One of the most fundamental skills that never seem to be taught in a domestic environment are knife skills. Choosing the right knife for the job – how to look after your knives. U Tube has numerous tips and recommendations here’s one for starters

Knife Skills I am sure you will learn allot by spending only a few minutes. Never Never put your Kitchen Knives in the Dishwasher. The heat will cause the shank in the handle to expand and crack the handle. Don’t store them altogether in a drawer. It’s dangerous and does not protect the blades. Keep them sharp – find somewhere to have them sharpened (knifemandirect.com) – you don’t cut yourself with a sharp knife if handled correctly as no pressure is need. Your investment in a good knife is for a lifetime. My college knives of over 45 years ago are still in my collection and used regularly. When buying a new knife. Look at the price and divide by 50 or 40. That will give you a yearly cost not bad for a 40 year or 50 year lifetime.

As we start the Strawberry Season I am sure many of us regularly try to conjure up a new way of serving them. The diversity of Choux Pastry is one of those skills often passed by but can be used in so many shapes and applications – so give it a try.

Strawberry Choux buns

For the choux pastry

50g butter

75g plain flour

2 large eggs

For the filling

2 tbsp custard powder

300ml milk

½ tsp sugar free vanilla extract

150ml Greek yogurt

15g coarsely grated white chocolate

125g small strawberries, halved

dusting of icing sugar (optional)

Method

  1. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Heat oven to 200C, 180C fan gas 6. Heat the butter in a non-stick pan with 125ml water until melted. Increase the heat until boiling then remove from the heat and quickly beat in the flour until the mixture comes together as a ball. Cool 5 mins then beat the eggs with 1 tbsp water then beat into the pastry a little as a time to make a thick glossy mix.
  2. Spoon onto the baking tray in 8 equal size blobs. Bake for 25-30 mins until well risen and golden. Take from the oven make a slash in the sides and return to the oven for 5 mins more to dry out.
  3. While baking make the filling. Mix the custard powder with a little of the milk then, with the remaining milk and vanilla put in a non stick pan and cook, stirring over the heat until thickened. Stand for 5 mins then beat in the yogurt and set aside to cool, stirring frequently to make sure a skin doesn’t form. When cold, stir in the grated chocolate.
  4. Reserve 1 tbsp of the custard mix then use the rest to fill the buns. Distribute all but 8 halves of strawberries between the buns, then blob a little of the remaining custard filling on top and add the reserved strawberries. Lightly dust with the icing sugar before serving if you like.