AT A GLANCE
These bite-sized snacks perfectly illustrate the versatility of choux pastry. They're an ideal vehicle for whatever savoury filling you like - we love cured trout and crème fraîche, but they would be equally delicious filled with thinly sliced leg ham and Gruyère, or even with a luxe pâté, cornichons and frisée. If you can't be bothered curing the trout, flaked hot-smoked trout would make a good substitute.
To make choux pastry, see our basic choux pastry recipe.
|01||For citrus-cured ocean trout, combine sugar, salt, rinds, juices and herbs in a bowl. Place 2 long pieces of plastic wrap on a work surface, overlapping lengthways by about 5cm. Spread half the sugar mixture in the centre of the plastic wrap, place trout flesh-side down on top, then spread remaining cure mixture over trout. Wrap plastic wrap tightly around to enclose, then wrap again in another layer of plastic wrap to prevent leaking. Place on a non-reactive tray and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 2 days. Unwrap, brush off curing mixture and pat dry with paper towels. Wrap in fresh plastic wrap and refrigerate until required. Cured trout will keep for 1 week.|
|02||Make choux pastry, beating in chives and half the rind after you add the egg. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1.2cm nozzle and refrigerate to cool and stiffen (30 minutes). Preheat oven to 220C and line baking trays with baking paper. Pipe 2cm-diameter balls of choux pastry on prepared trays, leaving about 4cm between each for pastry to puff and spread. Brush lightly with eggwash, being sure not to get any on the baking paper (this can stop the pastry from puffing). Combine fennel seeds and remaining rind in a small bowl with 1 tsp sea salt. Scatter fennel mixture over choux balls to taste (reserve remaining to serve) and bake until puffed and golden brown (8-10 minutes). Reduce oven to 170C and bake until crisp and dried out (8-10 minutes). Cool on a wire rack.|
|03||To serve, thinly slice the trout with a very sharp knife. Split gougéres, fill each with a slice of trout, a little crème fraîche, a tiny spoonful of salmon roe and micro-herbs. Scatter with fennel seed mixture to taste, season to taste and serve with lemon wedges.|