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Whether you’re inspired by baking shows, practicing Christmas recipes or creating homemade treats – we’ve got all you need to master your show stoppers.
Bake of the week
Light choux pastry, smooth cream and rich chocolate…what more could you want from this fabulous French fancy.
What you'll need:
- 60g plain flour
- 75g unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
- 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
- 300 ml double cream
- 100g smooth dark chocolate
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins, plus cooling time
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C, fan 180°C or gas mark 6 and sieve the flour onto a baking tray.
2. Gently heat the butter in a small pan with 150ml cold water, until the butter has melted, then bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour. Beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a smooth ball, then leave to cool.
3. Use an electric hand mixer to beat the eggs into the mixture a little at a time, mixing thoroughly until you get a smooth, glossy paste.
4. Spoon into a piping bag with a 1.5cm nozzle. Pipe 8 éclairs onto greaseproof paper, leaving a gap between each one. Bake for 10 mins, then increase to 220°C, fan 200°C or gas 7 and bake for another 15 mins.
5. Once cool, use a sharp knife to carefully make a small cut in the side of each éclair to allow the steam to escape.
6. To make the filling, whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl and fold through. Spoon into a piping bag with a 1cm nozzle and fill each éclair using the cut you’ve just made.
7. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water. Leave to cool until it thickens and then spoon over the éclairs.
Pick up your baking equipment...
Baking for beginners
What do you need?
Want to try baking the basics, but not sure where to begin? Don’t sweat over the sugar – we’ve pulled together the kit you need to get started.
From baking trays and cake tins, to kitchen scales and mixing bowls. All you need to do is pop on your apron, pick a recipe and decide who gets to lick the spoon.
Mix it up
If you’ve mastered the basics and feeling inspired to try something new, start by upgrading your baking equipment.
Stand mixers make great sous chefs; working on your meringue mix, whilst you crack on with the next steps of your recipe. Or experiment with new flavoured loafs, with a bread maker.
Christmas baking ideas...
A dusting of...flour!
Starting your Christmas cake, baking gifts for loved ones or looking for some festive fun with the kids. Find everything you need to fill your kitchen with (edible) magic.