I think I’ve finally had enough of pâte à choux
Thursday, September 29, 2011

I’ve been eating éclair and profiteroles all week. It began on Monday with coffee-filled, then chocolate-filled, praline-filled, and finally, passion fruit and raspberry-filled today. My favourite so far is the praline-filled Paris-Brest, but that didn’t stop me from eating 4 passion fruit-filled éclairs today. A little sickening, I agree. But since our days finish at 7pm this week, I start getting quite hungry near the end of class.

For today’s éclairs and profiteroles, we learned how to make a crunchy exterior, like a streusel topping. I first tried one of these from Beard Papa’s, a cream puff franchise from Japan. I’ve always wondered how you surround such a delicate batter with a separate layer of ingredients. It turns out it’s not complicated at all.

But the best part about today’s pastry is the refreshing passion fruit crème pâtissière inside. We used a pure passion fruit puree, thickened it with a bit of starch, and added it to a plain crème pâtissière recipe. The smell of passion fruit in the kitchen was wonderful. It reminds me of my summers in Taiwan. My grandpa and I would scoop out the sour and aromatic pulp of passion fruits after dinner. It was a perfect finish to a meal. And there would always be plenty for us because nobody eats fruit that isn’t overly sweet in Taiwan.

Making the crunchy exterior. It's very similar to making a streusel topping on muffins, just whisk together sugar, butter, and a little flour. Then we roll it into a thin sheet between 2 Silpat sheets, and freeze. Then, you can easily remove the silpat sheet, cut out your shapes and transfer to the top of your pâte à choux. The pink sheet is Chef's.

Here is my pâte à choux with the crunchy topping before baking.

Some crunchy topping for my éclairs as well.

Here's what they look like out of the oven. Looks a bit like chinese pineapple buns eh?

After enjoying my éclairs with a crunchy top, I never want to eat them plain again, especially with sweet fondant.

Delicious passion fruit crème pâtissière.

We learned how to make caramel in preparation for the croque-en-bouche (tall cone of profiteroles) which we will make later on. After cooking sugar, water, and (just 1 tbsp) glucose until golden, we cool for 2 minutes. Then, we dip our éclairs and profiteroles in caramel, and transfer immediately to a Silpat sheet, caramel side down. We place some almond slivers on the Silpat sheet for decoration.

We have to work very quickly because the caramel dries within a minute after you set it on the Silpat sheet. Actually, our entire pot of caramel hardened after 5 minutes of using it so I imagine for the croque-en-bouche, we'll have to work at lightspeed.



3 Comments so far...
  • Daphne
    April 22, 2014
    Hi Emily! The cookie eclairs piped with passionfruit creme patisserie sounds so divine! Is it possible to share the recipe for the passionfruit creme patisserie? :) I have tried making fruit creme patisseries on my own but I find it difficult to mask the taste of the egg yolks in the final product. Thanks for your help in advance! :)
  • Dan
    November 1, 2012
    Hi Emily, I've read all your blog postings and have to say they're absolutely excellent, thanks very much for writing in such detail about everything you know and do! I'm a passionate amateur baker and would like to ask you about the passionfruit creme patissiere, because I've just bought some passionfruit puree (Ravifruit) and want to try to make this version of the pastry cream: do you substitute the milk completely with the passionfruit puree or is the puree used additionally to the milk? Thanks and keep up the good work! Dan.
  • Melissa
    January 6, 2012
    Hi! I just found your blog today and have been reading all of them! Thank you so much for sharing!!!! By chance, could/would you share some of your recipes? Or give me the name of a textbook you used?