Thursday, August 30, 2012


This was one of the more entertaining and delicious baking challenges with the Daring Kitchens Baker's Forum.  Pate a choux is really easy--REALLY!!  I've made small puffs for years and years.  Mom always made them for any party she had and filled them with shrimp or crab salad and so did I.  Don't think had ever tried sweet ones, but with whipped cream and with chocolate ganache (also ridiculously easy) inside some and on top of others, it was fun.    I also froze a few of the sweet ones to give to family that came this last weekend--YUM!  You should really, really try these.

Shrimp salad filling on these.  Would make them smaller next time .
One of a few swans I made--isn't her beak cute?  Didn't plan that, it just happened.
All the pieces that one recipe made.  Cut them immediately or it's almost impossible to not have breakage--guess how I know that????????????

Pate a choux  (cannot be doubled)

½ cup (4 oz) butter     1 cup water      ¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour    4 large eggs

Directions: Line at least two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper, or grease pans well.  Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F. In a small saucepan, combine butter, water, and salt. Heat over until butter melts, then remove from stove.   Add flour all at once and beat, beat, beat the mixture until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pot.  Add one egg, and beat until well combined. Add remaining eggs individually, beating vigorously after each addition. Resulting mixture should be somewhat glossy, very smooth, and somewhat thick.  Using a ¼” (6 mm) tip on a pastry bag, pipe out about 36 swan heads. You’re aiming for something between a numeral 2 and a question mark, with a little beak if you’re skilled and/or lucky.  Remove the tip from the bag and pipe out 36 swan bodies. These will be about 1.5” long, and about 1”  wide. One end should be a bit narrower than the other.   Bake the heads and bodies until golden and puffy. The heads will be done a few minutes before the bodies, so keep a close eye on the baking process.   Remove the pastries to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before filling.  Can make many different shapes--saw a turtle, crab (they used slices of stuffed olives for eyes) and someone colored their pate a choux red to make ladybugs!!  and  are videos showing how to make first swans and then what's called brest.  

Blog-checking lines: Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pate a choux shapes, filled with crème patisserie or Chantilly cream. We were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors allowing our creativity to go wild!