Basic choux pastry
Makes about 20 eclairs or 40 cocktail puffs.
- Heat the oven to 200C.
- Grease a large oven tray with butter. Place the cold water, salt and butter in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to ensure the butter is melted before the water boils.
- As soon as the water boils, immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and add the flour, stirring well. Return the saucepan to the stove and stir vigorously for 15-20 seconds until the mixture comes away from the side of the pan and forms a ball around the spoon. Remove from the heat.
- Tip the mixture into a food processor. With the motor running, add the eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is well combined, shiny and thick. Transfer the warm mixture to a large piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle and pipe evenly spaced 8-10cm lengths onto the tray. If you want cocktail-sized puffs, pipe 3cm-diameter mounds onto the tray. If you don’t have a piping bag, spoon out the mixture in even mounds.
- Place the tray in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and well dried.
- Cool on a rack, piercing the end of each éclair or puff to allow the centre to dry out. Store in an airtight tin for up to 2 days. They can be frozen.
To learn how to make chocolate eclairs, click here.