Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pate a choux shapes, filled with crème patisserie or Chantilly cream. We were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors allowing our creativity to go wild!
To say true, I really wanted to make swans…or at least some sort of Paris-Breast gateau with an unusual filling. But – oh, yes! There’s always “a but” – I was so-o-o-o-o-o busy in August (with some baking, by the way!) that I had to leave the idea of making something massive. I just had to go for an easier option (which does not always mean “worse”!) – and I simply made some prifitroles filled with orange-flavoured Chantilly.
Oh yes, I had such a hectic time that I couldn’t even complete the challenge on time! Feeling a bit guilty, however, I managed to find another half an hour to make sugar decorations for assembling my dessert!
The result was elegant and seductive, with a comforting sweetness of sugar strands and a refreshing zing of orange zest.
It was not a Swan lake but it was a “Choux ballet” of mine – much simpler, yet pleasant and charming as well.
Pate a choux
115 gm butter
240 ml water
¼ teaspoon salt
140 gm all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tsp Cointreau
60 gm water
200 gm caster sugar
80 gm liquid glucose
1. For pate a choux, in a small saucepot, combine butter, water, and salt. Heat over until butter melts, then remove from stove. Add flour all at once and beat the mixture until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pot. Add one egg, and beat until well combined. Add remaining eggs individually, beating vigorously after each addition. Resulting mixture should be glossy, smooth and thick.
2. Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 1 cm tip on a pastry bag, pipe out small profitroles (leaving a good distance between them). Put them in the oven for 20 minutes or until they are golden and puffy. Reduce the temperature to 120C and leave them in the oven for 5 minutes more. Remove the profitroles from the oven and allow them to cool completely. Cut small holes in each profitrole.
3. For orange Chantilly whisk the cream in a chilled bowl till it starts to form soft peaks, add icing sugar and orange zest, continue to whisk till it forms firm peaks. Add Cointreau. Transfer the cream to a piping bag with 3 mm nostril and fille the profitroles with it.
4. For caramel place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook till the mixture is amber in colour and then remove from heat. Dip the bottom of each profitrole into the caramel and stick it to the serving plate and to other profitroles, forming a ring. Return the caramel to heat and cook it to 140C. Using a whisk, create an "angel hair" around the profitroles.