In this issue, Julie and Jimmy MacMillan explore the modern day pàte à choux.
There are many iterations of the modern day pàte à choux: éclairs, profiteroles, croquemboche, St. Honore, to name a few. This ingenious dough has been around since 1540 or so, and utilizes high moisture to create steam during baking to puff the pastry.
In a modern sense, we look to trend-setting chef Christophe Adam (www.christopheadam.com) for the definitive contemporary éclairs. And leave it to Christophe Michalak (www.christophemichalak.com) to bring the coolest kiosk dedicated to this paste, Choux d’Enfer, to the streets of Paris. Endless in its interpretations, we offer up four interesting versions of pâte à choux from around the world today.
Angel Betancourt is the Executive Pastry Chef of One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas (www.oneandonlyresorts.com). His version of a dressed-up éclair (pictured up top) adorns the choux case with compressed pineapple, fresh mango, freeze dried blueberries, wheatgrass and raspberries.
In Hong Kong, Gregoire Michaud (www.breadelements.com.hk) creates a composition built around pâte à choux puffs with toasted seeds, filled with simple vanilla crème patissiere, enhanced by single malt whiskey caramel, toasted sourdough crisps and fragrant pine needles (brought back in his luggage from his Swiss Alps vacation).
Andres Lara, the Executive Pastry Chef at the new Aberdeen Street Social (www.aberdeenstreetsocial.hk) has created a pastry that is inspired by living in China. “It’s our modern pastry homage to the Chinese Polo Bao, which is served warm in most local bakeries. It’s my favorite breakfast item here in Hong Kong.” The traditional Polo Bao is a sweet bread, low in butter and baked with a crumble crust. Chef Lara’s version is ‘Bing Qi Lin Bao’ or ‘Ice Cream Bread Sandwich’, a liberal interpretation consisting of cherry cream cheese gelato, cherry marshmallow and cherry purée.
We’ve been serving a frozen pâte à choux dessert ourselves, inspired by our friend Kivanc Kaymac. This profiterole is filled with mango and passion fruit cremeux and encased in coconut and chocolate gelatos. We bring cocoa marshmallows, coconut chantilly, sweet mango sauce and fragrant micro lemon grass to the plate to balance the sweet and tart flavors.
As a versatile dessert material, pâte à choux variations will be around for many years to come. The question is, how long before we will see éclair shops and kiosks in the United States? In our opinion, we won’t have long to wait!
Find 'Material Handling: Modern Pâte à Choux' recipes in the DessertProfessional.com Recipe section or click the links below.
JMPurePastry is a Chicago based pastry solutions group specializing in high quality, well designed products for the restaurant, baking and hospitality industry. The duo is also responsible for the two-time Emmy® Award winning Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition video series. For more information, visit: www.JMPurePastry.com.