Les Pate a Choux.
I spent weeks on this recipe. Baking sheet upon baking sheet, piping eclairs, cream puffs, profiteroles, swans, gougeres, making fillings, ganache, chantilly cream, creme anglais, writing down every change in the recipe, a recipe that at its most basic includes only four ingredients, bakes quickly and, best of all, forgives.
For a while I interned at a french pastry test kitchen, the head pastry chef and myself, going through recipes, testing, retesting, tasting, retasting, and this being pastry, where you can’t just make one of anything, throwing out all the extras at the end of the day. Of all the “Les Pate a Choux” we made, this was my favorite. I like taking the baking just a little dark. The crust, the ‘ugliness’ and non-uniformity, the crispy outside and creamy inside. Delicate and delicious.
For it being composed of four basic ingredients, attention is in high demand, and the piping needs to be done uniformly, pointing straight down about an inch off the parchment surface, with a basic round tip (an 806 is wonderful). This dough forgives, so keep piping away and just wipe up the dough that needs repiping.
Pate a Choux
150g Cake Flour, sifted
225g Eggs (or 3 whole eggs)
Lemon Zest Whipped Cream
225g Heavy Cream
1ea Lemon, Zest
a/n Powdered Sugar
Place water, butter, salt, and sugar in a pot on medium high heat, bring to a boil, add flour. Using a wooden spatula, firmly stir mixture until a ball forms, stir for ~2 minutes, remove from heat and work for an additional minute. Place dough in a stand mixer and paddle for ~2 minutes, add one egg at a time until fully incorporated. Place dough in a piping bag fitted with an 806 tip, and evenly pipe out on a parchment lined baking sheet, about 2-inch diameter for each cream puff, one inch apart. Bake at 375 for ~24mns, rotating midway through.
Make whipped cream as usual, fold in lemon zest. Once cream puffs are cool, gently cut in half, and place a spoonful of whipped cream, top and powder with sugar.