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A Bevvy of Swans |


Create your own lake of swans for a wonderful mouth ballet, with this recipe for choux swans. from the very vintage but still wonderfully relevant Children's Party Cooking


Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Makes: 6 swans


Ingredients:

33g butter

100ml water

63g plain flour

1 1/2 eggs

125ml cream

1tbsp icing sugar (and extra for dusting)



1. Don't you choux me away!


Get things hot in the kitchen by preheat the oven to 220°C, and get this bevvy started by getting this choux pastry prepped. If your only experience of choux is people on bakeoff failing and panicking, don't worry it's much easier than they make it look. Plus by turning your pastry creations into swans you are covering up any (unforgivable) choux crimes.

Start by melting 33g of butter in a pan over a low heat. Once melted add 100ml of water and bring to the boil.

Next 'choux-t' your 63g of flour into the liquidy mixture as fast as you can(this is normally the stressful bit on bakeoff, we recommend putting it onto some greaseproof paper or a bendy wendy chopping board) and beat together until it makes itself into a combined ball and leaves the edges of the pan behind HE'S ALL GROWN UP NOW, LET HIM FLY!

Leave the mixture to cool a little, you don't want a choux scramble, then add the 1.5 beaten eggs a little at a time. That's chicken eggs, not swan one's (now that would be a very sloppy choux), pop it in to a piping bag ready to swan over to making your swans. Cut an opening of ~8mm, or use a nozzle if you are a fully equipped kitchen bish.

2. Ron Swanson, is that you?


Channel your inner Michaelangelo and ready your chouxbrush. Firstly, we're going to pipe the swan necks onto a dampened baking sheet. The easiest way to do this is to pipe a number two (override that 'Twelve Days of Christmas' urge to pipe two turtledoves necks, we need swan necks damnit!) that are about 3inches tall. The bodies also need to join this party, we piped ovals, also of 3inches tall. Best to do these on a different baking tray if you've got it because the next part could get complicated.



Once your necks and bodies have been in for 10 minutes at 220°C, reduce the temperature to 190°C and bake for another 10 minutes for the necks, and 20 minutes for the bodies. HOWEVER, this is a very very loose guide as ours were cooked way quicker so just keep an eye on them and don't try and do something very important like booking an expensive trip away concurrently. Leave them to cool on a wire rack, or ignore that completely and cool them on a plate like we did...While the bodies and necks are cooling, whip up125ml cream with 1tbsp of icing sugar.


3. The Swansong

Time to assemble these baddies. Firstly, slice the body in half horizontally and then cut the top part in half to create the wings (see below for a graphic depiction, as in a picture dw no swans were harmed in the making of these choux)


Fill the inside of the bottom of the body with cream and stick in the neck. Hopefully yours have the necks of body builders because ours were way to skinny and disproportionate to the body and I'm sorry to say snapped in some cases.... RIP (This example one kindof lost his face, but you can imagine him like a David Shrigley swan)

Let your swan fly by sticking the wings into the cream and sprinkle with icing sugar to make your swans so beautiful, a prince might fall in love with them.

Dink and float!




Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "These are a vintage recipe from an old family cook book, as you can probably tell by the fact that they are choux pastry based. This was the first time I have made choux pastry and succeded, however, I got slightly lost in the shapes that we were supposed to make for each part of the swans, and so mine ended up looking quite monstrous. Hopefully the pictures in this recipe help you. The end result was also very bland to eat, it needed a chocolate drizzle or some jam to spice it up a bit. They are a real showstopper if done right though 4/10 "




Kate says: "I have had this on my "to gasp" list for literally a year so I was so happy to finally make them. This is from a children's cookbook from our childhood, so it's definitely very 90s dinner party in feel and eating the swans was almost impossible. However, this was a super fun bake and a twist on just making some normal choux pastry. I also feel like the swan shape and cream covers a multitude of sins - including piping the necks too skinny. I'm not sure I would make the swan shape again and the cooking time was a bit tricky to master (especially when you're trying to book a very stressful trip to Georgia concurrently) but if I ever wanted to make choux in the future I would revisit this for sure 9/10 "



6.5/10 Gasps


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