Friday, November 12, 2010

Pâte À Choux, Pas Du Tout!

Well, I should’ve known something was off today when I missed my subway stop and ended up in Brooklyn. But hey, it was the start of our second unit, pâte à choux, and I was really excited! Sadly, my excitement was to be short-lived.

Class started out well enough. We started making the pâte à choux, which is a really interesting dough! It's cooked twice, first on the stove and then in the oven, and its only real function is to hold cream fillings, in such tasty confections as éclairs, profiteroles, and croquembouches. So clearly, it’s a fan favorite. Anyway, we made the dough, which for me, came out pretty well.
My happiness soon dwindled as I began piping the dough into straight lines for éclairs, which I screwed up and had to redo, completely. Fortunately, the second time was the charm, and they came out well. For the record, it seemed that a lot of people had problems with this…I’m sure it’s something that comes with practice, of which we’ll have plenty, since we’ll be doing so much piping over the course of this class.
Next, my new partner Jackie and I got to work on our pastry cream, a new recipe this time that included butter. Well, that went ok, until I realized I had forgotten the butter. Cue sad trombone.
After that, it became apparent that  a) one of the ovens had been set to an improper temperature and b) one of the other ovens just stopped working altogether! Clearly, I was not the only one having an off night. Cue sad trombone again!
So, ultimately, after a long night of mishaps, my éclair shells were totally burned. Fortunately, I was able to use some of Jackie’s, and we filled them with vanilla, coffee, and chocolate pastry creams. Yum!

All in all, the night was just kind of a mess, and that’s ok. The good news is, it’s just pastry, which is one of my favorite things about my new chosen career path! I mean, yes, of course, you want to be the best, the hardest working, and the most creative, but in the end, you’re creating something  that by definition is fun, decadent, and silly. In my opinion, if you take this stuff too seriously, you’re probably doing it wrong.


  1. I hate to be a typical mother, but "that's how you learn." And I'm so glad you're happy.

  2. Sorry I took German in school!