Dominique Ansel creates whimsical confections at his eponymous bakery in New York City. And while most of us can only dream of getting our hands on one of his creations (Cronut, anyone?), he came to our Test Kitchen to teach us how to make pâte à choux, a classic dough that is the base for a variety of pastries including profiteroles, éclairs and savory gougères, just to name a few.
To learn more, read "If the Choux Fits."
Pâte à Choux
Recipe adapted from "Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes" by Dominique Ansel (Simon & Schuster, October 2014)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
⅓ cup water
4 tablespoons whole milk
5 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
3 whole eggs, plus 1 egg and 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten for egg wash
1. Preaheat the oven to 375°.
2. Combine the water, milk, butter, sugar and salt in a medium pot over medium heat and bring to a boil.
3. Add the flour and stir, using a wooden spoon, until the mixture comes together, about 5 minutes. Continue to stir until the dough begins to dry out and pull away from the sides of the pot, about 2 minutes.
4. Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Whip on low speed, adding the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
5. Cut the tip of a piping bag and insert a plain round tip. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the choux to the piping bag. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and pipe 5 rows of choux dough, 5 in each row, about 1 ½ -inches in diameter, leaving a 1-inch gap between rounds. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the egg wash on each choux. Bake on a center rack at 375° for 10 minutes. Rotate the sheet tray and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the mounds are puffed and golden brown.
6. Remove the sheet tray from the pan and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Note: For cheese puffs, add 2 ounces (about ½ cup) grated Comté or Gruyère cheese after all of the eggs have been incorporated in step 3.