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

harryharry Jan 28, 2011 08:58 AM

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. t
    thinks too much RE: harryharry Jan 28, 2011 09:11 AM

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

    1. Euonymous RE: harryharry Jan 28, 2011 09:14 AM

      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: http://www.labellecuisine.com/Archive...

      Pate a choux is about halfway down the page.

      1. chowser RE: harryharry Jan 28, 2011 09:30 AM

        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
          harryharry RE: chowser Jan 28, 2011 11:25 AM

          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. t
          thimes RE: harryharry Dec 16, 2013 11:41 AM

          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
            harryharry RE: thimes Dec 19, 2013 03:30 AM

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

            1. re: harryharry
              thimes RE: harryharry Dec 19, 2013 06:38 AM

              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
              ChrisOfStumptown RE: thimes Mar 1, 2014 06:00 PM

              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
                thimes RE: ChrisOfStumptown Mar 1, 2014 06:16 PM

                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
                  ChrisOfStumptown RE: thimes Mar 1, 2014 06:33 PM

                  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. t
              treb RE: harryharry Dec 19, 2013 03:36 AM

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

              1. ChrisOfStumptown RE: harryharry Mar 2, 2014 09:27 PM

                I'd guess you mismeasured one of the components - probably the flour. I made this recipe tonight and the dough seemed different than you described yours. Mine would have been stiff enough to the point that the spoon "would just fall over."

                1 Reply
                1. re: ChrisOfStumptown
                  ChrisOfStumptown RE: ChrisOfStumptown Mar 4, 2014 12:47 PM

                  Update: Made Parisienne gnocchi from the pate-a-choux in "Ratio." Worked well.

                  Pics here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9674...

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