Pate a Choux

Pate a choux is a light pastry dough used to make sweet things (eg, cream puffs, eclairs, and profiteroles), as well as savory foods (eg, gougere). A photo of my finished product, cream puff, is shown at right.


Pastry Cream

  • 1 C Whole Milk
  • 2 T Cornstarch
  • 6 T Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 2 T Butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ C Heavy Whipping Cream (liquid)

Pate a Choux Dough

  • 1 C Water
  • 4 oz Butter
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup A.P. Flour
  • 4 Eggs

Chocolate Glaze

  • 5 oz Valrhona Bittersweet Chocolate (or any dark chocolate)
  • ½ Cup + 2 T Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 ½ oz Corn Syrup
  • 1 oz Butter
  • 1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract


  • Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons
  • Sieve
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Spatula
  • 4 Qt Sauce Pan
  • Kitchen Aid Stand-Mixer
  • Pastry Bag & Tip
  • Preheat oven to 400F


First, prepare the pastry cream:

  1. Mix the cornstarch and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add to the sugar/cornstarch mixture. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Boil milk. Add above mixture, little by little, to the boiling milk. Mix gently with a spatula. Leave pan on high heat while mixing every so often. Once a custard-like texture is achieved, remove from heat and strain the custard into a bowl through a sieve.
  4. Add the vanilla and butter. Mix.
  5. Cover with plastic and chill in the refrigerator.
  6. In a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, mix the heavy whipping cream at high speed until whipped into a yogurt-like consistency. Don’t over mix into whipped cream. Chill in refrigerator.
  7. When you’re ready to form the cream puffs, remove the pastry cream and whipped cream from the refrigerator. Mix a little whipped cream into the pastry cream to lighten the filling. Add more whipped cream as needed.

Second, make the pate a choux dough:

  1. Boil water, salt, and butter. Upon boiling, add the flour to the sauce pan and stir thoroughly. Make sure all of the dough is exposed to the heat at the bottom of the pan. Cook until the dough is fairly dry, about 3 minutes.
  2. Transfer the hot dough into the Kitchen Aid. Paddle for about 2 minutes to release some of the heat before adding the eggs. Don’t let the dough sit or cool. Add the eggs two at a time and paddle until incorporated before adding the next two. Batter should be stiff enough to hold its shape (not thin and runny).
  3. Pipe little puffs on to baking sheet lined with parchment paper. They will puff up/out dramatically (~3x). You can also pipe the dough in the shape of a thick line for eclairs.
  4. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes and tehn at 350F for about 30 minutes or more (until dry and fully cooked inside). Cool.

Third, make the chocolate glaze:

  1. Shave chocolate and set aside in a deep, medium-sized bowl.
  2. Scald the cream and corn syrup. Pour over the chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Use a spatula to gently mix until completely smooth. Keep the spatula immersed below the surface of the sauce the whole time while mixing. Lifting the spatula above the surface of the sauce will introduce air bubbles in the sauce and make your glaze less smooth. (You can use an immersion blender instead of mixing by hand. I don’t have one).

Last, assemble the cream puffs:

  1. Slice each puff horizontally in half.
  2. Pipe filling on top of the bottom half.
  3. Dip the top half in the chocolate glaze. If the chocolate sauce has cooled down/hardened a bit, you can heat it up again.
  4. Place the chocolate-dipped top over the bottom half that you’ve just covered with filling.
  5. Serve and enjoy.
Re: Pate a Choux

oh great. I’ve been looking for a good pastry dough recipe. This looks wonderful.

You’re cream puff looks delicious too. I will try it. I hope I can make it look as good as yours.

Re: Pate a Choux

Hi Slowhand, Thanks for your note! One thing: It’s important that there not be any interruptions from the dough prep stage to the point at which they go into the oven (ie, don’t let anything sit or cool down).The heat from the mixture creates steam, so it’s important not to let the mixture sit at all for any length of time. The steam, combined, with the eggs (you can add ½-1 more egg if needed), contribute to the “rising” of the dough in the oven. -ck

Re: Pate a Choux

Thnx, this slow mover will be fleet of hand to keep the mix warm. I can’t wait to see how my cream puff turns out.

Re: Pate a Choux