Tuesday, June 17, 2008

TWD Not Even Close to a Peppermint Cream Puff Ring

Posted by BAKE-EN at 12:39 PM

Little known fact, there's nothing I love more than pâte à choux. Every aspect of this dessert appeals to me; from making the dough on the stovetop, mixing in the eggs, to baking off these beauties. Growing up, my grandmother would make cream puffs as her extra special dessert. She would make them only for the most important events (wedding showers, Easter). Everyone in my family would be so excited to eat them. We would know she was making cream puffs weeks before she actually did, and the anticipation would grow as the event drew closer. Being so young at the time (5 or 6-years-old), I remember the puffs to be enormous, softball sized pastries filled with chocolate pudding. I'm sure they were smaller then my memory recalls, but small hands recall big memories J


I made these for my 30th birthday party, so there aren't many pictures. We made so many items for the party, that I barely had time to make everything; let alone snap pictures. Joe and I had about 25 people over, and we had at least 6 appetizers, Middle Eastern pizzas, regular pizzas, brownies, strawberry shortcakes (I actually forgot to put them out), choux swans, éclairs sable cookies and the birthday cake my husband made for me. We're still eating leftovers 3 days later.


I decided to make chocolate pastry cream instead of the peppermint cream. Mint only appeals to me when it's in a Girl scout thin mint. Dorie's chocolate pastry cream recipe was easy to follow, and it resulted in a smooth very nice pastry cream. I have seen pastry cream recipes where the end result is something like a creamy jello jiggler (are those still around?). Luckily, this recipe was a beautiful thick pudding.


The choux recipe was easy to follow as well. I ended up making mini-eclairs, mini Paris-Brest and swans. I learned how to make swans when I was at the CIA. They are so fun to make, that I'm always looking for an excuse to make them again. Many thanks to Caroline of A Consuming Passion for choosing this recipe as this weeks TWD recipe; any excuse to make swans is highly appreciated.




Here's a photo of the choux paste:



This is what happens when you leave your brother alone with a deformed eclair and deformed Paris-Brest. I laughed so hard when I saw this:



A swan:



Final group photo:



One final note, check out my post on the gougères I made from Tartine's cookbook. It's interesting to see how pâte à choux can be both savory and sweet.

19 comments on "TWD Not Even Close to a Peppermint Cream Puff Ring"

rainbowbrown on June 17, 2008 at 5:02 PM said...

Sounds like you had fun and good eating. Cute animal party on that there platter.

Jules Someone on June 17, 2008 at 5:22 PM said...

Looks delicious and like lots of fun!

Rebecca on June 17, 2008 at 6:02 PM said...

Lovely! Any excuse to make the swans.

Heather on June 17, 2008 at 7:55 PM said...

Love the swans and the chocolate pasty cream! Great job!

LyB on June 17, 2008 at 8:27 PM said...

Oh my gosh, that swan is beautiful! I loved the story about your grandmother, so sweet!

Jaime on June 17, 2008 at 10:39 PM said...

wow, i love the swan!

happy birthday! :)

ostwestwind on June 18, 2008 at 11:07 AM said...

What a beautiful swan, great work

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

Kayte said...

Such a lovely little swan...all of this looks just great.

Savory...who knew? I love, love, love this idea. This is what is so great about these blogs...I can see how wonderfully creative you all are (as I am not!). Thanks for sharing. Beautiful photos!

Prudy on June 18, 2008 at 12:31 PM said...

How did I miss this post yesterday? The swans and snail were so cute. Chocolate sounds yummy for the filling. Also, the gougeres...oh, wow! They look amazing!

Shari on June 18, 2008 at 12:52 PM said...

Great minds think alike! I love your story about your grandmother and how cream puffs were made for special occasions. Great job!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Lisa Thibault on June 18, 2008 at 1:06 PM said...

Fabulous - I love the swans. Your little pastries look so elegant. Sounds like you were very ambitious for your party - happy belated birthday!

Bumblebutton on June 18, 2008 at 3:51 PM said...

How fun! And it was neat to see the ridging on your baked puffs--I had no idea they wouldn't be obliterated in the oven.

steph- whisk/spoon on June 18, 2008 at 8:33 PM said...

happy 30th! nice array of choux shapes...i love the swans, too!

Cecilia on June 18, 2008 at 11:36 PM said...

The swan looks amazing. The chocolate cream was pretty nice, wasn't it?

Mary Ann on June 19, 2008 at 12:01 AM said...

I had to laugh out loud when I saw the brother pic. Funny. They look good and the choux looks pretty.

Mary Ann on June 19, 2008 at 12:01 AM said...

I had to laugh out loud when I saw the brother pic. Funny. They look good and the choux looks pretty.

Dolores on June 22, 2008 at 8:40 PM said...

What neat memories... small hands *do* perceive a big world. Great job!

Angela on June 24, 2008 at 7:12 PM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angela on June 24, 2008 at 7:13 PM said...

That's one fine looking snail you got there lady

 

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