Wish choux were here..

I 100% am writing this blog post so I can repeat the above joke, which I texted to a friend who could not make Thanksgiving.

I took a class at Sur la Table on making choux pastry, something I have only tried one other time while resulted in gougeres were bled butter as they baked and ended up looking like alien dung. I’ve managed to successfully make creme puffs at home since taking the class, which was totally worth taking. The hands-on nature was the best way to learn, and the chef was right there to answer “does this look right” questions.

Making the choux dough itself isn’t hard—you just have to get all these minute things right. The hard/ annoying part is dealing with pastry bags. They are annoying and sticky to fill—I do recommend not overfilling and using a rubber band to secure the open part. Also I had to figure out by trial and error what the appropriate size for the opening should be for piping.

 These were traditionally piped with a pastry bag. I learned that the dough is pretty sensitive and will somewhat hold the shape of any irregularities when piping. The ripples and nubs you see came from the raw dough not being smooth and my not patting down the little bits that get left when you pull the tip of the piping bag away. They take longer than you think to bake, and you CAN’T open the oven to check on them. (I mean, you kind of can after they have done the majority of their puffing.)

These were traditionally piped with a pastry bag. I learned that the dough is pretty sensitive and will somewhat hold the shape of any irregularities when piping. The ripples and nubs you see came from the raw dough not being smooth and my not patting down the little bits that get left when you pull the tip of the piping bag away. They take longer than you think to bake, and you CAN’T open the oven to check on them. (I mean, you kind of can after they have done the majority of their puffing.)

 These were filled with  chocolate pastry cream , which came out okay despite my messing up the recipe. (I put everything in at once, and was short an egg yolk). The cream did thicken up once it sat in the fridge long enough.

These were filled with chocolate pastry cream, which came out okay despite my messing up the recipe. (I put everything in at once, and was short an egg yolk). The cream did thicken up once it sat in the fridge long enough.

 This is the exact same choux recipe, cooked on the same parchment and baking sheet. The one difference is that I experimented with using a disher instead of piping, because piping is a pain in the ass. The dough is substantially stickier than cookie dough, but a lot easier than piping. I pat them down more to soften the shape. Baked, I don’t think you can really tell the difference, and they tasted the same.

This is the exact same choux recipe, cooked on the same parchment and baking sheet. The one difference is that I experimented with using a disher instead of piping, because piping is a pain in the ass. The dough is substantially stickier than cookie dough, but a lot easier than piping. I pat them down more to soften the shape. Baked, I don’t think you can really tell the difference, and they tasted the same.