August 27, 2013


Little miniature swans made out of pate a choux. These artistic puffs are relatively simple to do, requiring just a bit of piping work and assembly. Similar to the eclairs and cream puffs, they have pastry cream filling, but then for a more textured, feathered look, a bit of whipped cream is piped on top.

August 18, 2013

Eclairs - Chocolate, Lime Coconut, or Dulce de Leche

Continuing in the pate a choux chapter, we come to éclairs. They use a similar dough as the cream puffs, with slightly different proportions, to make a stiffer dough. Since the éclairs are piped freehand, the dough must be stiffer than the cream puffs, which are molded. At Bouchon, the éclairs are piped using a French star tip to form grooves in the dough, which let them expand evenly while baking. 

Our bakers could choose to make any of three different varieties: chocolate, lime coconut, or dulce de leche. While the chocolate éclairs are the most traditional, the other two variations are more modern and certainly more complex and delicious.

Chocolate Eclairs

August 11, 2013

Miss Daisy

This week we made stacked cream puffs traditionally known as religeuses but with a twist, they were dressed up with fondant. To make Miss Daisy, a small cream puff is used for the head and larger cream puff for the body. Then you're free to use your creativity with the fondant to create her ensemble. Here are our Miss Daisies.

August 4, 2013

Cream Puffs and Cookies for Cream Puffs

We have left the land of tarts, and entered a new chapter: pate a choux! In French, pate means pastry, and choux means cabbages, which is what some say the first buns made using this method looked like. Although nowadays, it can be used to make any number of sweet or savory pastries, including this week's recipe, cream puffs.

Thomas Keller's cream puffs follow most traditional recipes, with a few variations. The pastry is piped into molds to ensure uniformity, and is then frozen before baking. Also, a special cookie is placed on top before baking, which then melts to the top of the puff and creates a crisp texture. Check out this video from the Today Show where the chef demonstrates his technique: