BP: Week 5 – Choux Pastries, Eclairs

To be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to this week. Before I begin, Choux is a French word which means cabbage. Apparantly those crazy French thinks that these cream puffs looked like cabbages. I mean, you know, whatever makes them happy. In English, it’s just basically very light pastry dough used to make eclairs, cream puffs, profiteroles, etc. Choux contains only butter, water, flour and eggs. Because of its high moisture content, a lot of steam will be created which puffs out the pastry.

Choux Puffs

Chef Gert’s Choux Puffs

In my opinion, choux puffs are really easy to make. It is just a huge hassle because you have to make the cream and topping as well otherwise the choux is pretty bland and almost tasteless. The entire week, I was pretty obsessed over whether or not I should use 100% milk, 100% water or a combination of both. What I found out was that if one was refined enough, you can actually taste the blandness of water in the choux (Ja reckons water doesn’t taste bland but I guess it’s cause I have a sweet tooth). But milk also adds colour to it hence making it a little unpretty (milk is expensive too). But mm, I’ve end up deciding that whenever I make choux, I’ll just use 75% water and 25% milk depending on how I’m feeling. ^^ (This came at a price… I almost threw up forcing myself to taste so many different choux puffs… ugh cream… UgGGhh!)

Chef Gert\'s eclairs

Chef Gert’s eclairs

We made eclairs on the second day and there’s actually nothing really special about them: just more choux paste, pastry cream (coffee flavoured for today) and coffee-flavoured fondant (that shiny icing thingy on top of the eclairs). I was really tired on the second day though. It was supposed to be a pretty easy week but I somehow kept screwing it up. Like today, I was pretty quick to cook the choux but then realised at the last minute (after all the cooking) that I’ve forgotten to add sugar and salt. >< Later on, after quickly re-doing everything, I accidentally added the butter into the bowl of eggs, instead of into the pot of water/milk. That’s quite a lot of time wasted and in addition to that, my partner whom I shared the pastry cream with, somehow messed up the cream and it was pretty weird cause I kept watch of it as well and we didn’t know what went wrong with it. So, we made the cream all over again, the fondant and then it was pretty much rush, rush, rush to set up the eclairs as quickly as possible before our time runs out and we had to start cleaning up. 

Mmm, Paris Brests

Mmm, Paris Brests

The same thing sorta happened on the third day when we made Paris Brests (named after a French cycling race from Paris-Brest-Paris, and not after French Bosoms :p). Everything went pretty well, I was happy with my piping and I started to prepare my chocolate for tempering much earlier than everyone. However, even after tempering it twice, I just can’t seem to get it right. :/ The chocolate remains untempered and I felt that I might have already ruined the chocolate. At that point, I’ve already wasted so much time that I decided to just use Hsiu Yen’s leftovers and even though her chocolate was properly tempered, when I used it the chocolate became untempered for some reason I just got too tired to care. :/ Ah well… the chocolate Gods just didn’t like me on that day. Oh and my warm hands also made life difficult for me when trying to decorate with chocolate. The darn chocolate decorations which I piped out keeps on getting melted by my fingers! So yeah, more rushing to finish up on the third day as well.

My Paris Brests

My Paris Brests (oh well, at least the plain fondant looked good)

Anyway, I recently bought some dark chocolate and a chocolate mould so now I can practice tempering chocolate at home. >< And I would like to apologise to a classmate of mine. Sorry if I just can’t bring myself to trust you especially when you’re close to me in the kitchen. I just didn’t want you to fire up the burner with my hand over it because my instinct tells me that you will fire it up on max rather than slowly bringing it up. I felt that my instincts were justified when you opened the oven without checking with anyone and remained clueless for a while even after everyone (including chef) exclaimed at you to shut it back quickly and mostly when you just left my electronic scales lying around instead of returning it back to me after I generously lent it to you. People… .


~ by limmyfox on June 3, 2008.

One Response to “BP: Week 5 – Choux Pastries, Eclairs”

  1. Droooolls..
    Omg, im so coming to visit you!

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