Lessons 22-25 – Pate a Choux – Eclairs, Cream Puffs, Profiteroles & Croquembouche

These last couple of lessons in our first module were some of my favorite. We started the class creating Pate a Choux (Cream Puff Pastry) which is the dough used in eclairs and cream puffs. From there we proceeded to make pastry cream and creme mousseline (the fillings). Once we had all of these done we made Paris Brest’s. These are not at all what you’re thinking. They actually named for a famous bicycle race from Paris to Brest and so are made in the shape of a wheel, to represent the bicycle wheel.

After we piped everything out and baked it, it was time to fill and assemble! To create a Paris Brest you pipe 2 concentric circles with a third above. Once baked and cooled, you cut the top 1/3 of it off, fill the inside with cream or mousseline and reassemble.

Next it was onto the eclairs, cream puffs and profiteroles, which were all surprisingly easy to fill. Profiteroles are cream puffs that use ice-cream in the center instead of cream and are then drizzled with chocolate sauce…can you think of anything better?

Lastly, we each made a Croquembouche, or a traditional French wedding cake which is made from many cream puffs dipped in caramel all stuck together like a cone.

Next up, we’re moving into module 2 to tackle breads, pies, tarts, and more.

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