So, my sugar detox came to an abrupt end this week.
Class was all about choux paste, specifically profiteroles and eclairs. And I thought I was good, that I could talk myself down from that sweet ledge and stay on track with the diet. But guys, fresh, delicate, sweet cream puffs?? Filled with the lightest and airiest sweet cream? Are you kidding me??
I didn’t stand a chance.
I started off the morning with the realization that I forgot part of my uniform at home. And I’m just about an hour and a half from this school so turning around to get it really isn’t an option. I nervously approached Chef before class started and let him know about my forgetfulness. With a warm smile and a quick jerk of his head, he pointed to one of his extra aprons that he keeps under his work table. Then during recipe prep, I ever so slightly cut my finger and the darn thing wouldn’t stop bleeding. Back to Chef I go, finger in the air, asking him to point me in the direction of the first aid station. Again, not too many words, giant warm smile, he patched me up and on I carried.
I forgot my phone in the car and I parked too far away to go back and get it. I dropped the giant paddle for the mixer. I knocked the guard off the commercial mixer by turning it the wrong way, at least 3 times. I was all thumbs that morning and unorganized and clumsy.
But sweet mother of pearl, the ridiculousness of that morning was instantly washed away once I had my first bite of those profiteroles (as was all the efforts of my recent sugar detox, but worth it). So fresh and so soft and perfectly sweet. Throbbing finger still in the air, I beamed at my table partner. Oh. Em. Gee. Are you tasting what I’m tasting?! These are incredible.
Guys, choux paste is a dream. Had I known that these were so easy, I would’ve made them many times before. It’s incredibly simple to prepare the paste and work with it. Once the paste is made, you can pipe it into any shape you wish! The tender pastry will puff up in the oven and be almost completely hollow inside. Perfect for all of that sweet whipped cream, ice cream or custard that you’re going to put in there. These will definitely be making an appearance at our next family get together.
Friends, I’m fumbling my way through some of these days, throbbing finger and all. But how lucky am I to be having so much fun!
Have a great week friends,
A recipe for light and airy choux paste, that can be used to make delicate and delicious profiteroles and eclairs! * Recipe via George Brown Baking Arts1
- 250ml water
- 125gr unsalted butter, cubed
- 5gr salt
- 185gr bread flour
- 6 large eggs
- 500ml heavy whipping cream
- 50gr sugar
- In a medium saucepan add the water, salt and butter and bring to a boil (making sure the butter is completely melted).
- Add the bread flour to the pot and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough the flour is completely incorporated and the dough begins to pull away from the side of the pot. You'll know the paste is cooked when it no longer sticks to the pot and there is a white film on the bottom of the pot.
- Remove from heat immediately and place in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix the dough on a low speed until it cools down, for approximately 5 minutes. You should be able to touch the mixing bowl without it feeling too hot.
- Add the eggs in 3 stages, being careful to incorporate fully before adding the next 2 to prevent lumps. Once the last 2 eggs have been fully incorporated, stop mixing. The dough will be over whipped if mixed too long.
- Add a small amount of milk, only if needed to adjust the consistency of the paste. It should be very soft and easy to pipe, yet still hold its shape.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a large star attachment. Pipe rosettes for the profiteroles, leaving about 1 inch of space in between each rosette.
- Bake the paste at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, until golden brown and crusty when tapped on the side. Let cool.
- Once cool, cut off the top third of the profiteroles, using a serrated knife; set aside. Whip the heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Fill a piping bag with the whipped cream, and pipe a swirl into the bottom of each profiterole. Gently set the top back on. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.