|For choux pastry|
|Water||3 Cup (48 tbs)|
|Unsalted butter||18 Tablespoon (2 Sticks + 2 Tablespoons)|
|All purpose flour||2 1⁄3 Cup (37.33 tbs)|
|Eggs||9 Large, beaten|
|For filling and decoration|
|Cornstarch||2⁄3 Cup (10.67 tbs)|
|Sugar||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Milk||3 1⁄2 Cup (56 tbs)|
|Vanilla extract||1 Teaspoon|
|Heavy cream||3 1⁄2 Cup (56 tbs)|
|Grand marnier||5 Tablespoon|
|Fresh strawberries||1 Pound, hulled and sliced if large|
|Confectioners sugar||2 Tablespoon|
|Roses/Blue borage flowers for a boy, depending on the time of year||2 Large (Fully Blown, Pink Ones For A Girl, White Ones For A Boy)|
To make the choux pastry, put the water and butter into a large saucepan and heat gently until the butter melts.
Bring to a boil.
Stir in the flour, all at once, and beat thoroughly.
Cook over a moderate heat until the mixture forms a ball.
Remove the paste from the heat and allow to cool a little, then put into the bowl of an electric mixer.
Gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, beating well between each addition, to make a very shiny paste.
Line several large baking sheets with foil.
Put some of the choux pastry into a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tube and pipe 20 long "S" shapes, about 4 inches long, on one of the baking sheets, spacing them apart to allow for rising.
Any unpiped mixture in the pastry bag can be returned to the bowl of choux paste.
These "S" shapes will form the heads and necks.
To form the "bodies," take well rounded table-spoonfuls of the choux paste and place them on baking sheets, easing the paste off the tablespoon with another tablespoon so as to keep the oval shape, spacing them well apart.
Open freeze the choux shapes.
To prepare the filling, blend the cornstarch and sugar with a little of the milk to form a smooth paste.
Bring the remaining milk to a boil, then pour it on the cornstarch mixture, stirring all the time.
Return the mixture to a clean saucepan and bring back to a boil, stirring all the time.
Take care that the custard does not burn.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously.
Beat in the vanilla extract.
Pour the custard into a large mixing bowl and cover the surface closely with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.
Cool, then refrigerate overnight.
Bake the frozen choux shapes in a preheated 425° oven until well risen, golden brown and firm.
The "bodies" will take about 35 minutes, and the "S" shapes 20 minutes.
Remove the "bodies" from the oven and make a slit along the top of each one to allow the steam to escape, then return to the oven for 5-10 minutes to dry out completely.
Remove the "S" shapes from the oven and make a small hole in the end of each one, then return to the oven for 5 minutes to dry.
Cool on wire racks.
To complete the swans, beat the chilled cornstarch custard until it is very smooth.
Whip 2 1/2 cups of the heavy cream with 4 tablespoons of the Grand Marnier until it is thick, but not buttery.
Mix the custard and cream together.
Cut each "body" almost in half from the top to the bottom, just enough so that they can be pulled apart for filling.
Three-quarters fill each one with the custard mixture, then insert an "S" shape in the end of each one to resemble the head and neck of a swan.
Fill the swans with the strawberries.
Whip the remaining cream with the remaining Grand Marnier until it is thick, but not buttery.
Put the cream into a pastry bag fitted with a star tube and use to decorate each swan.
Sift confectioners' sugar all over the swans.
Arrange the swans on large flat serving platters, and scatter with rose petals or borage flowers.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.