Choux caterpillar

servings6
2 hours

Ingredients

Choux paste

  • 60ml of whole milk
  • 60ml of water
  • 55g of unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 70g of plain flour
  • 3 small eggs, at room temperature

Mushrooms

  • 30 button mushrooms, stalks removed
  • 40ml of olive oil
  • 1 tsp thyme, dried
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of black pepper

Avocado purée

  • 2 avocados, ripe
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of fat free natural yoghurt
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of black pepper

To decorate

  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 yellow pepper, small, cut into strips
  • 12 sprigs of fresh coriander, small

Method

1
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
2
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar, salt and paprika to the boil
  • 60ml of whole milk
  • 60ml of water
  • 55g of unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
3
Once boiling, add all the flour and reduce to a medium heat, stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon - the dough should come together very quickly
  • 70g of plain flour
4
Keep stirring vigorously for 2-3 minutes longer to dry out the dough. After this time it should be very soft and smooth
5
Transfer the dough to a large bowl. Add the eggs one by one, beating after each egg has been added to mix into the dough
  • 3 small eggs, at room temperature
6
The dough will separate but do not worry; by the time you have beaten in the third egg it should have come back together and will be thick and shiny
7
Fit a large piping bag with a 2cm nozzle. Fill with the choux pastry and pipe the dough onto the baking trays to around the size of a 10p coin, leaving a 4cm gap between each
8
Bake for 7 minutes or until the balls are lightly golden. Turn the oven off, but leave the pastry in the oven for a further 8 minutes. The balls should be puffed up and golden brown. Remove and allow to cool
9
Preheat the oven to 200˚C/gas mark 6. Lay the mushrooms out on an oven tray, top side down
  • 30 button mushrooms, stalks removed
10
Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with the thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and sizzling. Remove and allow to cool
  • 40ml of olive oil
  • 1 tsp thyme, dried
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
11
For the avocado purée, de-stone the avocado and scoop the flesh into a blender, adding the lemon juice, yoghurt, salt and pepper
  • 2 avocados, ripe
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of fat free natural yoghurt
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
12
Blend until smooth, then place into a piping bag and store in the fridge until required
13
To assemble the caterpillars, use a small-serrated knife to cut the top off the cooked dough balls. Pipe the avocado purée into each ball and set aside
14
On each plate, lay out 5 mushrooms in a row and top with the avocado filled balls. Place half a cherry tomato on each ball
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
15
Use the yellow pepper strips to make antennas and the coriander sprigs for the eyes. Repeat until all caterpillars are made then serve
  • 1 yellow pepper, small, cut into strips
  • 12 sprigs of fresh coriander