An Obsessive Guide to Making Perfect Choux Pastry aka Cream PuffsFebruary 3, 2019
- Gregory GuyWords
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.
Ingredients for the Pâte à Choux
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
To start, combine the water, butter, salt, and sugar in a casserole and bring to a rolling boil before adding in all the flour.
Mix with a wooden or heat safe plastic spoon, scraping down the bottom and sides as you go.
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.
Once ready, immediately transfer the dough to a bowl and add the 2 eggs.
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.
Add in the rest of the eggs one at a time.
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.
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!
When the dough is ready, fill up a piping bag with a tip.
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.
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.
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!
For any questions, leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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