Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pate a Choux: Easy as "4,1,1,4"

Pate a Choux is the name of the dough used to make cream puffs, eclairs, gougeres, and a number of other sweet and savory pastries. It literally translates "cabbage paste" because a baked puff looks like a tiny cabbage. People also call it as "choux paste"
"4,1,1,4" refers to the recipe I recently learned in culinary school. Just remember this number code and you will have a pate a choux recipe embedded in your brain forever:

  • 4 ounces butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 tsp salt, for taste
...don't forget the salt, which isn't in the code. You would still be successful if you left it out, it just wouldn't taste as good.
To make the choux paste, cut the butter into small pieces (about 1/2 TBS in size or smaller), and put the butter with the water in a medium saucepan over low heat. Bring it to a boil. *note: you do not want your water to start boiling before the butter melts because too much liquid will evaporate. That's why you cut the butter into small pieces and keep the heat low.*
Meanwhile, beat the eggs with a fork to break them up. Mix the salt and flour together.
When the water comes to a boil, dump the flour and salt in the stir with a wooden spoon until well-blended and resembles mashed potatoes. A lot of steam will come out. This is a good thing, because you want the paste to "dry out." Continue to stir the paste over low heat, until it gets shiny, more yellow in color, and smells like butter. These are your clues that the paste has dried out sufficiently enough to proceed with the next step.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and dump the paste into a large bowl. Allow to cool for a few minutes until just warm to the touch.
Stir in the beaten eggs with a wooden spoon, one at a time until each is absorbed in the paste. Test it by sticking the wooden spoon straight up and down in the center of the mound of paste. The spoon should start to fall over. If not, then there is not enough liquid. You may add a 5th beaten egg to achieve the desired consistency.
The paste will keep for 3-4 hours at room temperature.

Next steps...piping out the pate a choux...

The above picture shows pate a choux piped to form cream puffs. Use a large plain tip on your pastry bag to pipe out approximately 1.5" diameter circles. If they have points on top of them, simply smear them off with the tip of your finger after you wet it with some water. Be careful about how closely you space them, because they will double in size.

To form eclairs, pipe 2-3" long lines as shown below, with the large plain tip:

Mine are not all that tidy, but basically the idea is to make them oblong.
You can score them with a fork to make lines (not shown), and they look better this way.
Brush them lightly with egg wash before baking, and mop up any excess egg wash with a bit of paper towel.


This is critical. The oven needs to be VERY HOT (475 F) during the initial stage of baking and YOU SHOULD NOT OPEN THE OVEN for at least 20-25 mins or until they have puffed and begun to firm up and are golden brown. After that, you can lower the oven to 325 and allow them to dry out this way for 10-20 more minutes.
Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on a cooling rack before filling.
The inside of your pate a choux pastries should have a lot of air bubbles and have a light and fluffy consistency. The eclair shells below are an example of the correct texture:

Cream puffs and eclairs are filled with pastry cream. Below is an example of a savory puff, filled with herbs, cream cheese, and olives:

For savory puffs, you can ingredients such as add fresh herbs and parmesan cheese to the raw choux paste. The possibilities are limitless.

Here is the recipe for pastry cream to make cream puffs and eclairs:

Pastry Cream
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream

Heat the hald-and-half in a saucepan until just warm and steaming. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together to the ribbon stage. Stir in the flour and the salt.
Gradually whisk in the half-and-half. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it becomes very thick. Be sure to whisk out any lumps.
Remove from the heat, add vanilla, and strain with a single mesh strainer into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream. Refrigerate until it just begins to cool.
Whip the 1/2 cup heavy cream to the soft plop stage. Fold about a quarter of it into the pastry cream to lighten it. Continue to fold in the rest of the whipped cream. Cover with plastic again and refrigerate until firm. Pipe as needed in cream puffs and eclairs.

For Coffee Flavored Pastry Cream:

Add 1 TBS instant coffee granules to the warm half-and-half at the beginning of the recipe.

For Chocolate Flavored Pastry Cream:

Stir 4 ounces finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate into the warm strained pastry cream.

To make chocolate glaze:

Melt 4 ounces of finely chopped chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Add 1 tsp vegetable shortening, stir and allow to cool to desired consistency before applying.


jai said...

wow such a lovely food
nice blog

Astrology India

sbo said...


lin741852 said...

chaussures nike shox nz i femmes
chaussures nike shox nz i hommes
chaussures nike shox nz ii femmes
chaussures nike shox nz ii hommes
chaussures nike shox oz femmes
chaussures nike shox oz hommes
chaussures nike shox r2 femmes
chaussures nike shox r2 hommes
chaussures nike shox r3 femmes
chaussures nike shox r3 hommes
chaussures nike shox r4 ii femmes
chaussures nike shox r4 ii hommes
chaussures nike shox r4 v femmes
chaussures nike shox r4 v hommes

Anonymous said...

There isn't any recognized adverse negative effects of zinc
oxide cream.

Take a look at my web site - acne cream cvs

oakleyses said...

louis vuitton handbags, coach outlet store online, tiffany and co, prada handbags, true religion jeans, ray ban sunglasses, kate spade outlet, oakley sunglasses cheap, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany and co, chanel handbags, coach outlet, burberry outlet, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, nike shoes, air max, nike free, louis vuitton outlet stores, louboutin, polo ralph lauren outlet, longchamp outlet, tory burch outlet, gucci outlet, louboutin outlet, louboutin, prada outlet, coach purses, oakley sunglasses, longchamp handbags, oakley sunglasses, longchamp handbags, burberry outlet, ray ban sunglasses, jordan shoes, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton outlet, air max, louis vuitton, polo ralph lauren outlet, michael kors outlet, christian louboutin shoes, coach factory outlet, michael kors outlet, kate spade handbags

oakleyses said...

new balance pas cher, michael kors, hogan outlet, barbour, longchamp, sac hermes, louboutin, michael kors, nike roshe, nike trainers, converse pas cher, sac guess, sac louis vuitton, mulberry, nike air max, air jordan, abercrombie and fitch, air max, air force, polo ralph lauren, michael kors pas cher, air max, true religion outlet, true religion outlet, north face, louis vuitton, nike tn, hollister, ralph lauren, nike free pas cher, vans pas cher, sac burberry, hollister, nike blazer, vanessa bruno, timberland, nike roshe run, lululemon, oakley pas cher, ray ban pas cher, north face, air max pas cher, sac longchamp, polo lacoste, ray ban sunglasses, sac louis vuitton, nike free, louis vuitton uk

oakleyses said...

abercrombie and fitch, new balance shoes, ugg australia, canada goose jackets, uggs outlet, nike huarache, bottega veneta, longchamp, giuseppe zanotti, vans shoes, nike roshe run, ferragamo shoes, ugg boots, ugg, p90x, ghd, hollister, marc jacobs, rolex watches, mac cosmetics, lululemon outlet, insanity workout, soccer shoes, nfl jerseys, ugg boots, canada goose, beats by dre, chi flat iron, canada goose outlet, ugg pas cher, mcm handbags, asics running shoes, canada goose, jimmy choo outlet, mont blanc, instyler, soccer jerseys, birkin bag, wedding dresses, celine handbags, canada goose uk, valentino shoes, canada goose, north face outlet, babyliss pro, north face jackets, herve leger, reebok outlet

oakleyses said...

air max, rolex watches, swarovski, lancel, montre homme, ugg, moncler, air max, louboutin, moncler, karen millen, converse shoes, links of london, pandora charms, canada goose, ray ban, converse, hollister clothing store, oakley, juicy couture outlet, moncler, moncler, juicy couture outlet, thomas sabo, ugg, gucci, toms shoes, hollister, pandora jewelry, canada goose, moncler outlet, pandora charms, louis vuitton, swarovski crystal, wedding dresses, parajumpers, moncler, vans, coach outlet store online, ralph lauren, moncler, timberland boots, supra shoes, iphone 6 cases, hollister, baseball bats

oakleyses said...

nike air max, replica watches, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin outlet, jordan pas cher, oakley sunglasses wholesale, replica watches, christian louboutin, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, gucci handbags, nike free run, longchamp outlet, jordan shoes, sac longchamp pas cher, tiffany jewelry, louis vuitton outlet, uggs on sale, ugg boots, burberry pas cher, nike free, prada outlet, kate spade outlet, oakley sunglasses, air max, tory burch outlet, ray ban sunglasses, prada handbags, ugg boots, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany and co, nike air max, nike roshe, polo ralph lauren outlet online, longchamp pas cher, polo ralph lauren, polo outlet, louis vuitton, chanel handbags, louboutin pas cher, christian louboutin uk, michael kors pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, cheap oakley sunglasses

oakleyses said...

vans pas cher, nike air max uk, nike air force, michael kors outlet, uggs outlet, north face, michael kors outlet online, replica handbags, ray ban pas cher, nike air max uk, michael kors outlet online, sac hermes, burberry handbags, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, converse pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, true religion outlet, burberry outlet, nike roshe run uk, mulberry uk, coach purses, true religion jeans, timberland pas cher, nike air max, true religion outlet, sac vanessa bruno, coach outlet, ralph lauren uk, lululemon canada, coach outlet store online, hollister pas cher, polo lacoste, nike free uk, guess pas cher, michael kors outlet online, true religion outlet, kate spade, oakley pas cher, michael kors, hollister uk, abercrombie and fitch uk, ray ban uk, uggs outlet, hogan outlet, nike tn, north face uk, michael kors outlet online

oakleyses said...

iphone cases, longchamp uk, timberland boots, mcm handbags, north face outlet, celine handbags, herve leger, ghd hair, iphone 6 plus cases, hollister, nike air max, wedding dresses, nfl jerseys, p90x workout, ralph lauren, hermes belt, vans outlet, ferragamo shoes, beats by dre, baseball bats, instyler, new balance shoes, giuseppe zanotti outlet, ipad cases, nike huaraches, soccer shoes, nike roshe run, nike trainers uk, reebok outlet, asics running shoes, iphone 6s plus cases, mac cosmetics, mont blanc pens, s6 case, insanity workout, lululemon, iphone 5s cases, babyliss, iphone 6 cases, north face outlet, bottega veneta, hollister clothing, louboutin, iphone 6s cases, oakley, valentino shoes, abercrombie and fitch, jimmy choo outlet, chi flat iron, soccer jerseys

oakleyses said...

hollister, louis vuitton, hollister, wedding dresses, barbour, canada goose, canada goose, pandora jewelry, juicy couture outlet, ugg pas cher, links of london, converse outlet, ugg, juicy couture outlet, toms shoes, ray ban, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, moncler uk, canada goose outlet, canada goose outlet, nike air max, supra shoes, swarovski crystal, moncler, montre pas cher, doudoune moncler, ugg uk, moncler outlet, barbour uk, converse, gucci, replica watches, moncler, louis vuitton, karen millen uk, pandora jewelry, swarovski, moncler, lancel, pandora charms, canada goose jackets, coach outlet, canada goose, moncler, thomas sabo, canada goose uk, ugg,uggs,uggs canada

Fghkfhk Dfgaert said...

champion clothing
oakley sunglasses
canada goose jackets
barbour jackets
longchamp pliage
balenciaga sneakers
michael kors
cheap nhl jerseys
coach outlet
cheap nfl jerseys