Episode 7: The Beginning of our Summer of Choux. Pate a Choux!

Oh good lord, everyone. We’re starting to think we can’t quite master this. But that’s why we’re doing a whole summer of it! What is “it”? CHOUX PASTRY! (Pronounced “shoo.”) It’s the dough that makes eclairs and cream puffs, and lots of other yummy goodies. We are horrible at making this, so far. Dive in while you listen to see what went wrong (this time).

Ingredients:

1/4 cup water

Same of Whole millk

1/2 tsp Salt (DO NOT GO BY THE AMOUNT IN THE PICTURE! YOU WILL GET THE SAME HORRIBLE OUTCOME WE DID)

1/2 stick of butter

1/2 cup flour

2 1/2 large eggs (you will have to measure this one)

Vanilla bean pod (we just used our standard 3-second pour of vanilla extract)

Thank you to Betty Hung for her recipe in French Pastry 101

Our ingredients! Everything at room temperature. And DO NOT USE THIS MUCH SALT.

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Our tools! Parchment paper and a baking tray, a sauce pan, a piping bag (or ziplock bag) and piping tip, and a whisk!

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The first step is melting the butter into the milk, water, sugar and vanilla. Do this over medium or lower. You don’t want your milk to burn or curdle. Once it’s bubbling, simmer it for 3 minutes. Then, the whisking begins! Add in the flour and stir until you get a clumpy mess.

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Once it looks like this, you’re going to add your eggs. Your eggs will be pre-whisked, and you will have removed your pan from the direct heat for at least 5 minutes to make sure you don’t scramble your eggs when you add them. Add them in three portions and stir like crazy until they’re completely incorporated. You will then have a custardy mess and you’ll be ready to pipe them!

Follow my tricks about filling your piping bag or ziplock bag and it’ll be an easy process. Also, make sure you’re using a piping tip of 1 1/4 inch or wider, depending on what you want to make.

A nicely filled piping bag!

A nicely filled piping bag!

Now you’re ready to pipe onto the parchment paper! You will see in the picture below the different methods of piping that we played around with, but you will want to do the “drop and squish” method that makes your dough look most like the desired finished product. You’ll understand what I mean when you give it a try. Trust me!





Bottom left is a small, but properly “dropped and squished” puff pastry pre-bake!

Bottom left is a small, but properly “dropped and squished” puff pastry pre-bake!

Our final product! See how lovely that bottom left one turned out? They’re all very small, but at least a few are the right shape. They also tasted HORRIBLE, as we used the wrong amount of salt.

How did yours turn out? Let us know by tweeting at us or e-mailing us! And don’t forget to join our Patreon for the chance to win a fresh-baked goody from us! And stick around for our adventures with choux pastry as we consider to practice it during our Summer of Choux!