Choux pastry is deceptively simple to make, and very rewarding, since the different shapes that can be created from it look spectacular! It’s also the perfect base on which to build a variety of flavour profiles.
WHAT IS CHOUX?
Choux (French for cabbage) dough, also known as pâte à choux, is twice-cooked to create the airy, hollow French pastry we know and love. Sweet versions of choux pastry are normally filled with cream for a dessert or sweet snack, while the savoury type can be filled with anything from shellfish to cream cheese, and served as hors d’oeuvres.
Recipe by Christine Capendale
Photograph and Styling by Hein Van Tonder
How to make choux dough
- 250ml (1 cup) boiling water
- 125g salted butter
- 150g cake flour
- 4 extra-large eggs
Place the boiling water in a medium saucepan, add the butter and stir until the butter has melted. Cover, then bring to the boil over medium heat. Once boiling, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture no longer sticks to the sides of the pot but forms a smooth ball.
Remove from heat and transfer the ball to a heatproof mixing bowl. Set aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Make sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. You should end up with a wet dough that drops off a spoon slowly and is soft enough to pipe.