For my birthday last year, my co-captain had gave me one of the best gifts I’ve ever received: an autographed copy of the new Bouchon Bakery!It was so unexpected!! And now, months later, I finally grew the cojones to begin tackling this thick, beautifully photographed and written cookbook.
Here's what the Bouchon Bakery cookbook looks like. It's a thorough compilation of the classics and uniquely Thomas Keller / Sebastien Rouxel creations. It's not only beautiful but a great read!
I figured I’d begin with a “basic” recipe: cream puffs. The pâte à choux (also, choux pastry, it’s a basic pastry dough) would be a useful recipe to learn.
Melted the butter in the water and sifted the dry ingredients…so far so good. Time to incorporate the latter into the former.
I remember thinking, “AHH it’s missing something!” Eggs. Silly me.
The last time I tried making cream puffs, the recipe said to mix it all in the saucepan. This recipe called for transferring the batter into a stand mixer and mixing in 50g of egg in at a time.
And then I messed up. The consistency was perfect but I wanted to put one last yolk in there…why did I not listen to my gut?!?! (that’s such an odd expression by the way…). I was tempted to dump the dough and restart but I’d come so far already. Besides, I don’t have the silicone molds the recipe calls for anyways so I’d be improvising with mini muffin pan—another “mistake”.
Unique from other cream puff recipes I’ve seen before, this one calls for the making of a “cookie for cream puffs”. The rationale is that having this cookie disk on top of the choux pastry will ensure a crunchy top. Sounds like a good enough reason to me!
The dough was slightly crumbly but you can still bring it together and roll it out. After freezing it between two pieces of parchment, it’s easier to roll it out even thinner.
Cutting the rounds was tricky since I don’t have a small enough cutter. Oy I was not prepared to bake these cream puffs! Ended up making some sketch-looking rounds with a pairing knife and shot glass before I reverted to the top of a toothpick container.
|The brown disk on top of the choux pastry are "cookies".|
These look better right? I should invest in buying more rings but I don’t know which sizes I’d use the most! Anyways, isn’t baking like MacGaver/MacGruber more exciting?!
In the time that it took me to unmould the choux pastry and cut the cookies, they’d defrosted a bit and didn’t rise as much as the second tray that I prepped a lot quicker.
There’s a recipe for the pastry cream that’s piped into the cream puffs. I used whipped cream here instead since I didn’t have much time. You can never go wrong with some homemade whip right? With the pastry tip, pick a hole in the bottom and pipe in whatever cream you’re using.
Tasted delicious and the cookies really did make it better! The next time I bake these, I’ll be sure to have a mould that will fill its purpose—uniformly shaped cream puffs! Also, gonna go all the way with pastry cream. You can check out my Bouchon Bakery adventure in NYC here!