“What’s the problem with Choux?” asked my friend Todd.
“It’s not filling enough to avert my temptation for more. Put a cream puff or éclair in front of me, and it is not long for this world. But I love the stuff, and always will.” said I.
Choux, a light pastry dough had its inception during the 15th century and was fully developed by the 18th century. Its main ingredients are butter, flour, eggs, and water. The cream in cream puffs historically got its start in the 15th century for Henry II of France. The cream filling’s main ingredients usually include; heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla.
Éclair (Lightening in English) is believed to be a late 18th-century dessert, sort of an upgraded version of the cream puff. This pastry was created by another great French chef named Antonin Carême. What could be wrong with chocolate sprayed across the top?
More obscure Choux desserts include;
- Croquembouche – Profiteroles (the size of mini cream puffs), piled high in the form of a cone with spun sugar or caramel.
- Gateau St. Honore – Created in the 1800s by a French baker and named in honor of Honoratus of Amiens a Patron Saint, traditionally places cream puffs atop a pie crust with sweetened heavy cream, and caramelized sugar may include cherries and dollops of Meringue and may even be garnished with chocolate.
- Profiteroles – The concept of this combination had begun in France and was given its name during the 1700s. Throughout the world these pastries are not only filled with sweet cream or custard but also served as an appetizer, stuffed with meats, cheese, or vegetables and sometimes placed in hot soup. Puffs filled with ice cream and topped with chocolate fudge and cream is the version most preferred in America.
This is a fun recipe for both Cream Puffs and Eclairs