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Aug 14, 2007 02:49 PM

Help with Pate a Choix

Can anyone help me....?? I've made a pate a choix recipe three times. First time results were doughballs - they tasted good but were more like heavy buscuits. The second time - fabulous! Third time - back to the doughballs. Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong? Thanks!

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  1. This is sort of hard to troubleshoot without being with you and seeing the batter you're making, but here are a few ideas. Make sure that you are stirring the heck out of the dough when it's over the heat. You're trying to activate some of the gluten, as far as I understand, and not enough stirring will cause the structure to be compromised later. Lack of structure = leaden lumps.

    Next, weather and other factors are important when considering the number of eggs to use. If in doubt, use another egg; the woman I was apprenticed to as a baker told me this. Depending on the dryness of the flour and the humidity outside, you might need an extra egg to help with moisture and lift.

    Finally, if choux paste is not baked sufficiently, it falls, which can cause leadenness and the doughball effect of not being cooked enough. I would venture to guess that this is most common mistake. Although I actually like my profiteroles *slightly soft* and with the breath of the oven still on them, I'm not the norm. And I don't make them like this if they are not going to be eaten immediately. You want fully cooked and dry so they don't fall and get gummy once they are cool.

    Does any of this help? I learned to make choux paste with an expert standing next to me telling me what was right and wrong, so it's hard to figure out through cyberspace. Or, perhaps others have much better advice! Best wishes.

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