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Choux Pastry for Cream Puffs

Today was not the most exciting day in class due to the fact that I spent much of my time sitting around waiting. We made souffles and choux pastry.

I’ve done souffles before, both at a chooking class and at home, so they were nothing new to me. We made cheese souffles with gruyere, which were not very interesting. I also found them to be rather overdone since we didn’t receive much instruction on the timing of the souffles. The instructor demoed a chocolate souffle, which I made with another student because I didn’t want to make a whole batch myself. The chocolate flavor was not particularly strong and the whole thing was overbaked. Everyone’s were overbaked. If I wanted a dryish chocolate cake, I would have made a genoise.

We also made choux pastry as well as pastry cream. The pastry cream gave me some trouble because I had to make it in a aluminum pan. Aluminum pans are reactive and you cannot use metal implements in them, so I had to use a wooden spoon to temper my eggs and stir the cream over the heat. They looked scrambled – but the instructor said that I just needed to stir more. Hmm. There were lumps even after I strained the cream. It tasted fine, though.

I took the pastry cream home to fill all my leftover profiteroles. In class, we filled our choux creations with sweetened whippped cream. I recommend using the whipped cream. It’s much easier and tastes great. I drizzled my profiteroles with some leftover chocolate syrup, but you can add any kind of chocolate topping or even simply dust the tops with powdered sugar.

This will make a small batch of choux pastry, enough batter for 3-4 large cream puffs or 8 profiteroles. You can drop the pastry onto a lined baking sheet or pipe it out if you want a specific shape. I find dropping to to be easier and have listed profiterole guidlines in the recipe.

Choux Pastry
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
3 1/2 tbsp butter (1.75 ounces), melted
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water (for egg wash)

Preheat oven to 400F.
Combine milk, water, butter, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously until dough comes together in a ball. Contiume to cook and stir for one additional minute.
Transfer dough to mixer or clean bowl and let mix at a low speed for 2 minutes until slightly cooled. Add eggs one at a time, waiting until each egg is fully incorporated to add the next one. Increase mixer speed to make batter smooth.
Using a spoon, drop 8 heaping tablespoonfuls onto a lined baking sheet. If there is batter leftover, even distribute it.
Lightly stir together egg yolk and water to creat an egg wash. Brush pastry with egg wash.
Bake for 40 minutes, until well browned and dry.
Set aside to cool completely.

Sweetened Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy/whipping cream
2 tbsp confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Using an electric mixer, begin to beat the cream at a medium/high speed. Once it is frothy, add sugar and vanilla. Beat to stiff peaks.To fill, slice puffs in half and pipe or spoon whipped cream into the hole in the center. Once they are filled, your puffs must be kept in the fridge. It is best to fill immediately prior to serving to ensure a nice crisp and flakey exterior.

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  • Sam
    April 8, 2005

    Hey Nic!
    Love the new look of your site, and the pictures. Everything looks so scrumptious.

  • Nic
    April 8, 2005

    Thanks so much, Sam. I really appreciate the compliment.

  • pinkcocoa
    April 9, 2005

    hey Nic, I always thought it’s a difficult task to make choux pastry. It looks so good with the chocolate sauce!

  • Nic
    April 9, 2005

    Pinkcocoa – I think the hardest part to any pastry is not scrambling the eggs when you add them to hot liquids/batters. But once you’ve done it, it just gets easier! Choux pastry is so versatile, too – you can make sweet and savory fillings. Yum!

  • sam
    September 19, 2007

    just wondering how u prevent the whipped cream from turing runny after awhile thanks they look so good

  • delia
    October 21, 2007

    Hi Nic,
    Thanks for such a wonderful recipe. I’ve been making cream puffs but keep on failing until I found your recipe. I’ve made bite-sized puffs.

  • luwz infbo
    December 23, 2007

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  • roopa
    April 23, 2008

    First time visitor on your site. I liked reading through all the recipes. You have provided, simple and yet very useful steps to make basic stuff for advanced cooking , such as pie crust, cookies, loved everything about your site 🙂 I am a novice at baking pie crust, I am going to try making your homemade graham crackers for making cheesecake.

  • delia
    May 24, 2010

    Hi Nic,
    Last nite I made the choux pastry and it came out ok but when cool down, it ‘sink’ down, not puffy anymore. Is it becoz I used big eggs? What size of egg did u use? tq.

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