Pies and Pâte à choux

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pâte à choux is the dough that is used for eclairs, profiteroles, croquembouches, etc. We each got to make our own batch of this dough which we then piped into a pan of eclairs and a pan of profiteroles. I lead with this because while reading the chapter and the recipe for choux, I remembered a time in 8th grade foreign language class. Foreign language class was designed to give us a taste of German, French, and Spanish so we could decide which language we would like to take when we got to high school. We had a food day in class for each country where we would each bring in a food and we would just sit and eat the whole class period. Being the ambitious baker that I am, I decided to make eclairs.

I don't remember the process that I used to make the eclairs that day, but I do know that it was not the correct way. The actual pastry turned out alright...or so I thought. I made them the day before and went to fill them at six in the morning on food day. I believe I was going to fill them with vanilla pudding. They wouldn't hold the filling, they kept cracking, and even when I went to cut them open to just spread filling inside, they wouldn't work. I was in tears. We went to Apples and bought some from the bakery and food day was saved. I never tried to make them again. This is why I was so excited to be making eclairs yesterday. They turned out wonderfully.


Hopefully you aren't offended, but we do like to have a little fun in the class. Thankfully, Chef CJ has the same sense of humor I do and found this photo extremely amusing when I asked if it was allowed to be included in my final notebook.


We also made the dough and the fillings for small pecan and lemon meringue pies. We did not have the time or oven space to bake those off, though. We will be finishing those up today, as well as making crepes, baklava, ganache, the cream filling for the eclairs and profiteroles, and something else that I can't remember at the moment. I will write more after class today and let you know how everything turned out.


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