When I went to high school I always dreamt of getting a degree in cooking or baking. Unfortunately my parents didn't share the same idea and decided I should first get a proper degree and if I still wanted to go to cookery school I should just do this in my free time once I finished high school.
After high school came university and in the end it took me till I was 24 years old before I inscribed myself into a full time year course.

One of the things I learnt to master there is choux buns of cream puffs. There was a 50 year old guy in my course whom used to burn everything and used to be quite a disaster as a cook, but gosh he was a master at making choux buns!
I never stop being amazed at how this simple pastry turns into such a golden delicious air balls!
In Belgium we traditionally fill them with patisserie cream which is like a thick custard.
I do warn you these things are lethal, it is simply impossible to stop after one, you would just keep eating them!


Choux pastry recipe (adapted from Julia Child)

Ingredients: (makes about 35 puffs)
  • 120ml whole milk
  • 120ml water
  • 115g butter
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 140g plain flour
  • 5 large eggs of 6 medium eggs
  • Preheat oven to 180C°
Bring water and milk to a boil in a pan with the butter, salt and sugar. Boil slowly until butter has melted.

Remove from heat and immediately pour in the flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon for several seconds to blend thoroughly.
Then beat over a moderately high heat for 1 to 2 minutes until mixture begins to leave the side of the pan and form a mass. You know it is good when you got light crust on the bottom of the pan. This means the mixture has 'dried' out enough.

Remove pan from heat and make a well in the centre of the mixture. Break one egg into the centre of the well and beat thoroughly until blended. This will look weird and a bit curdle at first, but stick trough it will all come together.
Continue with the remaining eggs, beating them in one by one until combined and smooth.
You could also use a hand mixer for this if you want to give your biceps a rest!

Place a grease proof baking sheet onto a baking tray.
Spoon mixture into a piping bag and then squeeze into mounds, about 4cm in diameter onto the baking sheet.
Space the mounds about 6cm apart to allow for spreading.

Dip a pastry brush into the beaten egg and flatten each puff very slightly with the side of the brush avoiding dripping egg down the puff onto the baking sheet.

Put the tray {or trays!} into the upper and lower thirds of the preheated oven.
Bake for about 30 Min's (depending on oven!) until puffs have risen and are golden in colour. ~They should be firm and crusty to the touch.

Remove from oven and pierce the bottom of each puff with a sharp knife to let the steam out. This is mighty important because otherwise your choux buns will get soggy very quickly.

Put the trays back into the oven and leave to bake for an other 10minutes. Remove from oven and put puffs onto a cooling rack.... et voila!
Fill the puffs with cream patisserie or whipped cream of even ice cream or savoury fillings, you can experiment to your hearts content!
I tend to fill them with cream patisserie and dip them in a good quality chocolate ganache (melt 200g milk chocolate with a dash of cream). YUM!

To Freeze
Puffs freeze perfectly. When cool place into a freezer bag or box.
When you want to use them just put the frozen puffs onto a baking tray and heat in an oven at 180C° for 3 - 4 minutes.