Choux pastry is extraordinarily versatile - master the technique and let your imagination run riot. The dough can be piped, scooped or otherwise shaped into balls, wreaths or batons as the whim takes you, then baked or fried. Fill them with sweet creams or ice-cream, glaze with caramel, chocolate or not at all, or think savoury instead and flavour the base dough with cheese or herbs and stuff your pastries with a creamy vegetable purée, perhaps, seafood mousse or cured trout and crème fraîche as we have here.
- 100 gm butter, cut into 1cm cubes
- 200 gm plain flour (1 1/3 cups)
- 5 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat with 200ml water and a pinch of sea salt. Increase heat to medium-high, bring to the boil, then remove from heat, add flour in one lot and beat to combine well. Return to medium heat and beat until mixture comes together and starts to leave the sides of the pan (2-3 minutes). Transfer to an electric mixer and beat until dough is no longer hot but still warm (1-2 minutes).
- 2Beat in the eggs in 4 or 5 additions, holding back a little of the egg and checking the texture of the mixture; it should have a dropping consistency – that is, it should fall very slowly from the spoon when held over the bowl. Only add more egg if the pastry is still stiff.