Sunday, 7 May 2006

Weekend Baking Session # 11

Pâte à choux or choux pastry is perhaps the simplest and uses an entirely different method of all pastries. Whereas other dough can be formed into various shapes, choux pastry is so soft that it hardly supports itself before baking.

Choux means cabbage in French as it derives its shape when the dough is piped or spooned and baked into cream puffs. The airiness is caused by the high water content, which is turned into steam during baking and these forces the pastry shell outwards and gives it volume.

Choux pastry could be used to make many sweet and savoury delicacies. This edition of Weekend Baking Session will be showcasing cream puff as I have been craving for it for a long time.

A perfectly made puff would have the finest crispy crust, the lightest interior, and an even and golden browned shape. Things to remember with choux pastry is that it does not keep well. Best eaten as soon as possible. It stays crisp for only about 4 hours. Another thing is that never fill too advanced as it would go soggy.

Cream Puffs

What do we need:

Choux pastry:




1 cup bread flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
4 eggs
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Pastry Cream:




1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla

How do we do it:

Put the water, milk, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. When the liquid boils rapidly, remove the saucepan from the heat and quickly and evenly tip in the flour all at once, stirring vigorously until it is smooth and well amalgamated. The mixture will come away from sides of pan and form a ball in centre.

Return the pan back on a low heat and stir for 1 minute. This is to dry out the mixture slightly. Avoid drying out the pastry too much as it will crack when baking. Break 1 egg at a time into the pastry while beating vigorously until smooth and fluffy.

When done, the choux pastry should be a pale yellow, smooth, moist, sticky, and slightly elastic.




Drop by tablespoonful onto a lined baking sheet 3 inches apart in staggered rows. This is to ensure that the buns cook evenly. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 20-25 minutes or until the buns are puffed and golden colour. Pierce the side or end of each bun to let out the steam. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.



Meanwhile, prepare the pastry cream. Mix milk, sugar, salt and the egg yolks together. Whisk until well mixed. Cook on a medium low heat, stirring constantly until mixtures thickens and boils. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Cool completely.

To assemble, cut off tops of the buns and fill with the pastry cream. Other fillings such as cream cheese, whipping cream or ice-cream could be used as well.

18 comments:

Lakshmi said...

Pushpa you are an expert in baking

shilpa said...

Wow... I guess you can write a book on baking. I simply love your baking sessions.

Luv2cook said...

wow..I love eating cream puffs but always store bought. I watched some chefs make them and decided it was too much work to even *think* about making them. They look so good :), Pushpa!

Ashwini said...

Thats really pretty. I love your detailed explanations...useful for a non baker like me

Vineela said...

Hi pushpa,
Cream puffs are nice .Baking recipes are keep on increasing.
i have to try this too.
Vineela

Nandita said...

Very beautiful indeed- your baking sessions are really informative-look forward to them!

Sumitha said...

Dear Pushpa,
I believe that anyone who bakes well is an excellent cook!Baking is like Maths,u add something a little more or a little less the product would definetly be wrong!

Tazz said...

Pus, I think this is very tough for a novice baker like Tazz. *lol*

Puspha said...

Lakshmi~ Gosh!!! Me no expert. Still a novice. Anyway, thank u very much.

Shilpa~ Well, itz one of my ambition since a kid. Hope tatz it would happen in the nearest future.

luv2cook~ Me too luv cream puffs. I myself have always tot tat itz difficult to make but to tell u the truth, u'll b amazed how easy it is when u start doing it on ur own.

Ashwini~ Thanx. It is my hope & aim tat the blog is useful to everybody. I'm glad tat the efforts serve the purpose.

Vineela~ Thank u. U've got to work harder then. Do let me know how it turned out.

Nandita~ Thank u very much. Very pleased to know tat.

Sumi~ Merci beaucoup. U're rite about baking. Everything has to be accurate to get the best result. Also, the passion for baking plays a great role. Itz the feeling for cooking or baking tat gives an excellent taste.

Evelyn~ No lah!!! Not tough at all. U'll b suprised when ur done. Just give it a try & let me know how it came.

rokh said...

i tried this once and my puff was too thin and breaks when i take it off. sigh. yours look so good!

Revathi said...

Wow the last pic looks delicious !!You are an expert in baking aren't you ???

Sarah said...

I love pastries.. Pushpa do you know how to make the portugese egg tart, we get in KL?

Mr Hobo said...

aaaah a recipe blog ... me hungry now

Inji Pennu said...

Good grief! I didn’t know normal people can make those! Amazing..

Puspha said...

Rachel: Try using bread flour next time. The high glutton gives a better texture.

Revathi: Thank u. No I'm not. Still a lot more to learn & master.

Sarah: Me too love pastries. We have more selections of them in KL compared to here in Switzerland. Aiyooo here eveything also don't have lah!!
Yeah, I have made the egg tarts a couple of times. Will do it again soon.

Mr Hobo: Welcome to my blog. I visited ur blog. R u a M'sian?

lg: Am I not a normal person? If I can make, so can u. U'll b surprised how simple it is. Just give it a try & let me know how it turned out.

Loga said...

Could u pls tell me the recipe for choclate eggless cake...Ur recipes r mouthwatering

Puspha said...

Loga~ Thank u very much for dropping by. Check out my Weekend Baking Session # 6. I have baked an upside down chocolate strawberry cake. The cake is eggless. Do let me know how the cake turned out.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pushpa,

This is my first visit to your site. The puffs look fantastic - I would have never thought it would be possible to bake them at home! Thanks for posting this recipe.

Nee

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