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Since starting my blog in 2010, I’ve read or watched how pate a choux dough is made. There’s always been this intimidating feeling wrapped around the process.
Even though I made one attempt at the dough almost ten years ago, I still find the process uncomfortable.
Something I always notice when I watch a baking championship show, and they make pate a choux, someone will under-bake them or leave them in the oven until they look dark and crispy.
Seeing that always makes me doubt my abilities…
…but it’s time to let go of this discomfort and make some delicious pate a choux puffs.
SOME BOOK INSPIRATION:
Isabel from Hard To Resist (The Winters Family Book One) was trying to relax and watch one of her favorite cooking shows, but it happened again. Someone was making cream puffs, and like the fifty-million other times she's watched the recipe made, they looked amazing.
“What time is it?” She tapped the screen on her phone. “What? Seriously?” The big numbers read 10:00 p.m. “I’m doing it.” Drew had two more nights on his shift at the firehouse, and she didn’t feel like going to bed anytime soon.
Right as she grabbed her cookbook to find a recipe, her phone rang. A smile flashed across her face when she saw the name.
“Hi, Sweet Izzy. Did I wake you?”
“Nope, I’m about to make some cream puffs with creme patisserie.”
“I hear words, but I have no idea what you’re saying.”
“I’ll drop some off on the way to work tomorrow. Deal?”
“Anytime I can see you, I’m all in.”
It took her a few minutes to get her head back into the baking zone after hanging up the phone. That man knew how to distract her every single time.
“Pate a Choux dough.” She tapped the granite counter a few times while taking a deep breath. “Okay, let’s do this.”
The recipe had been intimidating her for years. She was ready to tackle the ingredients and make some amazing cream puffs. The jury was still out on the creme patisserie, though. There was a possibility it would become a curdled mess.
One thing was for sure, it was still early, and she had enough ingredients to make it all more than once.
BEHIND THE SCENES:
Like Izzy, this is all true, I’ve been extremely intimidated by this recipe, but things are about to change. This year I plan to whip up recipes that make me nervous or uncomfortable. First up, Pate a Choux dough.
Before I started, I did watch a YouTube video with Jacques Pepin. Did you know that Pate a Choux dough can be enjoyed with savory and sweet recipes? Chef Jacques shared five ways to enjoy the one batch of dough he made.
So many possibilities.
Oh, I also used Paul Hollywood’s cookbook, Bake. Between Chef Paul and Chef Jacques, I’m happy to share that after two tries, we had delicious cream puffs because my Pate a Choux dough was right.
What I discovered, the recipe is touchy. You must mix it enough and bake them enough to dry the puffs out.
It’s important to note the recipe I used was a little bit of Jacques Pepin and a little bit of Paul Hollywood. I tried both of their techniques and then figured things out on my own.
If you’re curious about my failures, where everything went wrong, and why I plan to make Pate a Choux again...
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