Choux pastry (or pàte à choux) is actually very easy to make, and one of those things that is versatile and stylish. You can enjoy them with practically any type of filling.
As with all things, there is an interesting historical background behind the choux, or cabbage, as is its literal meaning in French.
Catherine de Medici, a Florentine who became wife to Henry II of France in the sixteenth century, had a chef named Panterelli. Sources cite that he made a hot, dried paste that he eponymously dubbed pàte à Panterelli. From this crude beginning, the originally named gateaux underwent many changes. In the late 1800’s, a French pastry chef named Avice developed them into choux buns, as they looked like little cabbages in the days of Napoleon. Avice’s budding protégé, the historically famous Marie-Antoine Carême, perfected it further, ultimately placing the choux in its rightful place as the core for countless delectable modern-day éclairs, profiteroles, crullers, beignets, churros, as well as savoury cheese concoctions, such as gougères, to name a few.
For me, I love a decadent chocolate profiterole – velvety custard enveloped in silky cream, sandwiched inside a buttery baked choux, topped with homemade chocolate sauce.
The great thing about making this yourself is that you can be inventive with the filling: a rich custard or chocolate ganache or both, or maybe something savoury, such as chive and cucumber cream cheese, or even simply just plain. That’s what makes this recipe an every day affair…
Winter can bring out the creative baker in us. So, what better way to begin this new year than with our “Every Day Choux”? Enjoy!