If the Genoise Sponge is Lesson 1 in a Culinary Baking Course, then Pate A Choux is possibly either a pre-cursor of Lesson 1 or a more achievable Lesson 1 itself.... Like the genoise sponge, it is plain and non fancy but it serves as the foundation of so many classic and new creations that we have become familiar with.
It has truly transcended all cultural boundaries, for how else would I still bear childhood memories of munching on soft wrinkly cream puffs filled with dry pasty custards? Or that swan-like cream filled puff sitting in the neighbourhood bakery store?
Of course, with affluence and greater exposure to everything in the world, our palate has become more discerning. I don't think those wrinkly cream puffs with dry pasty custards would work any more. Thankfully, there are still many ways to 'glam up' the humble Pate A Choux. One can let one's imagination take flight and work with a myriad of interesting cream fillings as exemplified by ZenChef's creation. Or, if you are, like me too lazy to whip up a pastry cream ( my secret confession - creme patissiere is one of my least favourite things to prepare) , there are still many other ways to add pizzazz to your choux puffs.
I made an easy chocolate sauce here to line the plate with and simply sandwich the puffs with Haagan Daz Caramel Biscuit & Cream ice cream. Present this to your guests on a plate like the way I did and they would think that they are eating dessert in a fine-dining restaurant!
Almond Puff With Caramel Ice Cream & Chocolate Sauce
Recipe (Adapted from The Patisserie Of Tony Wong)
75g All purpose flour (sifted)
Diced almonds to garnish
130g 70% dark chocolate
125g 35% whipping cream
1g Vanilla extract
1. Boil water, sugar, salt and butter in a saucepan. Add all the flour into the boiling butter solution and mix well.
2. Cook dough until the mixture forms a ball and comes away from the sides of the pan.
3. Beat the batter on medium speed with a paddle attachment until just warm.
4. Add egg, one at a time. Scrape away the batter from the sides of the pan to the center and continue to mix well.
5. Spoon the choux dough into a piping bag fitted with a plain tip. Pipe 4-5cm diameter choux paste. Brush with egg wash.
6. Sprinkle with diced almond and bake at 200C in a preheated oven for 30-35mins.
1. Cook all ingredients in a saucepan until all the chocolate is melted. Simmer down the sauce to thicken.
1. Slice choux puff in half.
2. Spoon chocolate sauce into a shallow plate.
3. Place bottom half of puff on the chocolate sauce. Top with a scoop of ice cream. Cap with sugar dusted top half of puff and serve immediately.