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Jan 28, 2011 08:58 AM

Help with Pate a choux (cream puff, gougeres, etc....)

I'm following Michael Ruhlman's ratio - 2 (water): 1 (butter): 1 (flour): 2 (eggs)

I ended up using 4 large eggs which is slightly less than a cup - but the dough seemed done - I was taught that a wooden spoon should just fall over (not stand up)- mine fell over pretty quickly.

I piped them about the size of a golf ball

Put them in the oven at 425 for ten minutes and without opening it - dropped the temp to 375 (read this in another recipe) and then took a peek - they rose great but clearly weren't done - let them go a total of another six or seven minutes - nicely browned but could have been a little more -

Took them out and they fell immediately - they seem either uncooked inside or too eggy - I'm having a hard time figuring it out -

Some quick input is needed - I'm making another batch now!!

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  1. Too big? I make mine much smaller, about an inch in diameter.

    1. I use Julia Child's recipe and method and have never had a problem once I learned that it is important NOT to use an insulated (double layer) baking pan.

      You can find the recipe and method here:

      Pate a choux is about halfway down the page.

      1. I've never made the Ruhlman ratio one but it doesn't sound like you baked them long enough. I bake mine at 400 for over 20 minutes (usually 22-23 mins) for golf ball sized ones.

        Is this the recipe? Your ratio isn't the same as this one.

        This recipe says to bake 425 for 10 mins then 350 for 18-30.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chowser

          they were under cooked -

          But still not happy with the result! I'm tempted to make another batch but will stick with what I have.

        2. I know this is an old thread, but it came up on a search I was doing. Ruhlman's ratio is . . . . wrong . . . and I don't know if this is the ratio from his book or if it is just from his website. But he even contradicts himself on his website in different recipes.

          you need
          2(water) : 1 (butter) : 2 (flour) : 2 (eggs)

          I think you didn't have enough flour.

          Here is another recipe from his site for Pate a choux with what I feel is the right ratio (and different from what he posts on his site when he is talking about ratio for pate a choux)

          5 Replies
          1. re: thimes

            Cool! Would have thought his recipes were well vetted and tested.

            1. re: harryharry

              99% of the time his recipes are well vetted. This is just one on his site where I've seen his "ratio" change from recipe to recipe. I don't know if it is a typo, an oversight, or if he has changed his recipe over time. But sometimes his ratio is as I posted above, and sometimes it is as you cooked them. I sent him a note through his site but . . . what can you do.

            2. re: thimes

              I am not so sure whether Ruhlman is contradicting himself or not. The Recipe on his website and in Ratio is the same:

              1 cup water
              1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
              1 cup flour
              1 cup eggs (4 large eggs)

              Which yields the following weight/volume measurements according to Ratio:

              8 oz water
              4 oz butter
              4 oz flour
              8 oz eggs

              Which is 2:1:1:2 in both cases.

              1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                Ahhh - that is probably it, sometimes he posts recipes by volume and other times he talks about them as weight ratios.

                They aren't the same in both cases. . . .

                By weight 2:1:1:2
                By volume 2:1:2:2

                That would account for too little flour in the OP (too little flour in my opinion. . . ). Good catch!

                1. re: thimes

                  I'd say he could be more clear. It should indicate fluid ounces or dry.

                  I am a bit motivated about this as I am getting ready to try his pate a chaux as dumplings in chicken and the remainder for Parisienne gnocchi. It seemed like a good idea for me to see how this worked for others before setting forth.

            3. Ancient thread but, I use 1 H20, 1 butter, 1 flour, 3 eggs. Always 425F, never lower.