This month baking partner’s challenge we are going to learn, Pate a choux pastry, a French pastry, which is used in sweet and savory items. The recipe came from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery book. I have to admit my first batch turned out wrong, but it was all my fault working too fast. Batch #2 was delicious and perfect. There is also a recipe of chocolate éclairs recipe from Food network’s Alton brown.
Pate a choux for Eclairs
1 ¼ cups All purpose flour
2 tablespoons+ 2 teaspoons Sugar
1 cup Water
4.2 ounces Unsalted butter at room temperature
¾ + 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
4 Eggs (use one more if needed)
- Get your
kitchen aid stand mixerready with the paddle tool, if you don’t have kitchen aid use your hand mixer.
- Sift the flour and mix with the sugar, set aside.
- Combine water, butter and salt n a medium sauce pan. Place it over medium low heat and stir until butter is melted.
- When butter is melted turn the heat up and bring it to a simmer, then remove from heat.
- Add the flour/sugar mix and stir until well combined and the mixture has a paste like consistency.
- Then place over medium heat and stir rapidly until the dough pulls away from the sides and the bottom of the pan is clean.
- Immediately transfer the dough to the mixer bowl and mix on low for 1 min to release little of the steam and heat.
- Start adding the eggs, one at a time, beating until every egg is completely absorbed
- After all the eggs are added, beat on medium for 2 min.
- When the paddle is lifted the dough should form a bird’s beak – It should hold its shape and turn down over itself.
- Transfer the dough to a pastry bag and chill until completely cold.
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Make a piping
templateby drawing six 15 cm/6 inch lines, 5 cm apart on parchment paper. Then place the template under the parchment paper you will pipe on.
- With a large star tip pipe the éclairs, following the lines on the template.
- When the pastry is reaching its 15 cm/6inch, begin to lessen the pressure, and then stop it as you bring the dough back over itself, leaving a little curl at the end.
- Wet your finger and gently press down the tip of the curls.
- Spray the éclairs lightly with water.
- Place in the hot oven and immediately turn the heat down to350°.
- Bake for 40 min, rotating the pan half way through.
- Lower the temp to 325° and bake for additional 20 min.
- Lower the temperature to 300° and bake for 10 more minutes.
- Your puffs should now be light brown, light and hollow.
Chocolate pastry cream
5.8 ounces 70% chocolate chopped
.8 ounce 100% unsweetened chocolate chopped
2 tablespoon + 2 teaspoon Custard powder or all purpose flour
1/4cup + 1 tablespoon Unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Egg yolks (1/4cup)
1/4 cup+ 3 tablespoons sugar
1.8 ounces Unsalted butter at room temperature
- Melt two chocolate together in double boiler and set aside
- Combine the custard powder or all purpose flour and cocoa powder in a small bowl.
- In a bowl add some ice and water and set aside. This is our ice bath.
- Whisk in egg yolks and sugar by gradually adding sugar and to this add custard powder or flour mixtures then add milk and combined very well.
- Heat the above egg-sugar-flours-milk mixture over medium heat until it begins to thicken with constant string.
- Pour the pastry cream over the strainer and pressing gently to push the thickened cream through. Whisk for about 1 minute to cool. Then add butter in 2 additions and mix in well. Then add melted chocolate and mix in very well until everything is combined well.
- Transfer to air tight container and line with plastic wrap on the top to prevent the film from forming, refrigerate for at least 1 hour and you can keep this chocolate cream for about 4 days.
- When you are ready to use the cream transfer to bowl and stir gently until it has creamy consistency.
1 1/4 cups Whole milk
1 tablespoon Orange zest (from about 2 oranges)
3 Egg Yolks
1/4 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon flour
2.5 tbs cornstarch
1 tablespoon Grand Mariner (optional)
- In a small saucepan, warm the milk and orange zest over low heat until it is just hot enough to steam.
- While the milk is warming, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, flour, and cornstarch until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Temper the eggs by adding a little bit of the warm milk and whisk constantly. Add little at a time until you have added half of the milk.
- Then pour the eggs/milk mix into the pan with the remaining hot milk.
- Heat it over medium heat and stir constantly until the mixture reaches 170° and is very thick.
- Remove from heat and stir in Grand Mariner.
- Chill before piping into the Éclairs.
How to fill the Éclairs
- Use a 0.4-0.6 cm plane tip.
- Poke 2 holes, 1/2 inch from each end, into the bottom of each éclair. (I made mini ones-about 2 inches long) so only poked from one end to fill them)
- Fill a pastry bag with custard of your choice.
- Place the tip of the pastry bag into one of the holes and begin filling the éclair.
- Pipe cream as needed into the second hole or until the éclair feels heavy.
- You should use 1/4 cup of cream.