Cream Puffs (Pate Choux)
Hello! I decided to try and MAKE something at least once a week, and the rest can just be whatever I feel like. This one was a little more complicated than the other things I tried, but after eating some baby choux at Paris Baguette, I wanted to try it!
Sorry my pictures are not that great. It's all with my iPhone 4.. not even S. So please forgive!
So for the cream puff shells, I used this recipe:
Cream Puff Shell Recipe to print
Basically the ratio is 1:1:1:1 (1 cup water, 1 stick butter, 1 cup flour, 1 cup of eggs)
1 cup water1 stick butter (1/2 cup)1 cup all purpose flour1 good pinch of salt1 cup eggs (4 large eggs)
Preheat oven 425F.
1. In a medium pot, bring the water and butter to a simmer on medium heat.
Add the flour and with a wooden spoon or spatula, stir very quickly in one direction. Carefully watch and you'll see that the flour starts absorbing the liquid -- and a dough will form. Keep stirring to continue cooking the flour and cook off some of the water, another minute or two.
2. You can do the next step one of two ways:
- Transfer the paste to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or to a bowl if you're using a hand mixer.
- If you want to mix the eggs directly into the dough in the pot, let it cool slightly, 4 or 5 minutes, or cool off the pan itself by running cold water over its base if you will be mixing the eggs in that pot. You don’t want to cook the eggs too quickly.
|I let mine have a nice ice water bath|
3. Add the salt and the eggs one at a time mixing rapidly until each is combined into the paste. The paste will go from shiny to slippery to sticky as the egg is incorporated. The pâte a choux can be cooked immediately at this point or refrigerated for up to a day until ready to use.
|4 eggs came out to a little over 1 cup, so I dumped some out|
4. Spoon the dough into a large gallon-sized plastic bag (or piping bag.) Use your hands to squeeze dough towards the bottom corner. With kitchen shears, snip off just the tippy tip of the bag, about 1/4" of the tip. Pipe onto a baking sheet into little puffs, keeping the puffs 2-inches apart.
|This was just a freezer bag from Ziplock|
|20 - nice and neat|
With your finger, press down the peaks (as they can burn.) Helps if you wet your finger first
|My nail polish is all chipped!|
Bake at 425F for 10 minutes, then 350F for 18-30 minutes, depending on the size of your puffs. (Mine ended up baking at 350 for about 25 min)
|Rachel... hanging around. What is she waiting for?|
|They rose a lot!|
|That's what she was waiting for!|
|Cut in half, filled with custard & strawberries, dusted with powdered sugar.|
NOM NOM NOM
The custard recipe is as follows:
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise (not vanilla extract)
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. granulated white sugar
1 Tablespoons butter
In a saucepan on medium heat, combine the milk and the split vanilla bean; cook till it begins to simmer. Watch carefully so your milk doesn’t scald or you will have a skin on top. If you do notice a skin forming, remove it before you are ready to add it to your egg mixture. Turn heat off.
Meanwhile, in a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, beat eggs and sugar together until creamy pale yellow. You can also do this in a medium size stainless steel bowl with a wire whisk, but beat hard and consistently. (This is how I start my Zabaione when making an Italian custard) Next add the flour and beat hard till well incorporated and it has the texture of a thick paste.
Slowly pour hot milk into egg mixture in a very thin stream whisking constantly to prevent curdling. When incorporated, remove vanilla bean. Scrape the seeds from the pod and stir them into the custard mix. Return custard to pan you heated the milk in and place on medium heat till mixture begins to thicken and come to a soft boil. Stir constantly and mix from bottom of pan to prevent custard from scalding. When it begins to come to a slow boil time it for another minute or so.. custard will be a medium consistency. Turn off heat.
Add the 1 tablespoons of butter and mix well. Scrape the custard into a bowl. Smoothe plastic wrap directly on top of the custard. The first time I read this in directions I was kind of disconcerted thinking I would waste much of the top layer of custard when I pulled it from the top. When refrigerated and cooled, the plastic comes off clean from the top of the custard. No waste! ☺