Choux, éclairs and profiteroles

Choux pastry is magic: a small squirt of paste swells up into a lovely golden ball.

In its simplest form, you’ll find the chouquette: an empty puff covered with crunchy cracked sugar.

Then there is the chou à la crème (or profiterole, that’s simpler): a small chou filled with pastry cream. It can also be glazed with fondant or chocolate ganache.

Rhubarb and star anise profiteroles

If you vary the sizes and the shapes, you’ll make éclairs and religieuses.

Then there are the cakes. The gâteau Saint-Honoré, for instance, with its crown of caramel-covered profiteroles and its cream-covered center. And my favourite, the Paris-Brest, a crown of choux pastry filled with praliné pastry cream.

Paris-Brest

To crown them all, there is the croquembouche: a towering centerpiece for a celebration, sometimes built around a cone, but when it comes to 70 or 80 guests, like here, it’s wiser to find another construction method.

Croquembouche with nougatine décor

Let’s not forget it’s possible to make savoury choux nibbles: gougères are cheesy puffs, that can be filled with your choice of garnish. By adding flavours to the pastry , it’s possible to adapt it to all sorts of ideas.

If you want me to make some of these for you, get in touch!