Pate a Choux? Shooo’… (or, the post that was almost called “Piping: Not My Bag, Baby”)

Eclairs and Cream Puffs

On the presenting grid. My team is the back, middle square.

It’s close to the end of the semester, so it was time to tackle Pate a Choux (aka Eclair Paste, Choux Paste, or Cream Puff Paste, as was heavily stressed by Chef D., so I am guessing this bit of name trivia will be on the Final Exam. I can also think of several different names for creme anglaise, so just ask if you’re very curious). Not being a particular fan of the eclair or the cream puff, I was indifferent coming into this exercise. It also involved piping, of which I am particularly clumsy. This is, of course, quite vexing to me as I prefer to be smooth, precise and fluid in all my tasks. Well. Anyway, I was going to do a post just on the trials of piping, and call it “Piping: Not My Bag, Baby”  complete with photos of various mangled piping bags and wobbly, uneven eclairs, but quickly realized that would be super dorky, and I just don’t know y’all well enough for that yet. Yeah, I know, I tried this one earlier in my creme brulee post, but it hadn’t found its feet yet. I’ll keep at it.

So, instead of pastry bag detritus, I present to you the eclairs. And, I have to say, while they didn’t win me all the way over — I still don’t very much like the textures of pate a choux or pastry cream — they are indeed much nicer when they are freshly made and not cold from the refrigerator case. Plus, you get to dip them into chocolate glaze and watch the chocolate smooth out, shiny and perfect and calm like an untroubled brow. That is a peaceful proposition.

Pate a Choux, nude

Eclair and Cream Puff, pre-pastry cream injection and chocolate bath

Class Grid: Finished product

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