It’s been a very, very long journey for me to find any recipe that even approximates choux. Countless failed attempts, so much disappointment. I’ve tried egg-replacers but ended up with stodgy lumps. I’ve tried going totally off-piste with experimental combinations with disastrous slimy results. I was going to give up, maybe egg-free choux was simply out of my reach.
But then again there are so many fabulous creations that require choux, hence I have plugged away. I had visions of towers of profileroles and croquembouche, chocolate eclairs, St Honoré – this was the kind of patisserie that I trained in and really need to make friendly and accessible! The search continued…
Then I came across this recipe from a wonderful French blog called Veganwiz.fr.
And their idea is great – cook puff pastry in such a way that you force it to become a choux-type airy bun. Absolute genius! I know it isn’t quite the same as choux, the layers and they’re pretty crispy when they come out of the oven but in my opinion they’re a pretty good approximation. Once they’ve been filled and topped, the crunch turns soft, more like proper choux. Prepare yourselves for a run of friendly patisserie on the site. Watch this space!
Please note: This is not my recipe, all credit goes to Sauro Martella at Veganwiz.fr. Also, a warning: do not alter the method, temperatures or cooking times or the recipe will not work!
Egg-free Choux (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)
To make 12 large buns
- 1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
– Preheat the oven to 240-250 degrees centigrade (yes, really that hot)
– Line a muffin tray with paper cases
– Using a glass with a thickish rim (not a cookie cutter) cut out circles of pastry. You need the glass to in effect quash and fuse together the edges of the dough, making a seal so the middle can puff up to an airy little container. If you were to use a cookie cutter this would not happen as the layers would be sliced right through.
Place in the oven for 5 minutes until the circles have completely puffed up (keep a close eye on them as this is the crucial part)
Once they’ve puffed up, reduce the temperature to 150 degrees centigrade and cook for a further 8-10 minutes until golden brown
Remove from the tray and liners and cool on a wire rack.