Choux Paste for Eclairs

June 14, 2012

Some of you have asked for the recipes for eclairs and for puff pastry.  Here is the choux paste recipe for eclairs.  Technically called Pate a choux in French, this paste takes a bit of practice to learn to make well.  The trick is to cook the paste in the saucepan long enough to remove as much moisture from the paste as possible.  It is always advisable to cook out flour whenever it is used in something that is made in a saucepan, be it a French Vanilla Cream, choux paste or even a turkey gravy!

Choux paste for éclairs

 4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups water

2 cups whole milk

1 pound unsalted butter

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup granulated sugar

16 large eggs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F  .. Prepare sheet pans with parchment paper.

Bring water and milk to a boil with the butter, sugar and the salt in it.  Add the flour all at once and cook for 2-3 minutes to make a thick panade or paste..

Put the hot paste in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer and with a paddle mix until warm/cool.

Add eggs one at a time.  The number of eggs depends on the viscosity of the paste.     If you add too many eggs the paste will be too thin and collapse and if the paste is too thick it won’t puff nicely.  It takes practice and a good eye to understand the correct viscosity or thickness of the choux paste and that takes time.  The amount of choux made from this recipe is quite large and you need at least a 6 quart mixer for this quantity.  If you have  a smaller mixer, cut the recipe in half..

Pipe the choux into 4″ long eclairs or round balls for cream puffs.

Bake at 425 until the puffs begin to rise.  After about 15 minutes in your home oven, check to see if the puffs are beginning to brown.  Turn the oven temperature down to 375 and bake in your home oven another 15 to 20 minutes.  If you remove the puffs too soon, they will collapse.  It is better to err on the side of well baked rather than under baked with choux paste.

Fill with French Vanilla Cream or Crème Parisienne and dip in chocolate glaze (see recipes).

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