These little airy puffs of choux pastry filled with vanilla crème pâtissière say I love you with every little bite. Pile them up and serve in between you and your Valentine with a bottle of bubbly.
Choux pastry / pâte à choux is really a very easy pastry to master. There are two tricks. ‘Drying’ it out sufficiently in the pan and watching the consistency when you begin adding the eggs. You do not want a very wet dough. It must stand up on it’s own when you swish a finger through it so sometimes that means leaving a little egg behind when you’ve got a shiny, silky smooth pastry.
Once made the pastry is pretty robust. You do not need to pipe it out straight away and also if you pipe some dodgy looking choux you can scrape them back into the bowl and try again! You can also pre pipe them- freeze them and cook from frozen! Easy peasy! They are super light and fluffy and can be filled with anything sweet or savoury!
Vanilla Choux Buns
- 125ml full-cream milk
- 125ml water
- 110g butter
- 5g sugar
- 5g salt
- 140g flour
- 250g eggs (approx 5 large eggs)
- 500ml full-cream milk
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 60g egg yolk (approx 3 yolks)
- 80g caster sugar
- 40g Maïzena
Preheat oven to 220˚C and line two baking sheets with silicon mats or baking paper.
Bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to the boil. Take the pot off the stove and add the flour. Return to the heat and mix the dough thoroughly with a spatula, drying it out. 3-5 minutes.
Place dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix the dough on its own for a few seconds to release some steam and cool down.
Whisk the eggs and pour them into a little jug.
While the mixer is turning, slowly add the eggs a little at a time. Mix the dough thoroughly between each addition. It will split and then come back together again. You do not want the dough to be too wet so you may not need to add all of the egg. I often leave a tablespoon or two behind.
Fit a piping bag with a 10mm piping tip and then fill with the choux pastry.
Pipe mini ping pong sized balls onto the baking sheets and place in the oven. Switch the oven off for 10 minutes. Turn back on at 160˚C and cook for a further 20 minutes. Remove choux and leave to cool.
For the crème pâtissière- bring the milk and vanilla to the boil.
Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together until pale and creamy. Add the Maïzena and mix.
Once the milk reaches a boil- pour a splash of milk onto the yolk mix and whisk. Keep adding milk a little at a time. Then pour the mixture back into the pot and cook the pastry cream while whisking until it thickens and begins bubbling- about 3 minutes.
Cover with cling film on contact and place in the fridge to cool.
Jab little holes into the bottom of your choux with a piping tip and then fill with the pastry cream.
Dip the choux in your choice of topping- chocolate ganache, white chocolate or simple cupcake style icing.