Potato Choux Cases

It might seem strange that the addition of potato improves choux pastry but I believe it to be so. The pastry may not keep so long, though. Eaten at once, these little balls of pastry are exquisite.

Ingredients

  • 7 oz (200 g) potato, peeled, cooked and sieved
  • 5 oz (150 g) butter
  • 4 fl oz (110 ml) cold water
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 small eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
  • Pinch of salt

Method

Put the butter and water in a saucepan, melt the butter and bring to the boil. Add the sifted flour and beat until the mixture leaves the side of the pan.

If you have a food processor, simply put the mixture into the bowl, add the whole eggs one by one and then add the salt and potato. Process until the dough is very smooth. (At this stage it will come to no harm if left for a few hours, covered, in the fridge.)

Put into a forcing bag and pipe the mixture onto a greased baking tin. Brush the beaten egg yolk on the little cases and bake for about a half-hour at gas mark 6/400°F/200°C. Then lower the temperature to gas mark 4/350°F/180°C for a further 10 minutes to dry them out. The cases should be a pale gold colour and feel very light.

Treat them as vol-au-vent cases and fill with savoury mixtures, or you can use them as eclairs, filled with cream and covered with chocolate or coffee icing.

‘I met in this town [Limerick] a certain reverend doctor, inventor of a new method of growing potatoes. This consists in cutting out, in spring, the shoots or eyes and planting them. It appears that the result is just as good as if the potatoes were cut up and planted, and with this benefit, that the tubers furnishing the shoots are still available as food – for pigs at any rate.’

A Frenchman, de Latocnaye, writing about a journey through Ireland in 1796–97.

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