Monday, July 23, 2012

Pate A Choux

Please try to ignore my cookie sheets.  I swear the ones in most bakeries look worse.  And they don't even use parchment paper on theirs.  
  So as I may have said before, I went to culinary school.  And one of the things I remember from those days is Pate a Choux. I think I remember it so much because to me it was one of those, "Oh my gosh, this is a real  pastry, a real classic dish." And to me that was cool.  Also I remember having to mix that crap by hand, and how tired I was and how the teacher was like, "suck it up kids, we used to have to whip everything by hand!"  Yeah, and I used to walk 12 miles to school, in the snow, with hills, both ways.

This is a pot of melted butter.  Little known fact, the smell of melting butter makes me gag, and in college almost everyday we worked with it.  It was not good.

This is the flour before I started mixing it all together.  And I totally get that without my witty comments you would have no clue what my pictures were all about.

 So I wanted to make these for a BBQ my parents were having for us, nothing fancy just them, my sister and us.  They have a pool and the only time it really gets used is when we go down and since I work my second job now, we don't get there nearly as much.  So that is what I did.

So this is how it looks as it is just stirred together.

  To start I know there are probably a billion recipes out there, but I wanted to use the one in the new book I got.  And yes, I know another new book.  But I got it on sale, I swear it was worth it.  So I used the new Sprinkle Bakes book, and it was just as easy as I remember.  Sort of; I had a mixer this time at least.

And see how it sort of clumps together and there is that sort of film on the pot, that is how you know you are doing it right.

Pate a Choux
From Sprinkle Bakes

-3/4 cups water
-6 TBSP butter
-1 TBSP sugar
-1/4 TSP salt
-1 cup all purpose flour
-4 eggs

  Set oven to 425, and get a sauce pan.  Melt the butter, salt and sugar in the water.  Once melted bring to boil.  Once it boils remove it from the heat and add in the flour.  Put the pan back on the heat and stir and stir until you think your arm is going to fall off.  You are basically trying to cook the flour so that it will taste cooked.  Once you think you are good, it should pull away from the pan, and you may notice a bit of a film on the pan.  Put it into your mixer and mix it for a few minutes to allow it to cool.  You need it to cool enough that it will not cook the eggs.  Add one egg at a time stirring until it fully incorporates.  It may take a bit of stirring.

And this is me mixing it to cool it down.  Can we also have a moment of silence for my scrapper paddle.  The very next week I broke it.  I  nearly killed Pork Chop as bits of it flew through the kitchen.

And this is how it looks as you add the eggs, I promise no matter how gross it looks it will all work out.
  Once it comes together get a cookie sheet with parchment and fill a piping bag with the paste. Pipe out the shapes you want and then take your finger, dip it in water and pat down the peaks you may have.  Then egg wash them, with an egg and a little water.  Then bake them for 10 -12 minutes,  Then lower the oven to about 350 and let them dry out for about 20 more minutes.

See, so nice and silky.  But it still sort of smelled like melted butter, so I wanted to gag.

They look sort of gross, all pale and such, but you know, they change.

This was after I patted down the peaks.

  Pate a Choux is great for so many things, you can make huge cream puffs or tiny little ones.  Or as we used to do, make a large cream puff, and pipe out tiny swan neck and heads and make a swan out of them.  I was so going to do that, then once I actually pipped them out, I totally forgot.  Just means I have to make them again.  

  Anyway in my next post I will share with you how I filled and topped them.

  And I am also finished my vacation, which turned out to be okay.  Pork Chop got sick, we got a speeding ticket and we are still waiting for our money to get back into our account.  But I got some yummy stuff in the states to bake with, Hubby let me get a new scrapper paddle for my mixer and I didn't kill Pork Chop.  So all in all, I am glad to be back to work.

And all done, nice and golden thanks to the egg wash.
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Lisa Rukin Swift said...

Can't wait to see what you filled them with!

Connie Mercer said...

they look awesome~still want to live next door to you!!!!

Deedee Horton said...

they look so yummy!

Brooke Arellano said...

Those look FAB!Stopping by from the MMM blog hop and am now your newest follower:) Hope you can come check out Crazy Mama Drama !

Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

Oh, I can't wait to see what you did with them! They look soooo good. Sorry about the ticket, the money, and the sickness. Boo!

Paula said...

Most of my cookie sheets look like yours which just means that they are being put to good use and often! Your pastry looks wonderful. Can't wait to see what you filled them with. said...

Oooh, these look good!! What do you fill them with? This is a recipe I may shy away from, but I like the step by step pictures. I like knowing what to expect!

Christine said...

These look GREAT!! I've never had any before!

Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality! :)