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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Update 1: Pate a Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches

Update 1: Pate a Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches

Today was one of those "what if" days...

Like, what if I make a really sweet Pate a Choux? What if I add a fistful of blueberries to the dough? What if I indulge in the SUSHISAMBA lunch platter and then check out the new Holey Donuts in the village for a mid-afternoon dessert?

... okay, so that last one has little to do with this week's creation, but it was inspiring in its own way.

Blueberry Pate a Choux Puff

What does happen when you make a really sweet Pate a Choux?

Most of the time, I love being right... most of the time.

The time-tested recipe for pate a choux does not include sugar. A few variations on the classic recipe include one or two tablespoons per cup of flour - barely enough to lend a subtle sweetness.

I was interested in trying something that was unmistakably sugar-laden. But even as I doubled the sugar to 1/4 cup per one cup of flour, I was pretty sure the end product would be burned. After all, the initial oven temperature for pate a choux is 400-425 degrees Fahrenheit (necessary to generate sufficient steam to get the dough to puff). That's well in excess of sugar's 350 degree Fahrenheit burning temperature.

As the photo clearly shows, the sugar did burn. A little browning is nice, but this crossed the line.  *Sad trombone*

Conclusion - stick with a modest amount of sugar. In won't be missed when you figure the sweetness that will come from the ice cream in these sandwiches.

Overly Browned Blueberry Pate a Choux

... and what happens when you add blueberries to the Pate a Choux?

Less concerned about burning, I felt the blueberries would make the dough too heavy and limit the "puff".

Right again!

Flat Blueberry Pate a Choux versus Puffy Traditional Pate a Choux

In absolute terms, the end product wasn't dense. Actually, it was like a fluffy blueberry pancake, which certainly isn't bad. But compared to the original recipe, blueberry-laden pate a choux made for a very flat end product. 

Just take a look.  There's no comparison!

Oh well. All good food for thought as things come together.

And what about that afternoon donut dessert?

Not bad, huh?

Caramel Crumble Donut from Holey Donuts in New York City

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