Pâte à Choux: Cream Puffs and Éclairs

A simple pâte à choux recipe. A light and easy pastry dough perfect for making traditional éclairs and cream puffs.

pate a choux: cream puffs and eclairs recipe from bakedbyrachel.com

I love cookbooks, especially pretty cookbooks with lots of drool inducing photos and tempting recipes. When I heard that Heather had a cookbook coming out I knew it would be just as amazing as her blog, also titled Sprinkle Bakes. She’s always posting over the top desserts that I couldn’t even dream up if I tried. To my delight, I was given the opportunity to review her book… and give one copy away!

pate a choux: cream puffs and eclairs recipe from bakedbyrachel.com

It was hard to choose which recipe to make first from this beautiful book. I wanted to bookmark so many but a few spoke to me even more than others. Macarons and pâte à choux were tied for top pick. When I told the Mr what I was deciding between, it was no longer a debate. He wanted cream puffs or éclairs.

The dough was incredibly easy to whip up and they puffed up beautifully in the oven. They weren’t all perfect, but being my first time I’m extremely pleased with the results and plan to make them again with all kinds of dreamy fillings and toppings.

pate a choux: cream puffs and eclairs recipe from bakedbyrachel.com

For this little endeavor, the éclairs were filled with a traditional pastry cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce. I cheated and used hot fudge sauce meant for ice cream. Shortcuts can be great, as long as they’re still tasty and this absolutely was. The cream puffs were filled with homemade whipped cream and chopped strawberries, then dusted with powdered sugar. Those were my favorites, so light and sweet. Amazing. You need these in your life.

Originally I planned on halving the recipe so I wouldn’t have a ton of pastry shells lying around. At the very last minute I decided to go all in and make a full batch. Best call ever.

These would be perfect for any occasion… breakfast, lunch, dinner, a baby or bridal shower, graduation, Mother’s Day… you name it

pate a choux: cream puffs and eclairs recipe from bakedbyrachel.com

Yield: Yields roughly 30 cream puffs or 12-15 éclairs.

Pâte à Choux: Cream Puffs and Éclairs

A light and easy pastry dough perfect for making traditional éclairs and cream puffs.

Ingredients:

Pastry dough ingredients:
3/4C water
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1C all purpose flour
4 eggs
Egg wash: 1 egg and a pinch of salt

Pastry cream ingredients:
2 tbsl cornstarch
1C whole milk (I used 2%)
1 egg
2 egg yolks
6 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

Whipped cream ingredients:
1C heavy cream
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Pastry dough:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip or plan to just snip off the end, a large plastic bag may also be used.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine water, butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When mixture begins to boil, remove from heat. Sift in flour. Return to heat and stir until dough mixture pulls away from the sides of your pan.

Transfer dough to a medium bowl or stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment. Mix for several minutes to cool slightly. Mixing on low, add one egg. Mix until dough pulls apart and resembles mashed potatoes. Continue this method until all 4 eggs have been mixed in.

Transfer dough to your pastry bag or large plastic bag. For cream puffs, pipe mounds roughly 1" around. For éclairs, pipe strips 1"x4". To remove peaks, dip your finger in water then gently tap on dough.

In a small bowl, beat one egg with a pinch of salt. Brush egg wash over piped dough.

Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue to cook for 10 more minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Vanilla pastry cream:
In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 1/4 of milk. Beat 1 whole egg into milk mixture, followed by 1 egg yolk at a time.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring remaining 3/4 milk and sugar to a boil. Whisk constantly. When mixture begins to boil, while  whisking constantly, slowly add 1/3 of the milk mixture into your egg mixture. This will help temper the eggs so they don't scramble when you add them to the hot milk. Returning the saucepan to medium/low heat, begin slowly pouring egg mixture into saucepan, stirring constantly.

Whisk until mixture begins to boil and thicken. Remove from heat, add in butter and vanilla.

Transfer to a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down to pastry cream so to avoid forming a crust. Chill until ready to use.

Whipped cream:
In a medium bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla. Begin on low speed to avoid splatter, gradually increase speed until you are beating on high. Mix until thick. Cover and transfer to refrigerator until ready to use.

Cream puffs:
Using a serrated knife, slice off the top 1/3. Using a pastry bag, plastic bag or spoon, fill cavity of cream puff with whipped cream (or other desired filling). Add chopped strawberries, replace top and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

Éclairs:
Add pastry cream to a piping bag fit with a long tip. Carefully pierce the end of your éclair with piping tip, fill with pastry cream. Drizzle with chocolate sauce. Serve immediately.

Recipe source for dough and pastry cream: Sprinkle Bakes by Heather Baird

Now for the giveaway! 

**Giveaway is now closed**

Details: One reader will win one copy of Sprinkle Bakes, courtesy of Sterling Publishing. Giveaway will run from May 28th, 2012 – May 31, 2012. Contest only open to US residents. Winner will be randomly selected and emailed. Winner has 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Main entry must be completed or extra entries will not count.

Cassie, Katrina and Kita are also each giving away a copy! Be sure to stop by the following posts for even more chances to win… and to see what the other girls cooked up from Heather’s book:
Bake Your Day: Mushroom Cookies
In Katrina’s Kitchen: Hand Stamped Cookies
Pass The Sushi: Grasshopper Pie

Stay Connected


178 Responses to “Pâte à Choux: Cream Puffs and Éclairs”

  1. #
    1
    amy marantino — May 28, 2012 at 6:57 am

    my favorite dessert is ice cream.

  2. #
    2
    amy marantino — May 28, 2012 at 6:57 am

    i Follow Baked by Rachel and Sprinkle Bakes on Twitter (@onitnaram)

  3. #
    3
    amy marantino — May 28, 2012 at 6:57 am

    i Tweeted

  4. #
    4
    Danae (The Busty Baker) — May 28, 2012 at 8:23 am

    omg These look perfect! I tried cream puffs once and the never puffed! They were flat and tiny–about the size of a quarter and not even tall enough to cut open. I’m so trying these to see if I have better luck! Oh and my fave dessert is cookies! Nice and portable for dessert on the go.

  5. #
    5
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — May 28, 2012 at 8:36 am

    You’ve convinced me…I need to make these next! My husband is on vacation next week- I think these will be the perfect way to kick off the week.

  6. #
    6
    Jayme@Beachreader — May 28, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Those look fabulous! My favorite dessert is Macarons. I have been known to eat entire plate.
    jgoffice(at)cox(dot)net

  7. #
    7
    Cassie — May 28, 2012 at 8:50 am

    I had a hard time choosing a recipe too. These pastries look so amazing, Rachel. I wish I had one for breakfast!

  8. #
    8
    Amy J — May 28, 2012 at 9:08 am

    One of my favorites is home made chocolate mousse…mmm…

  9. #
    9
    Pam Cresto — May 28, 2012 at 9:23 am

    I love pie. I also liked both Facebook pages. I would really ;like a copy of Sprinkles Bakes. I will also post this on my wall. Thanks :)

  10. #
    10
    Linda Forish — May 28, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Old fashion creme horns … with a frosting like filling. I do like Sprinkle Bakes on Facebook.

  11. #
    11
    Linda Forish — May 28, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Now I’ve liked Rachel also… thanks for the great recipes.

  12. #
    12
    Ruth — May 28, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I liked you on Facebook!

  13. #
    13
    Ruth — May 28, 2012 at 9:38 am

    My favorite dessert is chocolate cake with homemade ice cream!

  14. #
    14
    Francine — May 28, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Favorite dessert is hard. Held at gunpoint, I would have to say warm apple crisp with cinnamon ice cream. I’ve got to try the cream puff recipe! I have a friend who has a bit of an addiction to the frozen ones (which are really good!). Wouldn’t it be wonderful to surprise her with homemade ones?

    PS – I also liked your fb page and already liked sprinklebakes.

  15. #
    15
    amy @ fearless homemaker — May 28, 2012 at 9:45 am

    wow, these turned out wonderful – I’m so impressed! my favorite dessert? something small, rich + intense – like a dark chocolate mousse or pot de creme. yum!

  16. #
    16
    Jess in Indy — May 28, 2012 at 9:52 am

    definitely ice cream or cheesecake :)

  17. #
    17
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — May 28, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Great job on this beautiful pate a choux, Rachel! Thanks for sharing this wonderful giveaway, too. My favorite dessert is creme brulee with fresh fruit!

  18. #
    18
    Michelle — May 28, 2012 at 10:16 am

    I love strawberry cheesecake

  19. #
    19
    Jess @ Floptimism — May 28, 2012 at 10:19 am

    I’ll never get tired of a multi-layered slice of dense, almost fudgy chocolate cake – the kind that you say is too rich for you to eat a lot of at one time and yet you still manage to clean your plate.

  20. #
    20
    Jess @ Floptimism — May 28, 2012 at 10:19 am

    I like you and SprinkleBakes on FB (as Floptimism)

  21. #
    21
    Jess @ Floptimism — May 28, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I follow you and Heather on Twitter (as @floptimism)

  22. #
    22
    Jess @ Floptimism — May 28, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I tweeted about the giveaway

  23. #
    23
    Michelle — May 28, 2012 at 10:26 am

    I like your facebook page

  24. #
    24
    Michelle — May 28, 2012 at 10:26 am

    I like Sprinkle Bake’s facebook page

  25. #
    25
    Jess @ Floptimism — May 28, 2012 at 10:27 am
  26. #
    26
    Michelle — May 28, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I follow Sprinkle Bake on twitter

  27. #
    27
    Michelle — May 28, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I am following you on twitter

  28. #
    28
    Kara — May 28, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Banana cream pie with nilla wafer (or animal cracker) crust!

  29. #
    29
    Michelle — May 28, 2012 at 10:30 am

    I tweeted about the contest

  30. #
    30
    Marina S — May 28, 2012 at 10:33 am

    This may be a little simple – but nothing can be fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies with a big glass of milk!

  31. #
    31
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — May 28, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Yummy! I’ve never made cream puffs or eclairs. I don’t even think I’ve had one either. I need to fix that! They came out beautifully. I can’t enter the contest but good luck to everyone else. :)

  32. #
    32
    Jen M O — May 28, 2012 at 10:44 am

    I love brownies.

  33. #
    33
    Jen M O — May 28, 2012 at 10:45 am

    I like Baked by Rachel and Sprinkle Bakes on Facebook.

  34. #
    34
    Jen M O — May 28, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I follow Baked by Rachel and Sprinkle Bakes on Twitter.

  35. #
    35
    Jen M O — May 28, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I tweeted about the contest.

  36. #
    36
    Kate W. — May 28, 2012 at 11:22 am

    ice cream!

  37. #
    37
    Kate W. — May 28, 2012 at 11:23 am

    i follow you both on twitter

  38. #
    38
    Jacqui — May 28, 2012 at 11:34 am

    My favorite dessert is molten chocolate lava cakes!!!

  39. #
    39
    Jacqui — May 28, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I like both Baked by Rachel and Sprinkle Bakes on Facebook

  40. #
    40
    Jacqui — May 28, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I follow Baked by Rachel and Sprinkle Bakes on Twitter

  41. #
    41
    Lori — May 28, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I follow baked by rachel and sprinkle bakes on twitter

  42. #
    42
    Jennifer | Mother Thyme — May 28, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    These looks amazing! I love desserts like this! My favorite dessert would have to be anything fruity. I love fruit filled dessert.

  43. #
    43
    Jennifer | Mother Thyme — May 28, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I like you both on FB.

  44. #
    44
    Jennifer | Mother Thyme — May 28, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I follow you both on twitter.

  45. #
    45
    Jennifer | Mother Thyme — May 28, 2012 at 12:36 pm
  46. #
    46
    Erin — May 28, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Cookies are my absolute favorite. Preferably one with peanut butter involved

  47. #
    47
    Erin — May 28, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I like you both on Facebook

  48. #
    48
    Erin — May 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I follow you both on Twitter

  49. #
    49
    Erin — May 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I tweeted about the giveaway

  50. #
    50
    Shumaila — May 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I love tiramisu. And I love cakes, and ice cream! As long as it is dessert, its my favorite;)! Those eclairs look great- now I am craving some!

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