Please wait, the site is loading...

Food

Mastering choux pastry

by Sarah Randell

We heard on the grapevine that the Great British Bake Off hopefuls are mastering choux pastry this week. As unashamed GBBO groupies, we wanted to join in the fun, so we made a few batches of choux buns to turn into profiteroles in our test kitchens today.

If you haven't made choux pastry before, don't be put off. It's one of the easiest pastries you'll ever make (there's no rolling out for a start). Just follow our top tips for guaranteed success:

1. Weigh all your ingredients carefully – you need to be accurate.

2. Add the flour to the liquid as soon as it comes to the boil – no wandering away from the hob!

3. For buns as crisp and golden as can be, bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven, turn them over and prick the bottoms with a cocktail stick before returning to the oven to continue baking.

profiterole-step-1.jpg

4. Cool on a wire rack. The crisp texture of the buns makes them easy to fill and contrasts deliciously with the creamy filling.

profiteroles-step-2.jpg

Here's my favourite profiterole recipe – give them a try and let us know how you get on. In the meantime, we're off to scoff ours!

WHITE CHOCOLATE AND VANILLA PROFITEROLES

Makes 40

We finished the profiteroles with a flourish of crushed crystallised rose petals and pieces of gold leaf, both available from Jane Asher.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CHOUX BUNS:
  • 150g plain flour
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 100g butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 500g crème fraîche
  • 2 vanilla pods, split in half lengthways and seeds removed
  • TO DECORATE
  • 2 x 100g bars Swiss white chocolate, broken into squares icing sugar, for dusting

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7.
  2. Sift the flour and a pinch of salt on to a square of baking paper that has been folded in half and opened again (this will make it easier to add the flour to the liquid quickly).
  3. In a medium pan, gently heat 300ml of water, the sugar and butter.
  4. Once the butter has melted, increase the heat and, as soon as the liquid comes to the boil, shoot the flour from the folded baking paper into the pan and take the pan off the heat.
  5. Using a wooden spoon, quickly mix the flour into the liquid, beating vigorously until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan.
  6. Gradually beat in the eggs, making sure each addition is fully incorporated into the dough. You will be left with a thick, glossy paste. Leave to cool a little.
  7. Using half of the dough, roll 20 heaped teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on baking sheets lined with baking paper.
  8. Leave enough space between each ball for the pastry to rise and expand.
  9. Bake the choux buns for 20 minutes (it’s best to bake one tray of profiteroles at a time), then remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6.
  10. Quickly turn the buns over and prick each one with a cocktail stick to allow the steam to escape.
  11. Return the buns to the oven, bottoms up, and bake for a further 5-7 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
  12. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  13. Bake the remaining choux pastry in the same way – remember to turn up the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7 before you start again.
  14. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
  15. Using a sharp knife, halve the cooled choux buns.
  16. Mix the crème fraîche with the vanilla seeds and, using a teaspoon, fill the bottom half of each bun. Put the lids back on.
  17. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and, using a flat-bladed knife, spread a little melted chocolate over the top of each profiterole.
  18. Leave to set for an hour or so.
  19. Pile the profiteroles on to a plate and dust lightly with icing sugar.

Tip

Once filled and decorated, you can store the profiteroles in a cool place (not the fridge) for a few hours before serving

Don`t miss

We value your privacy

We use cookies to help give you the best experience on our site and to allow us and third parties to customise the marketing content you see across websites and social media. For more information see our cookie policy.

Cookie Preference Centre

Learn more about what each cookie category does and choose your settings (toggle right to opt in or left to opt out). Cookie policy


Strictly Necessary

These technologies are needed to enable our websites and apps to run and to keep it secure.

Sainsbury's Magazine

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
PHPSESSID Until the browsing session ends
device_view 1 month
recentlyViewedRecipes 1 year
subscription-{popup-version-date}-PopupClosed 12 days

Vimeo

Enables Vimeo videos on the site

Cookie name Duration
_derived_epik 1 year

Constant Commerce

Enables shopping tools for recipe ingredients

Cookie name Duration
cc_a_h 10 years
cc_a_s Until the browsing session ends

DoubleClick

DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) is an integrated ad-technology platform that enables us to more effectively create, manage and grow high-impact digital marketing campaigns.

Cookie name Duration
DSID 10 days
IDE 1 year
RUL 11 months

Performance/Analytics

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Google

Google Analytics tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
__gads 13 months
_ga 28 months
_gat 1 minute
_gid 1 day
1P_JAR 1 month
ANID 10 days
CONSENT 18 years
NID 6 months
__Secure-3PAPISID 2 years
__Secure-3PSID 2 years
__Secure-3PSIDCC 1 year

Marketing/Targeting

These technologies help us decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you. We use this data to customise the marketing content you see on websites, apps and social media. They also help us understand the performance of our marketing activities. These cookies are set by us or our carefully-selected third parties.

Pinterest

Pinterest conversion tracking gathers conversion insights and builds audiences to target based on actions our visitors have taken on the site.

Cookie name Duration
_pinterest_ct_rt 1 year
_pinterest_ct_ua 1 year
_pin_unauth 1 year

Outbrain

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
outbrain_cid_fetch 5 minutes
adrl 5 weeks
apnxs 6 weeks
criteo 2 months
obuid 6 months

Twitter

Twitter conversion tracking enables us to measure our return on ad spend by tracking the actions people take after viewing or engaging with our ads on Twitter.

Cookie name Duration
personalization_id 2 years
muc 2 years
ads_prefs 5 years
auth_token 5 years
dnt 5 years
guest_id 2 years
twid 5 years