Choux pastry swans are great to serve for dessert, they are something different compared to profiteroles or eclairs. Piping the choux pastry to create the swan bodies and heads can be a little bit difficult so take your time. The choux pastry swans are filled with salted caramel and topped off with a vanilla whipped cream. This recipe will make 12 Choux Pastry Swans.
100g Plain Flour
3 x Eggs
1/4 Tsp Salt
450ml Double Cream
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1. Pre heats the oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5. Place the salt, butter and water a pan and heat on the hob until the butter has melted. Do this on a low heat so that mixture does not boil; you do not want the water to evaporate.
2. As the mixture starts to simmer add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until it starts to form a ball. Cook the dough for a further 2 minutes to cook out the flour. At this point, the dough should be glossy and pull away from the sides of the pan.
3. Tip the dough into a large mixing bowl; this will help to cool the pastry quicker. Leave the choux pastry to cool for 10 minutes. When the pastry has cooled down add the eggs one at a time and mix using an electric mixer until the eggs are incorporated.
4. To test if the pastry is ready the pastry should be glossy and will fall off the wooden spoon when lightly shaken. You may not need to use all of the eggs, you can always add more egg but you can not take away more egg.
5. Next, divide the choux pastry into two piping bags – one fitted with a Wilton large round tip. Pipe the bodies and heads of the swans onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. to make the bodies apply an even pressure on the piping bag and then pull off at the end. For the heads snip off the end of piping bag to make a thin nozel and pipe the heads. I used a template I found on this website: http://bit.ly/2v9l7s4
6. Bake the swan heads for 8-10 minutes until they become a golden brown colour. Bake the swan bodies for 25 minutes. Next turn off the oven and leave the door slightly ajar to allow the steam to escape and dry the inside of the swan body. Then remove the tray from the oven.
7. While the choux pastry swans are cooling make the whipped cream. In a large mixing bowl add the double cream and vanilla extract and whisk until you get soft peaks. Place the whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton Star Tip.
9. Next, pipe the whipped cream into the body of the choux swan and place the wings into the whipped cream.
10. finally place the swan heads into the choux pastry swan body and slightly dust with icing sugar with an icing sugar shaker. Leave in the fridge, if you are not going to eat them straight away.