Pate Choux

The setup.  Have your pans, pastry bag at the ready.

The setup. Have your pans, pastry bag at the ready.

 

Many people have asked me about the croquembouche, but it begins with this french classic.  This is a very versatile culinary base. Just add a little grated Gruyere cheese to the batter and pipe dime-sized dots and you have wine biscuits. Pipe flavored pastry cream into the baked puffs and you have cream puffs. Slice them in half, fill with a scoop of delicous ice cream, then drench with chocolate sauce and you have profiteroles au chocolat. It all begins here….

Pate Choux

2 Cups water
8 oz. unsalted butter
¼ oz. salt
10.5 oz. flour (3 ¼ Cups)
8- 10 whole eggs
1 whole egg, beaten for egg wash

Preheat oven to 400°. Have all supplies and ingredients ready before starting to make the pate choux.
Prepare baking sheets with either a silpat mat or parchment paper. Place an open whole tip in a pastry bag and set aside. (You can also use a zip log baggie – don’t cut off the tip yet.)
You’ll need a wooden spoon and a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.

  1. In a heavy bottomed 2 quart saucepan heat water, butter, and salt. When the mixture has just boiled, stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Stir vigorously, with the heat on, until all flour lumps are smoothed out and mixture cleans the bottom of the pan.
  2. Remove from heat and immediately transfer the batter into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Set the mixer to medium and beat until the mixture is smooth (about 30 seconds). Then one-by-one add the eggs. Beating until all of the egg is incorporated before adding next egg. The mixture will look curdled at first then form a thick batter. choux in the mixerYou may not need all of the eggs depending on their size. This process should go fairly quickly. The batter will be the texture of brownie batter, but smooth. Stop the mixer and transfer the still warm batter to your piping bag or baggie, then cut the whole in the bottom of the baggie about 3/8” across. The larger the whole, the bigger the puffs, they will expand.
  3. Pipe quarter size or slightly larger drops. After all have been piped, brush each puff with egg wash, tapping down any peaks that may be sticking up. Do not mash the dough flat.choux piped and washed
  4. Place the trays in the hot oven and back for 20 minutes. When the time is up, turn the oven off but do not remove the puffs. Prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon for another 20 minutes at least. This will dry the puffs out.

Pat yourself on the back, you’re done! You now have the base recipes for hundreds of yummy desserts and treats both savory and sweet. Puffs may be frozen after drying, but are best used fresh on the same or next day. Airtight sealed containers are best for storage.

filling pate choux

Yield: Approx. 80 – 1” puffs

Amy Stafford Malik ©2015

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