Pâte à Choux (choux pastry) may sound all fancy but it is really relatively simple to make compare to cupcakes or muffins. Whether you are making cream puffs or eclairs, it is basically the same formula, except the piping shape.
When I came across this churro cream puffs recipe by Barbara Bakes, I knew I had to make it. It is not every day I get to try a churro-flavored cream puff so I have to know how it tastes.
I won’t even bother to wax lyrical about the taste of these iconic little French pastries. They taste as good as they look. Period.
Pâte à Choux (adapted from my profiteroles )
½ stick (57 g) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (90 ml) water
2 tbsp (30 ml) whole milk
½ tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
½ cup (75 g) plain flour
1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water (egg wash)
1 tbsp (15 g) caster sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
2 tbsp (30 ml) honey
1 1/2 cups (350 ml) heavy whipping cream
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup (43 g) icing sugar
Makes 15 – 16 cream puffs
Recipe source: Barbara Bakes
Making the Pâte à Choux:
Preheat oven to 200°C/400°.
In a medium saucepan, add in unsalted butter, water, milk, salt and sugar. Stir well and bring to boil.
Turn off heat and add in flour immediately. Use a wooden spatula or spoon to stir until well combined.
Return back to medium heat and keep stirring until it comes together as a ball and a translucent thin layer forms at the bottom of the pan.
Remove from heat and let it cool for 5 – 10 mins.
Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl and add half to the slightly warm dough mixture. We do not want to cook the eggs.
It will look lumpy at first and that’s ok. Keep stirring until it forms a paste. Add the rest of the egg and repeat.
The batter should be thick and shiny and flow off the spoon like lava.
Place batter into a piping back fitted with a 1-cm plain nozzle. If you do not have the nozzle, simply snip off ½ cm at the tip of the bag.
Pipe each choux pastry onto a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper about 1 ½ inch size, leaving 1 inch space between them.
To prevent excessive browning on the tops, wet your index finger slightly and gently smooth down the tips.
Brush the egg wash lightly onto each pastry.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 – 20 mins, until puffy and golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
* Do not attempt to open the oven door halfway through baking as that will deflate the pastry.
*If you find your pastry slightly wet, use a toothpick or skewer and poke a couple holes at the bottom of the pastry to allow the steam to escape.
*you could make the pastry ahead of time (or 1 day before) and store them in an air-tight container.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
Add sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon in a small bowl and mix well.
Melt the honey in a microwave for about 20 secs. You want it to be of a runny consistency.
Brush the top of the pastry with a layer of honey and sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over it.
Place them on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 5 mins.
Allow to cool before piping the filling. The top of the cooled shells should become firm and crispy.
In a large mixing bowl, add in the whipping cream, salt and beat until soft peaks, about 1 min. I used an electric hand mixer.
Pour in icing sugar, cinnamon and continue to whisk until stiff peaks.
Transfer filling into a piping bag fitted with a small round star tip nozzle. Again if you do not have it, just snip off the tip of the bag, just enough to allow the filling to come through.
You could pierce the nozzle through the side of the pastry and fill them up or slice them into half and fill the centre with the cream.
Serve immediately or chill them in the fridge until ready to consume. Personally, I find it taste better when chilled.