HHDD#20 - Choux!
Who hasn't dreamed of profiteroles and melted hot chocolate running through fluffy little balls filled with soft cream? Mmmm, you haven't... How comes?? Oh wait, you're an eclair girl/boy! Or perhaps, beignets are your thing... Not really? Gougères then. (Un)fortunately for me, I love all those, sweet or savoury, versions made from choux pastry.
Choux pastry is a double-cooked dough made of butter, eggs, flour and water (or milk), and used to make profiteroles, croquembouches, eclairs, French crullers, beignets, and gougères.
Choux has always been on my " to do" list. It didn't happen until now when choosing HHDD#20 theme. It's not like I've been intimidated, and neither should you. Choux pastry is the easiest of the French patisserie line up, and the most versatile! Those are the reasons why I chose this theme, both challenging and doable, providing enough field for interpretations and personal takes. I hope that's good enough to convince you joining me! :)
Passionfruit Cream Profiteroles
Adapted from Donna Hay's magazine, Issue 35
1 cup (8 fl oz) water (240 ml)
100 grs (3 ½ oz) unsalted butter
¾ cup (112 ½ grs / 4 oz) plain all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (2 2/3 fl oz) lemon juice (80 ml)
2 cups (450 grs / 15 ¾ oz) icing (confectioner's) sugar
2 cups (16 fl oz) (single or pouring) cream, whipped (480 ml)
2/3 cup (5 fl oz) fresh passion fruit pulp (150 ml)
1/3 cup (50 grs / 1 ¾ oz) icing (confectioner's) sugar
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (360ºF). Place the water and butter in a saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Add the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Cook, stirring over low heat until the mixture leaves the side of the pan. Remove from the heat. Place in an electric mixer and beat on high, gradually adding the eggs until well combined. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with 12mm (½ in) plain nozzle and pipe 2 cm (¾ in) rounds onto baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and golden. Cool on wired racks.
To make the passionfruit cream, place the cream, passionfruit and sugar in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside. Combine the lemon juice and extra sugar until smooth. Fill the profiteroles with passionfruit cream and spoon over the lemon icing. Makes 45.
The mixture was a breeze to work with but I would like to add a few thoughts:
- Sift the flour. It will be easier to be absorbed when adding it to the water. Avoid adding it all at once or it will form clumps. If some clumps remain, press them against the sides of the pan whilst cooking.
- At this stage, the dough should form a ball, looking heavy and compact. Mine was runny... I figured out that adding the eggs to such a soft dough would not do - I added a couple of tablespoons of flour to the mixture.
- Do not add all the eggs at once. Each egg should be completely combined before adding the next one. My eggs measured about 240 ml (8 fl oz).
- I strongly advise you to use an electric mixer, as the mixture asks for serious arm work. Using the paddle attachment on medium speed worked just fine.
- When ready, the pastry should look like a very thick mayonnaise.
- Do not under bake the choux or they'll deflate after being removed from the oven. Mine took a little longer than 20 minutes.
- My choux are a little bigger than Donna's. I made about 30. Baked choux can be freezed, and finished when needed.
- For the passionfruit cream just combine the whipped cream with both sugar and passionfruit pulp.
Other Donna Day's recipes:
Choux pastry (From Modern Classics 2), Profiteroles, p.46.
Fillings: crème pâtissière, p.174, chocolate mousse, p.106. (From Modern Classics 2)
Double Chocolate Eclairs (From Simple Essentials Chocolate)
All I ask is for you to use choux pastry any way you like. You can make profiteroles (aka cream puffs) or eclairs with a creamy filling of your choice, such as lemon curd, whipped cream, ice cream, custard, creme patissière, or mousse, add fruit, dip in melted chocolate, toffee, top with lemon icing or meringue and sprinkle with shredded coconut or any kind of nuts. You can also turn them into savoury bites by filling them with cheese, salmon, tuna, mayonnaise, or anything at all. But you can have a different take at it and try the beignets - deep-fried choux pastry - with fruit or vegetable filling or with savoury fillings such as crawfish or shrimp. Or simply bake gougères (aka cheese puffs). Endless possibilities, really.
But before I get to my next choux recipe (I'll be posting a savoury version soon, so stay tunned!!), here are the RULES FOR HAY HAY ITS DONNA DAY:
Hay Hay Its Donna Day is open to all food and wine bloggers.
Entries submitted for HHDD must be made specifically for this event, although photos may be submitted to Does My Blog Look Good In This.
The host will select, make and post the original Donna Hay recipe without any changes. Participants may make the same recipe as is, or put their own spin on the recipe by altering the ingredients whilst remaining with the theme or if they prefer to share a well loved recipe within the theme. Entrants must include a link to the host in their post.
Entries can be made at any time once the event has been announced but must be posted and emailed to the host by the closing date.
Deadline for all posts to be up and submitted is June 9, 2008. I will be posting the round up a week later (June 16) and voting will then begin!
Please email all your entries to gourmetsamadores[AT]gmail[DOT]com from now on till the June 9. In your email, please include the following information: your blog name, your name, your location, your recipe name, and the permalink to your entry.
Hay Hay Its Donna Day is a food event created by Barbara from WinosandFoodies and now taken care by Bron Marshall. It's brilliant, thank you, ladies!
And now, CHOUX me your entries!! ;)