This easy recipe, sometimes called cream puff shells or puff pastry can be used in many ways. Unsweetened, it is a base for Gnocchi or Dauphine Potatoes, a bland form for filling, soup garnishes or hors d’oeuvre cases. Sweetened, it can become a base for éclairs or beignets. Shaped as round cases, it can become profiteroles when filled with ice cream and covered with a chocolate sauce. In a towering pyramid, it becomes a Croquembouche.
For about 20 choux or 40 small puffs:
1 cup of water
1/4 lb. of butter cut in 5 or 6 slices
1/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 Tbsp of sugar
1 cup* of all-purpose flour
For about 80 choux or 160 small puffs:
4 cup of water
1 lb of butter, cut in slices
1 tsp of salt, 2 Tbsp of sugar
4 cups of all-purpose
- Combine water, salt, sugar and butter in saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Remove from heat and immediately add flour.
- Beat vigorously with wooden spoon until mixture forms a ball.
- The dough, or panade, should be soft but not sticky.
- Return to heat for a minute and continue beating to remove moisture.
- Transfer to a clean bowl.
- By hand, or in a mixer, add one egg at a time and beat well.
Fill a pastry bag with the pâte à choux, coat a large cookie sheet with butter & flour.
- Squeeze out puffs about the size of a golf ball.
- Brush the top with a egg wash (a whole egg, beaten), pushing down the tails.
- Let the choux dry for a while before cooking.
- Bake in a 370°F preheated oven for 35 minutes or until well puffed and golden.
- Shut off the heat, open the oven door slightly and let the puffs cool slowly for 1 hour.
* 165 grams or 6 oz