Prep time:

Cooking time:

Total time:

Serves: 20

Choux pastry

200ml /7fl oz cold water

85g /3oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

115g 4oz plain flour

pinch salt

3 medium eggs, beaten

Cheese sauce

150ml whole milk

250ml double cream

50ml white wine

50ml hot vegetable stock

1 bay leaf

4tbsp plain flour

50g salted butter

150g grated Gruyère

5 pieces of Parma ham

Your Christmas party guests will adore this perfect combination of choux pastry, cheese and parma ham. Thank you, Nicci Gurr for this classy canape recipe.

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Place the water and butter into a large saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Turn up the heat, then pour in the flour and salt all in one go.
  2. Remove from the heat and beat the mixture vigorously until a smooth paste is formed.
  3. Once the mixture comes away from the side of the pan, transfer to a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until the mixture has a soft dropping consistency. Grease a large baking sheet.
  4. Using a piping bag and plain 1cm/½in nozzle, pipe the mixture into small balls across the baking sheet. To make a crispier top, gently rub the top of each ball with a wet finger.
  5. Bake for 12–15 minutes until risen and golden. Remove, cool and hollow out.
  6. Pour cream, stock, milk, bay leaf, wine and grain mustard into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. In a separate pan melt butter over a medium heat then add flour and cook until the mixture has a sandy texture.
  7. Slowly pour the warm cream and milk mix into the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat, take out bay leaf and add cheese. Leave to cool.
  8. Take 5 pieces of thinly sliced Parma ham and grill until crispy, then leave to cool.
  9. Fill the choux buns with the cheese sauce, warm and poke in the crispy Parma ham to serve.

Wine+

These beautiful rich flavours
remind us of Alpine mountain food. Gruyère is of course from Switzerland, so we’ve headed to Savoie, in the French foothills of the Alps, for a white wine to match the wonderful weighty flavours of Gruyère and Parma ham but have enough acidity to cut through the fat of the dish. The Wine Society do a wonderful Savoie-Chignin 2017
for £10.95.

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