With basic piping technique under our belt, we will be put into a test and try out our piping skills with this week's lesson. It's Pâte à Choux Day!
Pâte à Choux is a light pastry dough used to make profiteroles, croquembouches, Èclairs, French crullers, beignets, St. HonorÈ cake and gougËres. Its a very versitile dough that once piped into a different shape, its called a different thing. When piped into rounds its called Cream Puff, into logs its called an Èclairs, into rings irs called French crullers and so on...you get the picture.
This week is a bit disappointing for me since I was expecting to make different versions and all I got are cream puffs, Èclairs and St. HonorÈ cake. For some weird reason I find Chef Carlos is not as informative as my other previous instructor. He silently makes stuff and you have to be very attentive or else you would have missed what he was doing. The ever adaptable me sees to it that I watch Chef's every move so that I won't missed a thing and when I don't understand what he is doing I quickly ask questions.
I must admit I made eclairs and cream puff before. I watch Jacques Torres on Food Network over and over again, until I think I got his technique. But sadly my attempt then was bad, I got too excited and my Pâte à Choux didn't puff up properly it got deflated. I remember that it still taste good. Pastry cream on a other hand we can be friends. I've been making pastry cream for so long that ruining a good batch would be mightly embarassing for me. I actually love making Pastry cream, I find it relaxing and eating it is to die for! For special occassions, I would use vanilla bean in my pastry cream. I love seeing those black specs when I'm eating any vanilla based dessert. I find it more luxurious and more fragrant.
Its a good thing that my previous blunders paid off, today my pata choux rose beautifully but it didn't have those cracks, mine is not as pronounce as the others. However, since chef said that the cracks are not necessary, hearing that got me perky cause I really thought that my batch was a dud.
Eating it fresh out of the oven was awesome, but I bet if my pastry cream where cold and the recipe had vanilla bean or let alone vanilla essense it would be heavenly. But still these little babies are quite addictive. I see to it that I didn't stuff myself full with eclairs and cream puffs since I want a taste of the St. HonorÈ cake. I saw this St. HonorÈ cake being made on the telly as well years before but nothing beats seeing it being made right infront of you. Biting into this cake is a revelation for me, you can taste the different layers and the textures are good! Its like when cream pie and cream puff got married, St. HonorÈ cake is their baby.
Hopefully next week, class would be better. Let us roll up your sleeves, up next is Laminated Dough.