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Perfect choux


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7 replies to this topic

#1 AnnieWilliams

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:31 AM

Is there a special technique piping choux so that it is very smooth and even after it's been baked? This is the best way I can describe what is "perfect" to me:

http://www.parispati...eligieuse-rose/

Generally when I pipe choux for cream puffs or eclairs, they look a little rough after they are baked. I am using a wide, round tip to pipe. I have started using Pichet Ong's choux recipe and it is quite good, but no recipe I've tried has been smooth, so I'm convinced it's in my technique. Is it as simple as using a water-dipped finger to smooth them out once they have been piped? Or is there a special technique to piping them out that I'm missing?

If anyone could help me I'd appreciate it.

#2 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:42 AM

I've always just smoothed my choux with a wet finger; it's how I was taught to perfect them. It's very rare that one will get perfectly smooth choux simply by piping - dough and ovens are too tempramental for that.

Then again, if you're going to coat your choux in fondant as shown in the picture, then they'll always look smooth even if they're a little rough - that's a fondant trick, not a choux trick.
Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.
My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

#3 mkayahara

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:17 AM

In the Bouchon Bakery book, they recommend using hemisphere molds.
Matthew Kayahara
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#4 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:21 AM

Matthew, have you tried that? How does baking a choux upside-down affect the browning of the (eventual) top?
Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.
My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

#5 mkayahara

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:05 PM

Sorry, I was a little terse in my earlier post: the full method is that they're portioned into hemisphere molds, frozen, unmolded onto a sheet tray, then baked from frozen. Apparently it leads to more even puffs, though I haven't tried it myself... I don't have a hemisphere mold that's the right size.
Matthew Kayahara
Kayahara.ca
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#6 DianaM

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:56 PM

I use a recipe from Chef Eddy, his streusel-topped choux look very round and well-shaped. Take a look here:

http://www.chefeddy....-with-streusel/

I have used the choux recipe without the streusel topping, and baked them at 350 as he instructs. Although the temp seemed low to me, I've found that the choux maintained their round shape much better. So the nicest-looking choux I made were done using his method.

I hear many a French pastry chef uses the streusel topping, and I have seen beautiful religieuses done that way.

#7 ChrisZ

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:23 PM

A recipe & technique for the 'perfect choux' popped up on Migoya's blog a while ago, he says it has taken him over 5 years to perfect. It's one of those things on my to-do list...

(BTW here is the direct link to the recipe)

Edited by ChrisZ, 17 January 2013 - 05:25 PM.


#8 AnnieWilliams

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:21 AM

Sorry for my delay in replying-I had a long day at work yesterday and then I came home and piped about a billion white chocolate snowflakes.

Anyway, thank you so much everyone for replying. I think that is a good point about baking them low. I think mine have always been baked in the 425-ish range but I can't be sure, as I have played with the higher temperatures over the years. Maybe that is the key. Maybe the issue is putting them in a super hot oven makes them puff too fast, giving them their rough appearance. I will definitely check out those links you guys posted.

Thanks again for all your input!