Vanilla Cream Puffs
For the choux pastry:
115g/4 oz/ 3/4 cup plain flour
Pinch of salt
115g/4 oz butter, diced
300ml/10 1/2 floz water
4 eggs, beaten
For the filling:
Large tub of double or whipping cream
Teaspoon vanilla extract
Two tablespoons sugar
Icing sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas mark 7.
Oil a non stick baking sheet.
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.
Put the butter and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, as soon as the butter has melted take the pan off the heat and tip in the flour.
Beat vigourously with a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes over a low heat until the mixture is smooth and glossy and comes away from the sides of the pan.
Remove from the heat and add in the eggs a little a time, beating after each addition. Once the eggs have all been beaten in the dough should be smooth and glossy.
Put spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking sheet (you should get about 20 puffs out of this mixture) space them apart as they will grow.
Bake for 25 minutes or until dry and crisp.
Take them out of the oven and very quickly stick a skewer into each one to allow the steam to escape, put them straight back into the oven for five minutes (with the heat switched off), leaving the oven door open slightly.
Cool on a wire rack.
For the filling, whisk the double cream until stiff and then fold in the essence and sugar.
Pop the cream into a piping bag.
Make a small hole in each puff and fill with cream.
Dust the top with icing sugar.