Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pate a Chou Cream Puffs

League member Leslie Christiansen created the wonderful appetizer menu for the Historical League Open House. When I asked her about the "mini buns" that were served she responded, "Mini buns!! I cracked up over this one. These are little cream puffs- not buns, which can be used for savory or sweet foods.
Pate a Chou are what our good friends, the French call them. Pate is pronounced like Pat, and chou is like the word "shoe". The direct translation for chou is cabbage, and when you think about it, the cream puff looks like a little cabbage.

One very popular dessert we often see the pat a chou used for is the Profiterole, which is filled with a scoop of ice cream and then covered with some sort of yummy sauce.

I've taught this recipe many times, as it's tricky to make without demonstration, but easy once you've seen someone show you how to do it. And we usually have the ingredients in our kitchen- just flour, butter, water, eggs and a inch of salt."

Now you know why Leslie designed the menu (and not me). These Pate a Chou were filled with Curried Chicken/ Mango Chutney and were so-o-o tasty.




1 cup water

4 oz unsalted butter (1 stick)

½ t kosher salt

1 cup flour (4 oz)

4 eggs


  1. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and preheat a convection oven to 375 F, a regular oven to 400 F.
  2. Place water, butter and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Turn off the heat, leaving the pot on the stove. Add the flour- all at once and stir, using a wooden spoon.
  4. Smash the dough against the sides of the pot to break up any lumps of flour. The dough will be like a thick ball. Stir over the residual heat of the stove for about 2 minutes to dry out the dough.
  5. Place dough in bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each additional egg, until the dough has completely come back together. Do not rush this step or the dough will not work.
  6. Transfer dough into a pastry bag (or a zip-top bag with a corner end cut off) with a large round tip. Pipe uniform sized balls onto the parchment paper about the size of a large walnut.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, until light-golden brown. Decrease oven temp to 300-325 F and bake for 10-15 minutes longer, until the inside has dried-out. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Cut in half and fill with ice cream, whipped cream or a variety of salads. The puffs freeze very well in zip-top bags.