Recipe | Choux a la crème au chocolat
Choux à la crème to me are synonym of celebration. In France they are often eaten at birthdays, baptisms, family reunions - well on my French side of the family they are anyway! Those little bundles of joy filled with a surprised centre of silky crème patissière are simply delicious. I always thought they were so hard to make, when I actually had never tried to make them myself. That was until last week, Mel (my cousin) & I decided to go on a culinary adventure, we were a little scared I must say..but it ended beautifully, we finished the last couple of choux for breakfast one morning...who said they were reserved for dessert only? Certainly not me.
I followed my mum's recipe but I reduced the quantities a little as we didn't want to make a HUGE batch if it was going to be a disaster! We still managed to make 18 of them AND it wasn't a disaster at all!!
- 125g plain flour
- 20cl of water
- 75g butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp of sugar
+ In a saucepan put to a boil the water, butter, salt & sugar.
+ When it is boiling pour the sifted flour all at once & mix for about 5 minutes on low heat with a wooden spatula, this will allow air to get inside the dough & make fluffy cloud-like choux.
+ Take off the heat & let it cool for a few minutes.
+ Make sure the dough has cooled down a little (we don't want to cook the eggs straight away!) Then add the eggs one by one, each time working the dough vigorously and energetically.
+ On a cookie sheet form the choux with a piping bag or with two large spoons. Form little dough balls not bigger than 5cm wide (approximatively)
+ Place in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 15 minutes. The choux should look golden & sound hallow if you tap them slightly.
+ When they are ready, turn your oven off, leave it wide open but keep the choux inside. This allows them to 'dry' a little, letting the steam out so they don't go completely flat. (This wasn't actually in the recipe but I read it somewhere & it worked, I guess it's not compulsory but I didn't want to risk NOT doing it.. ya know? so it's up to you..!)
>> I then proceeded to let them cool down completely. We whipped up this chocolate creme patissiere by Nigella Lawson (halving the recipe). & filled them up with a pipping bag, when you do that make sure to leave them upside down for 10 minutes just so the creme continues to fill the choux up.
>> For presentation's sake I also dipped them into some glossy caramel (to make it just pour 4 tbsp of sugar in a non-stick saucepan with one tbsp of water on medium to low heat & watch it come to life bubbling up. It's ready when it turns brown & you can see that the sugar has completely dissolved. Don't panic for your pan when the caramel has cooled down & you're finished with your choux, just pour boiling water over it, the sugar will melt away!)
>> You could also make these choux savoury by taking out the spoon of sugar sprinkling them with cheese just before baking, filling them with a cheesy bechamel sauce maybe? or possibly a small dough of mozarella (I have to try this it sounds AMAZING..right?!)