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Choux Pastry

Choux pastry is soft and sticky. It is piped or spooned on to a baking sheet. When baking, the moisture in the dough turns to steam and puffs up the mixture leaving the centre hollow, which can then in turn be filled with whipped cream or a savoury filling.

Remember, Pastry is only as good as the flour you use. Don't buy cheap flour.

ingredients

1/2 cup (60 g) plain flour sifted (All purpose)
1/2 stick (2 oz) 50 g butter
2/3 cup (150 ml) 1/4 pt water
2 eggs lightly beaten

method

1. Sift the flour and salt together

2. Put the water and butter into a saucepan. Heat slowly until the butter melts, then bring to a brisk boil.

3. Remove from the heat and tip in all the flour. Stir briskly until the mixture forms a soft ball and leaves the sides of the pan clean.

4. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Add the eggs very gradually, beating hard until the mixture is smooth, shiny and firm enough to stand in soft peaks when lifted with a spoon. It is important to beat the mixture vigorously at this stage to trap in as much air as possible. A hand held electric mixer is ideal tor this purpose.

5. If not baking immediately, leave the mixture in the saucepan and cover with a lid to prevent the pastry drying out.

6. Bake in an oven preheated to 200 - 220°C (400 - 425°F) mark 6 - 7. When the choux pastry is removed from the oven it should be pierced immediately to make a small hole to allow steam to escape.

7. Storing Choux pastry isn't recommendedl however, you can freeze either uncooked, piped into the desired shape, or cooked but left unfilled and undecorated.

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