped into a circle, topped with flaked almonds, then filled with raspberries and Chantilly cream, it's Paris-Brest. Best of all, the ultimate crowd pleaser, the chocolate éclair.


At A Glance

  • Serves 30 people
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
The GT x STILY
Christmas Boutique is now open

The smallgoods, homewares, art and more from the pages of GT are now all under one roof, ready to take their place under the tree.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

At A Glance

  • Serves 30 people

Featured in

Apr 2008

You might also like...

Tempered chocolate

recipes

Armando Percuoco: Linguine Napoletana

Trenette with pesto

recipes

Dhal with coriander and fried onion

Broad bean puree with chorizo

recipes

Pork and white beans

Italian meringue

recipes

conversion tool

 
get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×