Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
chefpeon

Pate a Choux - The Topic - Ask Questions Here.

Recommended Posts

I was just posting about this today in the Bouchon thread...I think my pate choux looked less regular (exactly how you described them) because I used a convection that day. I've always left the convection off when I baked the Pichet Ong recipe, and they are perfectly round and do not expand as much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok you all. I've had requests on other threads about what I consider to be the PERFECT pate a choux recipe. A few months back I started a thread on achieving the perfect choux because it was something I always had a problem with. I took everyone's suggestions and tried a lot of things.....different recipes, methods etc......and here's what I came up with. This works like

a dream for me.......please do try it, because I swear by it....it's awesome!

chefpeon, I hope you're still around!

Could you tell me approximately how many choux this recipe makes? I'd like to try it, but I think it may produce too many for my needs, so I'm wondering if I should 1/2 it, 1/4 it, or 1/5 it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Chefpeon is busy preparing for her upcoming appearance on a Food TV cake challenge (!), but I can tell you that the recipe makes just the right amount. Here's why - they taste really good on their own, so you're going to eat some while you work. They freeze well, and it's a nice thing to have in the freezer. And you may make them larger or smaller than I do, so an exact number is hard to come by.

Oh, and by the way, she's using the Pichet Ong recipe now, as far as I know. She renounced her former favorite when she tried his. So that's what my comments were addressed to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So that's where she is! Wow! I wish I could watch that...too bad I'm in Japan, and my source of videos (aka "Mom") back home cancelled all but the basic channels. Oh well, my mother never figured out how to use the VCR, anyway!

Thanks for the recipe info Abra! I started at the beginning of this topic, and never made it past the 1st or 2nd page so I was going off the recipe with 4 cups of eggs. I found the thread of the Pichet Ong recipe, so I will try that. I'm using it for gougere, so it's good to know the scm won't make it too sweet! I think I'll make the dough this weekend and stick them in the freezer (they're for my pseudo-afternoon tea party next weekend!).

If you see Chefpeon, please tell her good luck from me! She'll be great, I'm sure!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a choux disappointment (kinda pictured and described here) and May referred me to Pichet Ong's recipe. I'd actually found this thread long ago but went with Pierre Hermé's recipe because, well, it's the recipe!

The dough is magic. I actually did not have faith in it until 10 minutes after I started baking. The recipe is actually almost exactly the same as Hermé's, only with a tad more liquid. First of all, when I dried it for almost the same amount of time (5 minutes), it didn't look as dry. Worry! I only added 4 eggs because it was starting to get runny but I was able to add 5 to Hermé's without that problem. Worry! Actually, it stuck to the beaters for a while, so I thought it was okay, but when I loaded it into the bag, it was really loose! I couldn't pipe a decent shape, it was so runny. Worry! After I'd baked it at 205°C for 5 minutes, it flopped and I got so depressed. Depressed! So I ate a little dinner, and five minutes later, I was amazed to find a row of perfectly risen spheres!!!!!!! They were so hollow!

I'm not sure what I'll use next time. Hermé's dough is more manageable, but Ong's rose really well. Maybe I'll dry out the dough a LOT more next time (10 minutes?) and ladle in the eggs instead of adding them whole.


Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another option is, after the first few eggs (ie once you're out of the safe zone) to use pour in the yolk first, then use the white as necessary.

I haven't used the PH recipe, but in theory, it should have the same piping consistency if you have used the right amount of eggs. I think.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys, i'm a little late to the choux party i know!

I just tried the Pichet recipe after having a flop with a different recipe.

I had 2 main problems:

firstly, i baked 2 trays of them and the top tray stayed almost totally flat (well they rose up but then collapsed fully) while the bottom tray rose a LOT better. Is this perhaps an issue of direct heat (the bottom tray would be 'protected' from some heat by the top tray). Should i just bake one tray at a time?

And also, many of the ones from the bottom tray (that puffed up really well and hollow) were so thin on the bottom i couldn't fill them... in some cases there was a big hole in the bottom of the puff (almost an inch wide) and many had a super-wafer-thin bottom that would immediately break had i tried to put cream in there. Why might this be?

cheers :)

Stu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love making gougeres and have had some good luck with them using the Cook's Illustrated recipe. But I am bringing this topic back up because I want to tackle sweet ones now. I have used recipes for that where there was equal parts water and milk. These never setup right and hold their shape for me. This topic gives me lots of ideas as to WHY, but I'm still not totally sure what I am doing wrong. As mentioned, I get great results using the CI recipe to make gougeres.

Here is their ingredient list with measures

5 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons milk

6 Tablespoons water

some sugar ( I omit this when making gougeres)

pinch of salt

1/2 cup (2.5 oz) AP flour

2 large eggs + 1 large egg white.

These work well. I am wondering if I should even fool around with the water/mil ratio to get it to 50/50? I suppose I could bake some up (and include the sugar) and taste them to see what they are like sweet. I really DO love them savory with the cheese.

I would probably make profiteroles out of them. But I am also interested in making cream puffs. How exactly do I fill them with the pastry cream. I know the answer is "pipe in come pastry cream", but how exactly? do it from the bottom? the side? should I use a specific tip to do it?


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have good luck using the CI recipe, stick with it. No need to worry about the milk/water ratio. Adding more milk just makes a softer shell, and I like crispy shells.....both for savory and sweet choux.

Actually, "sweet" pate choux doesn't taste sweet at all.....it's kinda neutral. When I make gougeres I don't even bother omitting the sugar since you pretty much don't taste the presence of it anyway.

To pipe the pastry cream in a cream puff shell, use a small paring knife and with the tip of it, make a small hole in the bottom of the puff, and twist the knife a little. Use a #5 or #6 plain tip, and slowly squeeze the pastry cream in, until you feel the puff start to expand a little in your hand. Be careful not to overfill.

Pipe in the pastry cream as close to serving time as possible, because the cream eventually does soften the shells, which can't be helped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could also use *all* skim milk to prevent collapse-- something I picked up from the Tartine cookbook, but have yet to try :)


Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep a set of thin bricks in my oven for nearly all my baking--mostly breads and cookies, preheating the oven an extra 30 minutes, but after a very disappointing batch of eclairs last night, I'm wondering: should I leave them in for the choux, to maximize the rapid heat tranfer for early oven spring, or take them out to prevent too-rapid solidifying before they expand fully?

In case it matters, these bricks are sets I got 20 years ago with quarter inch thick ceramic slabs fitted together in a shallow metal tray that makes them simple to maneuver in and out of the oven. And the choux were on ordinary steel baking pans lined with silpat.

I know there were other problems with my recipe and technique, obvious from reading this thread through in detail, but this is one variable I didn't see discussed earlier.


Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This summer I have a new hire who is a recent graduate of a pastry program taught at a local college by a well-known French pastry chef. We needed to make a lot of swans for a new account and she jumped at the chance. I was ok with her using her recipe from school, although she said that she hadn't gotten it to bake well at home.

Anyway. The school recipe called for a different technique than I'd ever seen before.

It was 1 qt water, 14 oz butter, pinch salt, sugar optional, 21 oz flour, 14-15 eggs.

Bring the water, butter, sugar and salt to a rolling boil and pour into the 20 qt Hobart mixer bowl. Add the flour all at once and mix on speed 1 until the pomade is at 160 degrees; then add the eggs gradually.

The puffs were ok; personally I much prefer Pinchet Ong's recipe... I asked her what the chef said about this technique - why he used it or perhaps this was his development; and she had no idea. She thought it was the traditional French method :huh: and I said no - the traditional method was what my recipes were (dump the flour into the boiling mixture, stir until it becomes a ball and leaves a film on the pot, then add the eggs...)

so... anyone else use this type of technique?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always followed the traditional way too. There's a discussion of this issue near the beginning of this topic, starting here, but here is the most direct response to this point:

I couple of points here (I'm a former pastry chef).

You need to cook your panade more. Turn the heat down, and stir it around until it is a ball. Keep stirring (and breaking up the ball, so all of the mixture gets in contact with the hot pan), on low heat until a thin layer of cooked flour adheres to the bottom of the pan. What you're doing it cooking the flour (gelatinizing the starch), thus combining the flour and liquid. It's more work, and I've broken dozens of spoons doing it, but I promise, it'll give you the results that you want.

You can let it cool a little in the mixer bowl, but only a little. Don't add your eggs one at a time, mix up all your eggs in a bowl and ladle them in in 3 parts, each part just after the previous addition is mixed in. Scrape down the bowl only after each addition.

The rise doesn't come from egg whites vs eggs, it's from the pre-cooked flour rising away from the moisture in the batter.

McGee's comments on pate a choux would seem to agree. Cooking the flour with the water and fat seems to be the key, and I don't see how your new hire's method cooks the flour.



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a choux disappointment (kinda pictured and described here) and May referred me to Pichet Ong's recipe. I'd actually found this thread long ago but went with Pierre Hermé's recipe because, well, it's the recipe!

The dough is magic. I actually did not have faith in it until 10 minutes after I started baking. The recipe is actually almost exactly the same as Hermé's, only with a tad more liquid. First of all, when I dried it for almost the same amount of time (5 minutes), it didn't look as dry. Worry! I only added 4 eggs because it was starting to get runny but I was able to add 5 to Hermé's without that problem. Worry! Actually, it stuck to the beaters for a while, so I thought it was okay, but when I loaded it into the bag, it was really loose! I couldn't pipe a decent shape, it was so runny. Worry! After I'd baked it at 205°C for 5 minutes, it flopped and I got so depressed. Depressed! So I ate a little dinner, and five minutes later, I was amazed to find a row of perfectly risen spheres!!!!!!! They were so hollow!

I'm not sure what I'll use next time. Hermé's dough is more manageable, but Ong's rose really well. Maybe I'll dry out the dough a LOT more next time (10 minutes?) and ladle in the eggs instead of adding them whole.

I just made the Pichet Ong recipe, and I had the same problem with it being runny. I only managed to add four of the four eggs (not the last yolk), and it still just melted on the tray as I piped it. The tester cooked fine. Into a nice, hollow ball with good shape. Fridged overnight, and I've got the same melty dough. But now it cooks into a flat disk. A tasty disk, but not what I was looking for!

I'm wondering if I needed to break up the cooking batter more. I let it roll around in the ball it formed as I cooked it for the five minutes, which might have lead to uneven cooking. I also stopped when the butter started to come out of the batter and sizzle in the pan instead of watching the clock.


Edited by ElaineK (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...