Just to give you an update as to what I've been baking in culinary school these last couple of weeks.
Last week we learned all about Pâte à Choux (pronounced paht ah shoo). I have to admit that when I first saw that term I thought, "What the heck is that?!?!" Come to find out, Pâte à Choux is another name for Éclair paste. Éclair paste is unique among doughs because it is cooked before baking.
Éclair Paste or Pâte à Choux bakes up into golden brown, crisp pastries. Inside these light pastries are mostly air pockets with a bit of moist dough. They can be filled with sweet cream, custard, fruit or even savory mixtures. We used the Pâte à Choux dough to pipe Paris Brest, Profiteroles, and Chocolate Éclairs. YUM!!!
Paris Brest are rings of baked éclair paste cut in half horizontally that we filled with Paris Brest Cream and topped with slivered almonds. Profiteroles are small cream puffs that we filled with chantilly cream and then dipped in caramel sauce. Éclairs are baked fingers of éclair paste filled with pastry cream and then topped with chocolate ganache.
We also made New York Style Cheesecake (delicious!), Strawberry Crepes Fitzgerald (amazing!) and Parmesan Sun-dried Tomato Crackers (ok). As you can tell...this was yet another week that was VERY hard on my waistline!
This week we focused on cakes and had a brief introduction on cake decorating. We made 2 pound cakes drizzled with lemon simple syrup, 5 high ratio yellow cakes decorated with a light chocolate buttercream, a Sacher Torte cake layered with jam and then coated with a chocolate ganache icing, and an orange chiffon cake decorated with an Italian buttercream.
Can you tell how much fun I am having making (and eating) all these amazing pastries?