DIY French Choux / Eclairs / Cream puffs making kit
THIS KIT MAKES TWO BATCHES OF 20 CHOUX OR 15 ĖCLAIRS
~ SUPPLIED IN THE KIT ~
2 POUCHES OF CHOUX PASTRY MIX FOR ÉCLAIRS / CREAM PUFFS
2 POUCHES OF PASTRY CREAM MIX
2 SHEETS OF PARCHMENT PAPER WITH PIPING TEMPLATES
2 PIPING BAGS
1 SILICONE RING
1 BAG OF SUGAR PEARL
~ TO PREPARE ONE BATCH YOU WILL NEED ~
¾ CUP OF WARM WATER
3 EGGS + 1 FOR THE EGG WASH 4 TBSP OF VEGETABLE OIL
2 CUPS OF MILK
HISTORY CHOUX AND ÉCLAIR
Today, I would like to talk to you about the origins of choux pastry, this basic pastry preparation which lends itself to an incalculable number of patisserie: chouquette, choux a la crème, éclairs, religieuses, Paris Brest, St Honoré, profiteroles, Croquembouche, and other delicacies. In short..
The choux pastry is not recent and comes from the 16th century and from Popelini, the cook of Queen Catherine de Medici.
We are around 1540: Catherine de Medici (born in Florence in 1519, mother of Queen Margot, known as a great patron of the arts and letters) wants to impress her subjects to show the power of the kingdom. In addition to painters, musicians, poets, and other artists, she invites the greatest cooks of the moment to court to show off all their talent at the sumptuous parties organized.
This is how an Italian chef named Popelini arrived. The latter, very smart, recovers the recipes of his predecessor (Pantanelli) which worked well with the queen, and seeks to improve them. In particular, he uses a cake dough that has been dried on the fire called “pâte à chaud” (hot dough), reworks it, arranges it in small “choux” and bakes it in the oven. These little Choux - not very regular because they are prepared with a spoon and once garnished with fruit jelly, are all the rage in the court and called "poupelins” (puppets). Building on this success, Popelini also tries to fry his dough and seeing it seriously swell, he calls the result “pet de none” (none’s fart).
As the years go by, the "hot paste" is still used but does not change. We had to wait for the 18th century and the imagination of pastry chef Jean Avice and his apprentice Antonin Carême who saw it evolve and lead to our current recipe. The hot dough then becomes choux pastry.
A few years later, Antonin Carême (the very first Frenchman to bear the title of "chef" in the 1810s and 1830s and the first French cook to achieve international fame) opened his first boutique in Paris and made Choux his specialty. He has different recipes, each more delicious than the next, based on this choux pastry.