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Choux pastry swans
Mixing choux pastry dough for beignets
Piping out the dough for beignets

Pâte à choux is a light pastry dough used to make profiteroles, croquembouches, eclairs, French crullers, beignets, St. Honoré cake, Indonesian kue sus, and gougères. It contains only butter, water, flour, and eggs. In lieu of a raising agent it employs high moisture content to create steam during cooking to puff the pastry.

Choux pastry is usually baked but for beignets it is fried. In Austrian cuisine it is also boiled to make Marillenknödel, a sweet apricot dumpling; in that case it does not puff, but remains relatively dense.

History

A chef by the name of Panterelli invented the dough in 1540, seven years after he left Florence, along with Catherine de' Medici and the entirety of her court. He used the dough to make a gâteau and named it Pâte à Panterelli. Over time, the recipe of the dough evolved, and the name changed to Pâte à Popelin, which was used to make Popelins, small cakes made in the shape of a woman's breasts. Then, Avice, a pâtissier in the eighteenth century, created what were then called Choux Buns. The name of the dough changed to Pâte à Choux, as Avice's buns resembled cabbages – choux in French. From there, Antoine Carême made modifications to the recipe, resulting in the recipe most commonly used now for profiteroles.[1]

References

  1. ^ Juillet, Claude (in English). Classic Patisserie: An A-Z Handbook. Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 075063815X.  

External links


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