This week's Great British Bake Off challenge is sweet pasty. Bettys Baking Boys have a perfect choux pastry recipe

  • 45 mins
  • Makes 8
  • Medium


Chris Taylor, Andy Lawson and Will Pemberton are course tutors at Bettys Cookery School in Harrogate. They share a passion for great food that is honest, full of flavour and made from the finest ingredients. They are also big fans of The Great British Bake Off. Each week during this series Bettys Baking Boys will share some of their favourite recipes so you can put your own skills to the test.

This week’s challenge is sweet pastry. Bettys Cookery School course tutor Chris Taylor’s choux pastry recipe can be filled with a variety of sweet or savoury fillings from crème chantilly or fresh cream to cheese and herb pate. These delicious light cakes, sweet or savoury, make a delightful addition to afternoon tea.

Choux Buns 220915Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan assisted) and line a couple of baking trays with baking parchment paper.
Place the water, milk, sugar, salt and diced butter together in a heavy based pan over a moderate heat. Stir to ensure the butter melts evenly. When the butter has melted, increase the heat and bring to a rolling boil.
When the liquid has come to the boil, remove the pan from the heat and stir all the flour in at once. Use a wooden spoon to beat quickly until all the flour is combined and a thick paste has formed. This paste is called a panade.Now place the pan over a high heat for a further 2–3 minutes to dry the panade out. Stir constantly until the panade no longer sticks to the pan or the spoon. Be careful so that it does not catch on the bottom, remove from the heat if necessary.
Remove the pan from the heat and place into a mixing bowl to allow the panade to cool slightly for a few minutes.
When the panade has cooled slightly, return to the saucepan and, using an electric whisk, gradually add the egg a little at a time. Continue adding the egg until you get a dropping consistency and a stiff batter has formed. You may not need all the egg so revert back to using a wooden spoon for the last few additions.
Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain piping nozzle. Pipe the batter onto the prepared baking tray by holding the piping bag at a 45° angle. For éclairs apply just enough pressure whilst moving the piping bag towards you so that the tube of pastry that comes out of the piping bag is the same size as the nozzle. Ensure the éclairs measure around 12cm long. Allow some space between the tubes as the pastry will expand in the oven.
Place the éclairs in the preheated oven and bake for around 20-25 minutes. Be sure not to open the oven door until the baking time has elapsed as the choux pastry may collapse. When the éclairs are a golden brown colour and firm to the touch, switch the oven off, open the door slightly and leave in the oven for a further 10 minutes. This will help them dry out.
Remove from the oven and use a utility knife to make a little hole in one end of each of the éclair shells. This will allow steam to escape and you can pipe the filling in when cool. Invert onto a cooling rack and leave until ready to use.

Choux buns freeze well. To freeze, follow the recipe to step 9 then arrange onto a tray and place level in the freezer.

Video: Watch how Bettys make their exquisite Afternoon Tea cakes

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