food, Recipes

Choux Puffs

Russell Smith

Recipes and styling Raphaella Frame-Tolmie Food assistant Leila Padayachi Photographs Russell Smith

For a choux pastry:


  • 300ml water
  • 100g butter
  • 150g plain flour
  • 4 eggs


Lightly grease a baking tray. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the water and butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring while the butter melts. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and immediately add the flour all at once. Using a wooden spoon, beat the mixture until it is well combined and comes away from the sides of the saucepan. Cook for about two minutes and set aside to cool.

When the mixture is cool enough to handle, gradually add three eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. The mixture should be smooth, glossy and a dropping consistency. Spoon the mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm diameter round nozzle and pipe rounds of the mixture onto the prepared baking tray, leaving about 3cm between each one. Flatten any points with a moistened fingertip. Brush each profiterole with the remaining egg and bake for 25 minutes, or until the profiteroles are puffed and golden. Remove the profiteroles from the oven, switch off the oven and, using a small, sharp knife, pierce the base or side of each one to allow any steam to escape. Return them to the oven for about 15 minutes to dry out. Transfer to a wire cooling rack until ready to fill.

For the filling:


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 25g plain flour, sifted
  • seeds of 1 vanilla pod
  • 1/2t Earl Grey tea leaves
  • 350ml milk
  • good-quality dark chocolate

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and thick. Add the flour and stir through.

Place the vanilla seeds and Earl Grey tea in a saucepan with the milk, and bring it to the boil. Remove it from the heat immediately and strain the mixture. Temper the egg mixture with a little of the hot milk, then gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Cook the mixture over a gentle heat, whisking until it begins to boil and thicken. Cook for about two minutes, or until it is the consistency of toothpaste. Cover the crème pâtissière with clingfilm, allowing the clingfilm to touch the surface of the custard to prevent a skin forming. Refrigerate until ready to use. Spoon into a piping bag, and fill each profiterole with the custard.

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and dip the top of each profiterole to coat. Place on a wire cooling rack to set.

Serves 10 t o 12

This recipe originally featured in the July 2013 issue of House and Leisure.