Friday, March 11, 2011

Choux Pastry

My first foray into Choux Pastry! These choux swans are kind of endearing, and yet make me want to laugh, like a pink flamingo ornament in a garden- i.e., frivolous. Imagine a whole army of them! You can find the video and recipe for the choux pastry and chocolate cream here. The video on how to make the swans is here. A note on baking time: I followed the baking instructions in the recipe, but the pastry didn't get as dark as Emmanuel Mollois' because I baked them in in the centre of the oven, instead of the top as he did. This was because I was afraid of burning the tops, and since you're not supposed to open the oven door to prevent pastry collapse, I wouldn't be able to rescue it to a lower rung should they start to burn. So go ahead and bake it in the middle of your oven, but do it for a little longer so you get the same dark brown as he does (as opposed to my golden brown), because that gives a nice crunch! I learnt this because one of the swan necks got browner than the rest. It stayed crispy while the others became soft. I suspect baking choux to a dark brown is a French thing, while Asian choux pastry creations (eg. cream puffs) stop at golden brown, which is a shame. 

Baking time for swan necks: 190 deg c for 18 min, 150 deg c for 2 min.
Baking time for swan bodies is same as for eclairs, can be baked in the same batch, just make sure you use approximately the same amount of batter for both shapes.

Swan bodies and eclairs waiting to be filled

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