My little brother is a gentleman of fine taste, so at Christmas he gifted with an Annabel Langbein cookbook and I'm absolutely in love with the simple, tasty but extremely stylish things that she has chosen to include. But as you know like breeds like and from that love, I've also grown extremely fond of making choux pastry. I know what you're thinking, isn't it difficult to make? No, it's actually dead easy, but you need to be prepared to (a) make and consume the item on the day, (b) double the amount outlined in cookbook and (c) pipe or mould the pastry into a shape close to the final product as the dough really doesn't swell much.
To begin I preheated by oven to 200°C fan-forced (this setting is important) and placed 1 cup of water, 120g butter in a saucepan and brought he mixture to a boil. Once it had reached this point I added 1 1/2 cups of plain flour and stirred the mixture with a wooden spoon until it left the sides of the pan and a light crust formed on the base. This process takes approximately a minute and I then removed the pan from the heat and added 2 tbsp of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the mixture with a hand beater. Once it was well combined, I then added four large eggs, one at time. Note the mixture should still be thick enough to fall from a spoon in clumps and form into shapes on a greased tray. As you can see I made small rings and lightly dusted them with flaked almonds.
I baked these rings for 12 minutes before reducing the heat to 180°C and continuing to bake for a further 15 - 20 minutes or until the puffs are golden and feel firm with tapped. Once this occurs, turn off the oven and leave the puffs inside for another 15 minutes before cooling on a baking rack. During this time I sliced a punnet of strawberries and made the lemon curd cream. This comprises of 1 cup of lemon curd (Annabel does have her own recipe but I returned to tried and true recipe) folded into 2 cups of whipped cream.
Take each puff and slice them with horizontally with a serrated knife and layer them with the lemon curd cream, strawberries, dust them with icing sugar and serve within the next few hours. I'll guarantee these little pieces of food porn won't last long, so take the plunge and make some choux pastry. You'll be addicted!