February 2, 2011

What Timing!

So how about this for timing. My dads niece and her daughters made a pit-stop here on
their way to Florida. The oldest of the two girls has taken a interest into cooking and baking
recently. In her short time here she and her sister wanted to be able to do something with me in
the kitchen. So I cut class early on Tuesday and came home to do a little something with them.

She wanted to make cream puffs, which is funny because in my last post I said that I wanted
to do a blog on Choux. Cream puffs are made with what it called Pate a Choux. Pate a Choux
is a pastry used for Eclairs, profiteroles, CREAM PUFFS, you could do many different applications with it.

These cream puffs we made were filled with a Pastry cream we also made, and I lighten it
a bit by folding in some whipped cream. So I had my brother and my sister try to get pictures
of the process in making the pastry cream the choux pastry. So lets take a look!!
Above we are mixing together our Egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch. The yolks are going to be a
natural thicker for the cream and the cornstarch is added in just to help. Before this step we
have put our milk and Vanilla Bean on the stove top to begin scalding.

Then once scalding, we tempered the hot milk into yolk mixture. We temper it slowly that way the
eggs don't cook right away. Return everything back to the
pot to cook out the cornstarch and allow it to thicken. It could happen fast.

Here is the finished cream. We are not done here, we need to strain out the vanilla bean and
any little pieces of cooked egg.
After straining it you want it too cool down. And always cover it with parchment or plastic wrap
so a skin doesn't develop on the top of the cream.

So from here we move on to the Choux Pastry.

To begin the process we bring our water to boil, with butter and salt. We want to be sure
that we really mix the water and butter together. Then we measure out our eggs, my cousin
Tori was the egg-lady. She handled all the egg in our production.

When our water is boiling, we are going to add the flour all at once.

Above, we have just added all the flour, so we want to mix it in and start to form a dough. Use a wooden spoon for this, and we also want to leave this dough in the pan on the heat for a bit to dry out and remove all the moisture.
Then the dough is put in a mixer bowl, and we will slowly add the eggs.

Once we have reached our desired consistency, we need to pipe these out right away. Since this was just something fun for the girls to do I let them make whatever shapes and dots they wanted.

After piping, into a HOT HOT oven for 15 minutes at 400 then we turn it down to 350 till they have puffed and colored to a golden brown.
Once cooled down, we filled them with our whipped pastry cream and glazed them with chocolate.

Thats it! It is really pretty easy to make. I went through it pretty quickly and left out some details,
but I'll put another post about it some time.

Oh, did I mention that my sis and her husband were there too, and of course my cute little buddy!

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