Paté a choux is the fancy french name for choux pastry. When filled with cream, these babies are also known as cream puffs. I’m not sure about other countries, but in The Netherlands everyone’s has eaten these so called ‘soesjes’ some time in their life. They’re usually served at birthday parties and can be found in a whole lot of all-you-can-eat restaurants too. It takes about €1 to get a whole box of frozen cream puffs. Yes, €1! However, eventhough it’s very cheap to buy cream puffs, cream puffs should be served freshly made for four reasons:
- The pastry won’t be dry as the boxed ones
- You get to pick the filling of choice
- It’s easy to make
- It’s quick to make
As you might’ve guessed, today I will share with you how to make: paté a choux.
As I said, this recipe is super easy (and simple). Therefor, you will need just a couple of ingredients today:
- Unsalted butter
- Eggs (room temperature)
Yes, that’s it. Even if you’re an occasional baker, I’m sure you’ll have these ingredients at home. You start with the butter, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Use cubed butter to quicken the melting process. You want it to be a quick recipe, right? Place the saucepan on medium heat, stirring until the butter has completely melted. Take the pan off the heat as soon as the mixture comes to a boil. Don’t let it boil too long, because the water can evaporate too much, which changes the dry/wet-ratio in the recipe. Immediately after taking the pan off the heat, throw in the flour all at once and stir vigorously until a ball forms. Don’t add the flour in batches; you will get lumps. No need to be careful: dunk it in and mix it up. Then, place the pan back onto the heat for a minute or so to cook the last bits of flour. Take the pan off the heat and stir it for a couple of minutes to let the dough cool slightly. Finally, mix in the eggs one at a time. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature, so it’s easier to distribute the egg throughout the whole dough. Once an egg has been added, your dough will look like it has curdled, but there’s no need to worry: It will come together. No stress.
Now you’ve got the pastry dough, there are two options:
- Take two tablespoons of pastry dough to create little mounds
- Put the pastry dough in a piping bag with star tip and pipe the puffs
Obviously, the first one is the quickest and easiest. However, if you’re feeling adventurous today, use a piping bag with star tip for a fancy look. Make sure you put little pastry dough in the bag at a time. Because the dough is quite thick, your bag is more prone to bursting. Whichever way you choose, put the mounds about 1,5 cm apart and bake them until golden brown. The final tip is to make a small hole in your puffs after you take them out of the oven, so the insides can dry if they’re still a bit wet. However, if you bake them thoroughly, there shouldn’t be any problem. 🙂 Finally, let the puffs cool completely before you freeze them (freezing is best when unfilled) or fill them with crème patissière, crème légère or just some simply whipped cream.
- 100 gram unsalted butter, cubed
- 250 mL water
- 150 gram flour
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Put the butter, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan.
- Heat the mixture on medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted completely.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and take it off the heat immediately.
- Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously.
- Place the mixture back on the heat for a minute, while stirring.
- Take the pan of the heat and stir the dough a couple of minutes to let it cool slightly.
- Incorporate the eggs one at a time. The dough will look like it has curdled.
- Make mounds of about 2 tablespoons and bake the puffs about 25-30 minutes at 180°C or until golden brown.
- Take the puffs out of the oven and make small slits to let the inside dry completely.
- Let the puffs cool completely before filling.
- Choux pastry is best frozen when unfilled. Reheat the puffs for about 5-10 minutes at 180°C.
- Fill the pastry on the day of consumption.