An Obsessive Guide to Making Perfect Choux Pastry aka Cream Puffs

February 3, 2019

Sometimes, the simplest of recipes require the greatest attention to detail. Don’t be fooled by this 6 ingredient list, making a proper pate a choux requires a lot of hard work but the results are well worth it. Done right, you get crisp golden balls that are light as air—the perfect vessel for some freshly whipped cream. Trust me, these will be the best cream puffs you’ve ever tasted.

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Ingredients for the Pâte à Choux

250ml water
100g butter
4g salt
4g sugar
150g flour
4 eggs

Ingredients for the Caramel

2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup water

Ingredients for the Chantilly Cream (Sweetened Vanilla Whipped Cream)

1 cup whipping cream found in the refrigerated areas in the grocery
2 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 a vanilla bean stalk
30g sugar

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To start, combine the water, butter, salt, and sugar in a casserole and bring to a rolling boil before adding in all the flour.

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Mix with a wooden or heat safe plastic spoon, scraping down the bottom and sides as you go.

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This step cooks out the excess moisture and you will know it’s dry enough if a ball starts to form and the mixture stops sticking to the sides and bottom of the pot.

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Once ready, immediately transfer the dough to a bowl and add the 2 eggs.

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Mix them together with a spoon until the eggs are well incorporated. This will take a while and seem impossible at first but trust me, it will come together.

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Add in the rest of the eggs one at a time.

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Take note that the quantity of eggs needed highly depends on the size of the eggs, the humidity in your location, and the moisture in the dough.

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You will know you’ve added enough eggs if you scoop up a large chunk of dough with your spoon and let it drip down. It should form a V shape in 3-4 seconds. Any sooner then you’ve added too many eggs. If it takes longer then you need to add more eggs. Adjust accordingly. Remember, you can always add more but you cannot take away!

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When the dough is ready, fill up a piping bag with a tip.

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Pipe out small balls spaced 1.5″ apart from each other and bake at 180° Celsius for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the size.

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You will know it’s ready if the ball has almost doubled in size and has turned a deep golden brown with a crust. Remove the balls from the oven and let them cool on a rack until ready to use. They’re best enjoyed fresh and should be kept in an airtight container if they aren’t going to be served immediately. Back in Le Cordon Bleu, we always made this dough fresh for the day and tossed as soon as service ended.

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Prepare the caramel by heating up the sugar and water in a pot. Let it boil until it reaches an amber color and then immediately remove it from the heat. Carefully dip in the puffs 1/3 to halfway down. Let it cool caramel side down on a piece of parchment or silicon mat. This can keep for a few hours in an airtight container. When ready to serve, pipe in the Chantilly Cream and enjoy!

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For any questions, leave a comment below or email me at

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Gregory Guy SEE AUTHOR Gregory Guy

After graduating from a course in Management Economics, Gregory made a u-turn by enrolling in Paris' famed Le Cordon Bleu and going on a dining journey around the world's top culinary cities. If there's one thing he's learned from his travels, it's that he'd be eating everything raw if his body was immune to bacterial infections. Aside from doing kitchen experiments, you'll probably find him sweating like a swine in a Crossfit session.

16 comments in this post SHOW

16 responses to “An Obsessive Guide to Making Perfect Choux Pastry aka Cream Puffs”

  1. Michaela says:

    Seems easy when you look at the pictures but you know what they say about recipes with a short list of ingredients: they’re the hardest to make. Nonetheless, will try this when time permits.

    Thank you for including A LOT of photos with this recipe. 🙂

  2. Guest says:

    Wow! Thanks!!!!!!! 😀

  3. Ren says:

    Wow~ thanks for sharing!!! 😀

  4. jellydc says:

    How to put the cream inside?

  5. Sydneylyn Tan says:

    i use a non stick pot so that the dough won’t stick on the sides. i also love the fact that you put sugar on the pate choux so that it will not taste to bland on its own.. 🙂

  6. Carl Tomacruz says:

    Is it OK to use brown sugar for the cream?

  7. Raxenne Dosher Maniquiz says:

    Wow ang sayaaa!!! Love it that this has step-by-step photos!!! :3

  8. Clyde Rennell says:

    Thank you so much lalo na sa photos.How small should the piped Pâte à Choux balls be?

  9. […] were also giving out samples of Chouquettes, little puffs of choux pastry dotted with pearl sugar. I felt obligated to buy and pay for the addictive little puffs lest I be […]

  10. Abby says:

    I think it should be noted that before you add the eggs, you have to beat the dough for about a minute with a mixer to cool it. Otherwise, the eggs will cook if you immediately add them.

  11. […] couple of times and he’s taught us how to make pasta, whipped cream, and authentic French cream puffs from scratch. He’s also the reason this awesome sandwich gif […]

  12. Bea Santos says:

    What this recipe doesn’t say is that cream puffs are made with pastry cream and chantilly. The pate a choux usually just needs 2-3 local store bought eggs for the size of this batch. Add in too much as stated here and it tastes like eggs. I also agree with the other commenter that the dough should be cooled a bit before adding the eggs.

    Claiming to be obsessive, they should have included the recipe for the pastry cream and the procedure for the chantilly. I made cream puffs using this recipe and much to my dismay, I had to throw them all away and go to a different more “obsessive” recipe with pastry and chantilly cream, a less messy caramel and less egg-y pate a choux.

  13. Donna says:

    Hi. When will you add the sweetened vanilla cream? I may have missed it, but i didnt see the instructions on what to do with that after the preparation. Ty

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