Weekend with Pâte à choux and Bryce Canyon

This weekend my family… along with my sister and her family… (we almost never see them…  I think that is why we all get along so well)  went on a trip to Bryce Canyon.  I also made strawberry puffs (usually make eclairs but the puffs are less messy and we had lots of kids)… SO… as you may have already guessed I  have decided to share my strawberry éclair recipe and show a couple of pictures from this weekends trip to Bryce Canyon.

 

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My Sister and her family flew out from Boston and we were able to enjoy a family outing with them for the first time…  (I hate living so far from them… we definitely need to plan a trip out their way)
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We did two “intermediate” hikes while in Bryce… the children were real champs… no whining and I didn’t have to carry any of them… (Ben held my hand stating he would catch me if I fell… so I would not die…)
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Pictures of Bryce never do it justice and viewing it from the bottom or the top is the same… breathtaking and beautiful (the hike up is also “breathtaking”… especially if you are not in great shape)
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If you have the opportunity to visit Bryce Canyon… The Navajo loop trail is a must hike…  it is only 1.3 miles of a 550 feet descent and then a 550 feet climb… (I should probably not use the word “only”)

Now for the Strawberry Eclair recipe… this is stupid  simple (I have been called that before)… and on a hot summer day these are incredibly delicious…  one of my favorite summer treats.

Strawberry Eclair Recipe:

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I think the éclairs (long tube shape) are nicer looking… but these small puffs are much easier to eat.  

Pâte à choux ingredients:

  • 250 ml of water – (1 cup)
  • 100 grams of butter (about a cube… little less… cut off about 1/8 of an inch)
  • 125 grams of flour (1 cup)
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 eggs

Step 1:   Put the butter salt and water into a pan and heat it until it begins to boil.   (First starts to boil… not a hard boil…  wonder if there is a technical term for that?)

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Step 2:  Add all of the flour at once… and start to stir “vigorously” (love that word… not sure that you have to stir with vigor… just wanted to write it).  This should cook until it clumps together and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.   (Hopefully the picture shows it better than I am trying to describe)

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Step 3:   Take mixture off of the heat and incorporate one egg at a time.   (This is when you will realize this dough is weird…) For each egg… it will take some work to go from a rubbery eggy sticky messy mixture to a smooth dough-ish batter(hmmm I am not sure I am doing a great job describing this… I hope the pictures help) Make sure you do this with each egg before adding the next.  (being a guy… I have tried to cheat… by adding all of the eggs at once… it didn’t work)

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Before
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After

Step 4.  Pipe onto a cooking sheet either as puffs (balls) or eclairs (tubes).  I have tried to spoon it onto the sheet  and it doesn’t look correct… especially after they are cooked(hate those stupid piping bag things… seems like I am horrible with them… but I suffer through it for this).  I have always had a hard time filling the bag and found that if you put it in a glass I am able to do it easier…  (see picturedo not over fill… I seem to always do this and end up with dough coming out of both ends)

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Getting ready to fill up the piping bag… I also think it is wise to use a smaller spoon when filling the bag (less messy)
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Piped onto a pan with parchment paper.

Step 5:   Cook at 200 c (400 f) for 15 minutes then change oven temperature to 177 c (350 f) for 10 minutes and they should have raised and start to lightly brown.  (let cool down before trying to fill, use, or eat)

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They should be airy (hollow in the middle) and not doughy… especially in the middle…   (If not they might be gross…  feed them to kids and guests you don’t like)

Step 6:   Most people cut a hole in the bottom (or 2 for éclairs) and fill them with creme…  This is too much work for me…  I cut them in half and fill bottom with whip cream and some cut strawberries.  I then put the top on and finish it off with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.   You can substitute mascarpone (see my recipe) for the whip cream if you want a “heavier” treat… but I like them light and have found that whip cream is perfect.

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I probably should have cut the strawberries green tops off better… (perfect summer desert)

Hope you give this a try… please feel welcome to add any advice or tips… Would love to hear what you think especially if you have your own twist…

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17 thoughts on “Weekend with Pâte à choux and Bryce Canyon”

      1. They are amazing. I filled them with a homemade whipped cream. This might turn out to be a regular thing now! I transferred the dough to my stand mixer for the “adding of the eggs” and that made short work of it. I should have paid more attention, as I overfilled my piping bag and a couple of puffs were the clods of dough that I squished out of the wrong end.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Yeah, I didn’t want to mention it, but I made a “jalapeno popper” one with unsweetened whipped cream mixed with cream cheese and added bacon, grilled jalapenos, and cheddar. They were less than spectacular. I think it’s tough getting over the idea that they should be sweet.

            Liked by 1 person

  1. Bryce Canyon is an amazing place and your pictures of it are terrific! I thought I’d never get back up again on the Navajo trail but since I am at home and not still at the bottom I obviously made it back out again. Love the recipe…poor George is insisting I go try to make these now. Will let you know how they turn out.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I wandered into Bryce during my “all left turns” trip across country. Spent two days there just being amazed before I remembered I had a deadline. nearly did the same thing in the Superstitions. found a neat campsite for overnight then didn’t want to leave. Found a few apache tear rocks there.

        Liked by 1 person

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