Lesson #6: Pate a choux

30 Jun

That’s right, cabbage dough – well, literally, that is what pate a choux translates to in English BUT it’s a dough that is piped into shapes that are then filled with divine things like chantilly cream and creme patisserie.  We created this simple dough and formed eclairs – the deceptively difficult dessert.  During the demo, it all looked so easy but in the end:

Too small, not enough filling and the icing, ‘so-so’ as he put it.  Unfortunately, it isn’t just taste that matters – what it tastes like means nothing to them actually, it’s all about appearance.  So while D and AK enjoy all these things I bring home and could care less if an apple slice is out of place or my fondant isn’t applied correctly, the chefs scrutinize with only their eyes.

Those little sugar-encrusted morsels are ‘chouquette’ and they are the devil.  They aren’t filled with anything, only coated in nibbed sugar so you don’t feel bad eating one or two or even ten.

So it’s late, AK is finally asleep and bright and early tomorrow I’m back to school to whip up meringue by hand…wish me luck!

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