Tuesday, September 7, 2010

C'est choux

I recently made some filled choux puffs for a bridal shower. Choux pastry is quintessentially French. The dough was invented in the 1500's by one of Catherine de'Medici's pastry chefs and then improved on by Antoine Carême, who pretty much revolutionized haute French cuisine. This pastry is used to make commonly known eclairs, profiteroles, croquembouches, St. Honoré, and gougères.

What makes these pastries so light and fluffy? They employ the high moisture content in the dough to create steam when baked, thus allowing the dough to puff up. The recipe is quite simple: water, butter, salt, sugar, flour and eggs.

Pâte à Choux:
Water 250g
Salt 5g
Sugar 5g
Butter 80g
Flour 125g
Eggs 200g
Water 250 g
Salt 5 g
Sugar 5 g
Butter 80 g
Flour 125 g
Eggs 200 g

In a medium saucepan, bring the water, salt, sugar, and butter to a boil. Remove from heat and add the sifted flour. Mix well with a spatula until the mass stops sticking to the sides of the saucepan. Transfer to a bowl. Slowly add the eggs one by one until the dough has a smooth and soft consistency. Pipe the dough with a pastry bag onto a lightly buttered baking sheet, or a silicon baking mat. Egg wash and bake at 180°C/200°C (350°F/400°F) depending on the size of the pieces.

For my cream puffs, I sliced the baked choux pastry in half and filled them with a mixture of half marscapone and half cream whipped up with some vanillla and sugar. I garnished each with a quartered strawberry.

3 comments:

Chelsea said...

Wow. Pretty amazing looking desserts. I can't imagine they are as easy as you make it sound though!

Rick said...

These look like garden gnomes!

Jane said...

Ah hahah! I totally didn't get garden gnomes and was thinking... "Is Rick on crack?!?"

Two seconds later I see it. Yes, definitely garden gnomes. +1 to Rick!