Saturday, July 2, 2016

Craftsy Class Review: Pâte à Choux Pastries

As a person on a limited budget who loves to make things at home, Mother's Day always brings so many ideas of fancy creations to show my mom some love :) This year, I didn't have the time in my sewing room to sew anything, so I decided to create a tasty confection instead. I've had the Pâte à Choux Pastries Craftsy class for a while now, but I had yet to watch it. What better time then Mother's Day so I could make my mom some amazing éclairs?!
The class starts by explaining the basics of pâte à choux and how to make it, then it goes into detail about how to change it up and pipe it into different shapes and possible flavor combos. The dough itself isn't really sweet, it's all in the flavorings and toppings that make it a sweet or savory treat. I'm dying to make gougères - they are pâte à choux paste mixed with shredded gruyère, then piped and baked. Mmmmmm.... Anyway, I was on a Mother's Day mission and went with classic éclairs with pastry creme filling and chocolate tops. I followed the class exactly, and they turned out pretty great:
Apparently you are supposed to pipe them with a star tip to aide in the baking process, which is why mine have all those lines all over. I am proud to report that mine hollowed out very nicely inside and one batch made 18 éclairs! That made for quite the Mother's Day offering :)
Sadly, I didn't take any fancy pictures, but I did get a finished shot with the chocolate ganache on top. They look like éclairs! Hooray! They tasted pretty good too, if I do say so myself. I'm already plotting different flavors of pastry creme to make next time. The class shows how to make caramel pastry creme in the class, but we have a local bakery here that makes all sorts of flavors like passion fruit or piña colada, mmMMmm ..... I can never leave things alone when I'm baking, lol. I just have to make it more complicated. But it will be deliciously complicated indeed.

This class was really inspiring, and the teacher was pretty funny once you get used to her. I now really want to make Paris-Brest (which is choux pastry in a wheel shape topped with sliced almonds and filled with praline cream) and Religieuses (which are double stacked cream puffs with a smoothe top and royal icing piping - they are literally called "nuns" from the black and white design, so cute). The croquembouche looked amazing, but holy crap is that a lot of work and it's huge. The one I'm most lusting after is the Gateau St. Honoré, which I've never had before, but after watching her make one it's basically all I can think about. We'll see if I get that ambitious, lol. Anyway, lots of good information in this class and it all came together for me to be able to make real éclairs that my mom loved :) If you've ever wanted to make anything with choux paste, I highly recommend you look at Pâte à Choux Pastries on Craftsy.

*Links are affiliate links, but all opinions are 100% my own and uninfluenced. I just really enjoyed this class!

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