Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rosie Makes Pate a Chou, Eclairs, And Profiteroles

Here's the money shot. Now that I have your attention, I'll continue with the recipes. After making the brownies for Maxine's birthday, I had a few that I kept for Mr. Hawthorne, Youngest Hawthorne, and me. Even though Mr. Hawthorne hid them, Youngest Hawthorne immediately found them. They were all consumed within minutes. The next day, Mr. Hawthorne wanted me to make another batch of brownies, since he didn't get enough. I didn't feel like doing brownies again, so I decided on making cream puff pastry, or pate a chou. (And that's pate with an upside down v or accent circonflexe over the a and the e with an accent acute.) So, it looks like it's going to be eclairs and profiteroles. I hope Mr. Hawthorne won't be too disappointed.
My ingredients for the pate a chou: 3/4 cup water 1/4 cup milk 1/4 tsp salt 1 stick unsalted butter 1 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour 4 large eggs
I combined the water, milk, and salt, placed over heat, added the butter and brought it all to a rolling boil.
The liquid must be boiling rapidly before you add in the flour, all at once.
Stir the paste constantly until it pulls away from the sides of the pan.
Mash the paste down against the pan bottom and cook for 1-2 minutes, flipping over and cooking for another 1-2 minutes. I removed the mixture from heat and let it cool to to 140 degrees or less so the eggs wouldn't cook when they got added.
I beat each egg, then added them one at a time, stirring until each was completely absorbed and the paste was smooth, before adding the next.
Beat until the dough is smooth and shiny.
I used my pastry bag and tip to make the profiteroles.
I didn't have a large enough pastry tip for the eclairs so I used Aunt Sandy's brilliant tip of cutting the tip off a storage bag and piping. She truly is the smartest thing on the block. I never would have thought of that. Thanks, Sandy!
Here's everything ready for the oven.
But first, I brushed the pastry lightly with an egg glaze - 1 egg mixed with 1 TB milk.

I baked these in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Then I turned the heat down to 375. The larger eclairs I baked for 15 more minutes.
The smaller profiteroles I baked for 10 minutes.

Next, I'm making a creme patissiere for the filling. (And that's creme with an accent grave over the first e and patissiere with an accent circonflexe over the a and an accent grave over the first e.
My ingredients: 2 cups light cream (I used 1 cup milk and 1 cup heavy cream.) 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 cup sugar 2 TB cornstarch 4 egg yolks pinch salt
I added 2 TB of the sugar to the cream.
Added the vanilla and brought the mixture to a boil.
In a small bowl, I mixed the eggs and added the rest of the sugar and the pinch of salt.
And stirred in the cornstarch.
I stirred in 2-3 tablespoons of the hot liquid to the egg mixture to temper.
Then added the egg mixture back to the cream, stirring briskly and cooking until thickened.
Wallah! Creme patissiere. This is rich, buttery, vanilla-ey, and just plain wonderful.
I sprinkled a little sugar over top to prevent a skin from forming, then refrigerated until slightly cool before filling my pastries.
I piped the creme patissiere into each end of the eclairs. Next time, I think I'll slice the eclairs and spoon on the creme so I get a more even filling.
And I sliced the profiteroles and piped the creme onto them. Here are all my little filled pastries waiting for a chocolate topping. My ingredients: 1/4 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup sugar 2 ounces Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips
I combined all in a sauce pan and brought it to a boil.
Until it got just a tad over the firm ball stage.
Then I drizzled the chocolate over my pastries.
Enjoy the pictures.

And they tasted better than they looked.


Kathy said...

Ummmmmm, uhhhhhhhh, ooooooooh baby . . . . . . . . . . .sorry, I'm okay now. Uh, they look really good Rosie. The unbaked eclairs looked like albino poopies.

Mr. P said...

Can I come have breakfast with you?

Hairball T. Hairball said...

Crap! Now I'm craving eclairs. So unfair.

Anonymous said...

Rosie, on a 1-10 scale with 1 being difficult and 10 a breeze. What would you say making the eclairs were?
I need to make over 100 for a shower and am thinking I may need to purchase them, if they are really a pain. I will not be filling with cream, however, just using as base for a petite sandwich. Can you freeze these after baking?

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Hey Deb,
I'd give 'em a 5 or a 6. They're really not a pain - they just take some effort and they're totally worth it.

Also, I would recommend getting a pastry bag and decorative tips for piping the eclairs out. Makes for a prettier eclair.

I would think these would freeze very nicely.

Good luck and let me know how they turn out.