I have been baking choux pastry several times around festive season and have made several small, but essential changes to eclairs recipe already published in this blog. It gave me an opportunity to make reliable dough and adjust baking regime to result in more rounded pastry shells for eclairs and profiteroles, compared to the original recipe.
To fill choux pastry I used our favourite vanilla cream, but any cream can be used, starting with just with whipped cream, pastry cream or any cream cheese fillings, as well as mascarpone cheese.
The top can be covered with chocolate, but I also like to brush it with cream and use nuts, chocolate granules or just leftover shortcrust crumbs as a topping.
I have found that water is the best option as a liquid ingredient, compared to the mix of water and milk.
the number of pastries depends on their size and shape
- 225g of water
- 110g unsalted butter
- 6g sugar
- 1/2 tea spoon of sea salt (less if using table salt)
- 150g rice flour (I used Ardor Food white rice flour, fine grade)
- 245-246g eggs (in my case 5 eggs mixed to even texture, not all mixture was used)
Note: previously used Ceres organic white rice flour took different quantity of eggs, see original recipe.
- add water, butter, sugar and salt to a pot with a heavy bottom
- heat the contents of the pot to a boiling point on medium heat, at the time of boiling butter should be melted and sugar dissolved
- take the pot from the heat and add all flour in one go, mix the flour in
- the dough will be thick
- mixed dough should be returned to the pot for extra cooking to reduce moisture content in the dough
- it will take 2-3 minutes on medium heat
- you will see the thin layer of the dough, appearing on the bottom of the pot
- transfer the dough into a bowl where you will do all the mixing
- let the dough to cool down to the temperature 42-45C
- you can use the original pot for further dough preparation, just let the dough cool down
- prepare egg mixture with 4-5 eggs with even texture< number of eggs depends on their size, you might need up to 250g of the egg mixture
- start adding eggs to the dough 1 to 1.5 table spoons at one time
- mix each portion until fully combined, with rice flour this is difficult to achieve adding the very first portions of egg mixture
- the initial mixing is easily done manually with spatula
- the final stages of egg mixture incorporation better to be done with the help of a mixer, for mixing manually you might need extra strength
- when half of egg mixture is incorporated, the dough will get to an even texture
- close to the end of mixing check dough texture, it has to form v-shape staying on silicone spatula
- in my two bakes I have used 245-246g of egg mixture for 150g of rice flour of this particular brand
- prepare pastry bag with a 1.25cm tip, for more even shaped eclairs it is better to use the tip that makes finer indentations in the dough
- line baking tray with baking paper, do not grease the paper
- pipe the dough for eclairs of desired length, the tip has to touch the surface at the 45 degrees angle
- for profiteroles the tip has to be at 90 degrees angle (vertical) to the baking tray
- the main difficulty is to apply constant pressure on a pastry bag when piping
- dust the dough with icing sugar, it can stand and wait for its turn for baking, as I had 3 baking trays that I baked one after another
- I have changed baking regime from the original recipe
- bake at 180C (no fan regime) or 170-175C (fan forced regime)
- bake for 25-26 minutes without opening oven door
- open oven door, use toothpick to make 2 small holes in pastry shell to let moisture escape, use toothpick, I often take the tray out of the oven to do that
- return the tray to the oven
- bake for another 8-10 minutes, 180C with fan
- baking regime 26 minutes 180 no fan, followed by 8-10 minutes 180 with fan gives the best evenly shaped eclairs with nearly perfect surface (my oven, middle rack)
- cool eclairs on a wire rack
- do not cut eclairs to fill them with cream until they completely cool down
In these series of bakes I have discovered that Ardor Food Co Rice flour is the best option for at least the choux pastry. It has more fine texture compared to Ceres organic and especially McKensie’s. The latter is excellent in shortcrust pastry, but did not work to my satisfaction in choux pastry. I want to mention that Ardor Food rice flour has an amazing taste, that gives both gentle sweetness and very pleasant gentle smell. We both with my husband considered those eclairs and profiteroles the best we ever had. I also used this flour successfully for kids Christmas picnic treats – sweet eclairs and savoury profiteroles with smoked trout salad filling. Nothing was left, both kids and parents enjoyed all treats. This brand was another discovery during ever changing lockdown rules and looking for gluten free products in unusual places. I am glad I have discovered this brand.