Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pâte à choux

I am very saddened by the recent disaster faced by the people in Japan. Even though I know no one in Japan but I totally understand the feeling of losing a loved one. I sincerely hope that the people in Japan can resume back to their normal life soon. I salute to all the heroes who went all the way to look for survivors. Please Pray for Japan.

Today, I made pâte à choux (also known as cream puff). This is a fairly easy bake. I adapted the recipe from Martha Steward. In fact, all cream puffs recipes are 99% the same. Water, butter, salt, sugar, flour and eggs. The steps to prepare are easy to follow. Fret not if you are not a professional baker. I am not too. So, go on, try baking them. You will be proud of yourself once you did it. :)

Oops, I forgot to take photos of the earlier steps. When you keep stirring all the flour into the melted butter, the mixture will pull away from the sides of the saucepan and a film will form on the bottom of the pan as shown above. Transfer the dough to the bowl of the electric mixer.

Add one egg at a time into the batter and mix until incorporated.  The batter should look shiny. Test the batter by lifting the spatula up from the batter to form a string. The batter should look like it is stretched.

When you piped the batter above, you need to flatten the pointed tip with egg wash to avoid the top being burnt.
Coat the top rounds with egg wash.

I am going to fill the insides of my cream puffs with different fillings. Custard filling and ice cream. You can use any fillings you desire.

Picture from the Left: Filled with macadamia nuts ice cream and custard cream

Makes about 5 dozen
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, plus 1 more, lightly beaten, if needed for dough


1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 1 cup water, the butter, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until butter has melted and mixture is boiling. Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour. Return to medium heat; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture pulls away from sides and a film forms on bottom of pan, about 4 1/2 minutes.

2.Transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until slightly cooled, about 2 minutes. Raise speed to medium. Add 4 eggs, 1 at a time, mixing until incorporated after each addition. Batter should be shiny. Test batter by touching it with your finger and lifting to form a string. If a string does not form, mix in another egg a little at a time. If a string still doesn't form, add water 1 teaspoon at a time until it does.

3.Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip (such as Ateco #806). Pipe 1-inch rounds onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 1 inch apart. Whisk remaining egg and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl; brush over tops of rounds

4.Bake until rounds are puffed and pale golden, about 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes more. Turn off oven, and prop open oven door with a wooden spoon to release steam; let puffs dry 15 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. Puffs can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 day or frozen up to 1 month.

For custard cream recipe, I use my own formulation which I think it is best not to post here. It does not taste that great but passable. Hehe :P I believe the custard cream recipe from various food blog site are reliable. However, when I bake cream puffs again, I will definitely follw a recipe accordingly and share with everyone here (only if it tastes good). Bon week-end!

PS. I hope the visual effects of some of the steps of making cream puffs helps. Enjoy! :)


Rosita Vargas said...

Corine yo creo que todos estamos conternados por la tragedia de japón,ellos son organizados y se volverán a levantar.
Tú dulce se ve muy rico,me gustan los dos rellenos,se ven exquisitos,abrazos.

Cooking Gallery said...

I've never tried making pastries and you make it sound so easy...! I am very saddened to by what's happened in Japan and I follow the news everyday. Hopefully everything would be better soon there.

Corine said...

Hi Rosita, we all know Japan will pull through this tough period. :)Cream puffs are wonderful finger food. We can fill the inside with any fillings. *hugz*

Hi CG, cream puffs are really easy. Honestly, it took me some courage to try them because everyone who made CP before said it was easy. I read countless food sites and a few dessert books with photos illustrated to convince myself this is an easy bake. It is, easier than you can imagine. Give it a try, CG. :)

I hope the unpleasant moments will end soon in Japan.

fimere said...

une pâte très réussie e, plus j'en raffole des choux farcie
bonne journée

Gloria Baker said...

I love pate a choux and yours look amazing!
Dear Corine Im so sad with the Japan disaster, I love Japan, and Im praying every day, I know what a earthquake is and a tsunami is terrible too.
I hope all will be better soon!
Huggs my dear, gloria

Nadji said...

Très réussi. Bravo!
See soon

Unknown said...

Salut Fimere, Merci!!! :P Bonne journée

Hi Gloria, thank you!! Baking pate a choux is very fun! I enjoy very much and loves eating them too. hehe... have a Great week! *hugz**

Salut Nadji, merci!!! :) Bonne journée

Sam said...

WOAH! i gotta try and make this. :) looks easy enough.

Corine said...

Yes Sam, it is easy. Have fun baking them. :) Let me know how it turns out for you. ;P

Foodafok said...

the recipe sound delicious, and the cake looks fantastic!