Baking Choux Pastry Swans, for the Tala Baking Competition, at Divertimenti.
Tala’s Ready Steady Bake Competition
I was recently invited to participate in cooking brand Tala’s Ready Steady Bake Competition, at Divertimenti’s Cooking School in Knightsbridge, London.We were a group of food bloggers, journalists and food stylists.
We were split into six teams of two (Tala’s owner Nick Squire and wife Laura joining in the fun too), as we took our positions at our workstations equipped with a large range of Tala’s bakeware. Tala’s baking professional, Hannah Wiltshire’s demonstrated how to make two very elegant Choux Pastry Swans. Our task was to create a couple of our own, and decorate them in a very British style.
May and I had a bit of a false start, as we mistakenly reached for Becky and Laura’s gluten free flour. As ours was a gluten recipe, the measures were off which meant we had to start again.
Our choux turned out well, so we assembled our swans with generous amounts of whipped cream and strawberries and started on the decorating.
Perhaps we went slightly overboard with the decoration, but this was partly due to the Tala decorating tools being so easy to use. We used a small rolling pin to blend the different coloured icing to look like water, then shape it onto the round cake board before levelling it with a handy plastic smoother.
Pressing out different coloured icing flower shapes with the tiny release button has never been easier; these were my favourite tools!
(Check out my Easy Apple Crumble using the Tala enamelled baking tray.)
We actually managed to catch up with the others and finished just in time.
Unfortunately our swans looked more Monet and less British, and although we were very proud of them, we lost to Emilie and Sophie’s far more festive Swans at a (no-Brexit) party.
⭐️ Are you making Choux Pastry Swans? I’d love to know how yours turned out, leave a comment below and please give it a star rating!
Instagram – I love seeing your creations, so post a picture, tag @endofthefork or hashtag #endofthefork
Choux Pastry Swans
- 80 ml water
- 25 g butter
- 50 g plain flour
- 1 egg
- whipped cream sweetened to taste
- strawberry jam
- icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 210℃/410℉.
- Place water and butter in a pan and bring to a boil.
- Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 1 minute. Whilst cooling, beat the egg and prepare 2 piping bags: one with the smallest and one with the largest tip nozzles.
- Add the beaten egg to the pan a little at a time, till the mixture comes together. Transfer a little over ¾ of the mixture into the large nozzle bag, and the remaining mixture into the small nozzle bag.
- Using the large nozzle bag, pipe 4 large teardrop shapes onto the baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, on a second baking tray, using the small nozzle bag, pipe 4 elegant 'S' shaped swan necks. (Tip: At the top end, pipe the head of the swan, pulling the bag away sharply to make a pointed beak).
- After 10 minutes, transfer the swan necks to the oven and bake for a further 8-10 minutes, with the teardrop shapes. (The choux pastry is ready when golden brown and puffed up)
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Assemble the swan as directed. Cut off the top third of one tear drop with a serrated knife, horizontally and lengthways, to create 2 wings. Fill with jam and whipped cream and position the wings and head as shown. Dust with icing sugar and decorate as desired.