As usual I postponed the db challenge to the last week, there was a lot of things that required my immediate attention. (thxs to procrastination). With so much on my plate, I was not planning to do the daring bakers challenge this month. The lovely pictures and description of choux swans while blog hopping, caught my eye.....I just had to bake these...it was a strong urge, hard to put in words but glad it worked. Thxs guys for giving me the push!!
This is one challenge I absolutely enjoyed creating, LOVED the outcome.These little swans are so cute that I didn't want to eat them but when I did, I could not stop. Am so excited to share this with you that you have to pardon my typos and grammar. I am sure after I post this I will have some explaining to do to the grammar police ( aka almost teen). For now let's dance to the tune of swan lake.
Thank you Kat for hosting. Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pate a choux shapes, filled with crème patisserie or Chantilly cream. We were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors allowing our creativity to go wild!
Pate a choux
(cannot be doubled)
½ cup (120 ml) (115 gm) (4 oz) butter
1 cup (240 ml) water
¼ teaspoon (1½ gm) salt
1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm) (5 oz) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
Line at least two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper, or grease pans well.
Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F
In a small sauce pot, combine butter, water, and salt. Heat over until butter melts, then remove from stove.
Add flour all at once and beat, beat, beat the mixture until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pot.
Add one egg, and beat until well combined. Add remaining eggs individually, beating vigorously after each addition. Resulting mixture should be somewhat glossy, very smooth, and somewhat thick.
Using a ¼” (6 mm) tip on a pastry bag, pipe out about 36 swan heads. You’re aiming for something between a numeral 2 and a question mark, with a little beak if you’re skilled and/or lucky.
Remove the tip from the bag and pipe out 36 swan bodies. These will be about 1.5” (40 mm) long, and about 1” (25 mm) wide. One end should be a bit narrower than the other.
Bake the heads and bodies until golden and puffy. The heads will be done a few minutes before the bodies, so keep a close eye on the baking process.
Remove the pastries to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before filling.
Take a swan body and use a very sharp knife to cut off the top 1/3rd to ½.
Cut the removed top down the center to make two wings.
Dollop a bit of filling into the body, insert head, and then add wings.
Chantilly Cream - filling
1 cup (225 ml.) cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' (powdered) sugar
Chill medium mixing bowl and whisk in freezer for 10 minutes before beginning. In chilled bowl, whisk cream until it begins to foam and thicken. Add sugar and continue to whisk just until soft peaks form. Do not over-whip.
It's amazing how I had time to make an almond velvet sauce to serve the swans in !!
Almond velvet sauce
4 tbsp almond powder
1/4 cup condensed milk ( sweetened)
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Mix the above in a sauce pan, bring to a boil. Let it cool before you serve the choux swan in. The red paste is rose syrup. (store bought)