In the first lockdown in full fiduciary isolation and completely alone I learned to make choux paste and in detail the beignets. I needed dessert, but I didn’t have much in the house, so I had the bright idea of doing something I’d never felt, even to fight boredom.
Choux pastry (from the French chou, cabbage, because usually the foods made with this pasta, after cooking, resemble Brussels sprouts) is a light and delicate pasta, which is used in the kitchen mostly to prepare cream puffs , but also zeppole, èclair, etc. It is a precooked compound, the cooking process of which begins on the fire before the final cooking and during which there is the phenomenon of the gelatinization of the starches responsible for the final structure of the product, for this particularity it would have taken the name pâte à chaud, or hot pasta.
The beignet (from the French beignet [bɛ’ɲɛ] ) can be both fried and baked in the oven.
The fried beignet is a dough composed of flour, eggs, milk, sugar, butter, liqueur, yeast which is divided into small shapes, which are then fried and served after being sprinkled with icing sugar. In many italian regions this has become a typical carnival dessert.
A different version of fried beignets is typical of the Cajun areas of the United States of America, especially in New Orleans. In this version the beignet is a fried square cake. It is obtained from a leavened dough that is spread with a rolling pin, cut into squares that are then fried in cotton seed oil and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Here I’ll show you how I made the oven-baked cream puffs that are then stuffed at will. The stuffed cream puffs became famous in the period of Bella époque. The choux dough is placed in a pastry bag and then squeezed into small quantities on a baking and baked plate. The various nozzles used for the pastry bag create different aesthetic results. The cream puffs cook in a short time, are light and hollow inside. The various types of filling in high pastry determines a different name.
- 100 ml of water,
- 100 ml milk,
- 200 g butter,
- 200 g flour 00,
- 414 g eggs,
- 1 g salt,
- 1 g sugar.
In a pot heat the water with salt, sugar, butter cut into cubes. Bring to a boil.
Add all the flour and mix until the mixture is detached from the walls of the pot.
In a bowl beat the eggs and add them to the mixture already prepared: the first half of the eggs add all together, the second part add it to the wire.
Put with a pastry bag the shapes on the baking tray keeping quiet to leave some space between the various shapes of the dough.
Press the tips of the dough with wet fingers.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes at 200º C.