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. #
    101
    Maureen Nichols — May 29, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Wow – this blog has the most comments on it to win this book. This is a must to start following you and Sprinkle Bakes. As to my favorite dessert? Anything with chocolate!
    Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

  2. #
    102
    Terry Metayer — May 29, 2012 at 9:47 am

    my favorite dessert is carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

  3. #
    103
    Terry Metayer — May 29, 2012 at 9:48 am

    liked and subscribed to each FB page

  4. #
    104
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes — May 29, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Love the addition of strawberries to cream puffs. They look scrumptious!

  5. #
    105
    Corisa — May 29, 2012 at 9:56 am

    My favorite dessert is a chocolate cake topped with peanut butter frosting ! Love chocolate !

  6. #
    106
    Pat R — May 29, 2012 at 10:10 am

    My grandmother’s warm bread pudding with whiskey sauce………yummmm

  7. #
    107
    Pat R — May 29, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I lie you on FB

  8. #
    108
    Pat R — May 29, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I like Sprinkle Bakes on FB

  9. #
    109
    sweetmaddy — May 29, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Pie

  10. #
    110
    Hui Ting — May 29, 2012 at 10:27 am

    My favorite dessert would be anything that has chocolate in it!

  11. #
    111
    Hui Ting — May 29, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I like both pages on FB.

  12. #
    112
    Andrea — May 29, 2012 at 11:01 am

    My favorite dessert?! I can’t choose! Anything with chocolate is a winner to me though :)

  13. #
    113
    Andrea — May 29, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I like Baked by Rachel & Sprinkle Bakes on Facebook!

  14. #
    114
    Andrea — May 29, 2012 at 11:03 am

    I follow you both on Twitter

  15. #
    115
    Andrea — May 29, 2012 at 11:03 am

    I tweeted!

  16. #
    116
    Andrea — May 29, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I shared this giveaway on Facebook!

  17. #
    117
    Cassie — May 29, 2012 at 11:04 am

    My favorite dessert is butterscotch bars. I can’t leave them alone when I make them. I’m bound to eat the whole pan.

  18. #
    118
    Cassie — May 29, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I like both Baked by Rachel and Sprinkle Bakes on Facebook.

  19. #
    119
    Cassie — May 29, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I follow you both on twitter

  20. #
    120
    Kylie — May 29, 2012 at 11:19 am

    My favorite dessert would have to be a fresh homemade doughnut. There’s honestly nothing more comforting!

  21. #
    121
    Kylie — May 29, 2012 at 11:21 am

    I follow you both on twitter!

  22. #
    122
    Kylie — May 29, 2012 at 11:21 am

    I liked both of your pages on facebook!

  23. #
    123
    Elodie — May 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    My favorite dessert is Tarte tatin with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

  24. #
    124
    Angela — May 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I find that my favorite dessert tends to vary by season. But I will never pass up a simple cranberry scone. Never.

  25. #
    125
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — May 29, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I want to win!!! beautiful pastries!!

  26. #
    126
    Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels — May 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Oh my both of those desserts look incredible! Eclairs are pretty much my life haha. :)

    My favorite dessert is chocolate cake with tons of chocolate frosting!!!

  27. #
    127
    Margaret — May 29, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    I need a cream puff–stat! ;-) My favorite dessert is tiramisu by far. Mmm mmm mm.

  28. #
    128
    Ashley A — May 29, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Brownies!!

  29. #
    129
    Kim — May 29, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Red Velvet cake with cream cheese icing

  30. #
    130
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — May 29, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    What a great choice! I love eclairs and cream puffs, it has been way too long since I have made them! Yours look gorgeous!
    My favorite dessert is a fugdy brownie!

  31. #
    131
    Michelle — May 29, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    My favorite dessert is a piping hot, fudgy brownie covered in mint chocolate chip ice cream!

  32. #
    132
    Kristen — May 30, 2012 at 4:12 am

    I have this recipe bookmarked to make from her book too! Can’t wait to try it :)

  33. #
    133
    Hannah — May 30, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Rice Crispy Treats–oldie but goodie!

  34. #
    134
    Brittany — May 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Definitely making these before the Wisconsin State Fair (which always has delicious cream puffs)! My favorite dessert has to be a traditional brownie! Yum!

  35. #
    135
    Brittany — May 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Just liked Baked by Rachel on Facebook!

  36. #
    136
    Brittany — May 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Also liked Sprinkle Bakes on Facebook!

  37. #
    137
    gail — May 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    fave dessert brownie sundae

  38. #
    138
    gail — May 30, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    liked both on fb

  39. #
    139
    Tonette — May 30, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    My favorite dessert is hands down Strawberry Short Cake with homemade pound cake and fresh whipped cream kissed with a hint of vanilla.

  40. #
    140
    Tonette — May 30, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I like Baked By Rachel on Facebook!

  41. #
    141
    Tonette — May 30, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I like Sprinkle Bakes on Facebook!

  42. #
    142
    Tonette — May 30, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I shared this link on Facebook

  43. #
    143
    Tonette — May 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I like you both on Facebook!

  44. #
    144
    Tonette — May 30, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Sorry for the double (like you both on Facebook) comment. I had a connection problem and did not think first one had posted.

  45. #
    145
    Micha — May 30, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I’m a chocolate fan, so almost anything chocolate, shortcake with strawberries and whip cream, cheesecake…

  46. #
    146
    Micha — May 30, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I follow both Rachel & Heather @mnsorensen

  47. #
    147
    Micha — May 30, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I also tweeted about the giveaway

  48. #
    148
    Catharine @BakingChemist — May 30, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    My favorite dessert is mint oreo ice cream!

  49. #
    149
    Lisa — May 31, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Molten lava cake and anything with peanut butter!

  50. #
    150
    Stacy — May 31, 2012 at 7:41 am

    i love brownie ice cream sundaes and any kind of fruit cobbler

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