Friday, 19 October 2012

Patisserie and Confiserie lesson 5: Choux Pastry

Hello everyone.

Thursday it was our fifth lesson in the course. Doesn't time fly?

We learnt pate a choux and its variations: Paris-Brest, Chocolate eclairs, Profiteroles, choux buns, Swans.

Pate a choux is a cooked pastry that you mix well on the hob. It requires quite an active work and it gets its elasticity from the strong flour and gluten like bread.

We all made our own pastry and had the chance to shape and decorate our own too. The only thing that changes in making those is the shape and filling, as they are all made with the same pastry.

Pate a choux cooling after hard work beating the flour into the liquid and
butter on the hob and before adding the eggs

After eggs were added, very slowly

Ready to bake, the dough was piped in shapes in the baking tray on greased paper

All baked in a 210 degrees oven

Baked and cooling

Swan heads shaped and baked

My swan heads on the right and Vicky's on the left

2 best heads (upside down)

Swan bodies all ready

Chocolate eclairs, mine are the thin ones

Teacher's swans

My swans

Look at this beak! A Flamingo perhaps?

Our joint efforts

Our tray of goodies. All are mine but the buns

Beautiful Paris-Brests, Chocolate eclairs and coffee buns

Class work

My swan went for a ride

This is it. Hope you enjoyed.

See you soon,


Classic chocolate éclair


  • 250ml/9fl oz water 
  • 115g/4oz butter 
  • 200g/7oz plain flour 
  • 1 tsp caster sugar pinch salt
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 50g/2oz dark chocolate, chopped 
  • 150g/51⁄2oz fondant icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder 
  • 450ml/16fl oz double cream

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  2. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  3. Heat the water and butter in a saucepan until the butter has melted.Beat in the flour, sugar and salt until the mixture is smooth, then continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth and glossy.
  5. Set aside to cool, then spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a medium size nozzle.
  6. Pipe 12.5cm/5in lines onto the baking tray and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp.
  7. Remove the éclairs from the oven and set aside to cool on a wire rack.Meanwhile, heat the dark chocolate and two tablespoons of water in a saucepan until the chocolate has melted.
  8. Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl, then add the melted chocolate and water and beat until the mixture is smooth and thickened.Spoon the mixture into a piping bag.
  9. Whip the double cream in a bowl until stiff peaks just form when the whisk is removed. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle. Carefully insert the nozzle into the base of the éclairs and fill with cream.
  10. Pipe the fondant chocolate on top of the éclairs and set aside until set.

By James Martin
From Saturday Kitchen

These delicious éclairs are easier to make than you think – James Martin shows you how. 


  1. Oh my, that is amazing!!! Did they taste as heavenly as they look? :)

  2. Yes, they were as light as a feather! (and this is not a playing on words!) :-)