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Paganini's Pantry

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PÂTE À CHOUX

Yield:  1 1/2 pounds

1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, unsalted
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar (for sweet puffs)
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
4 large eggs (5 eggs if needed)
 

Bring liquid to a boil with the butter.

Remove from heat and add the flour all at once, beating with a spoon until smooth.

Return to heat for a few minutes or until the dough begins to dry out. This mixture is called a panade.           

Remove from heat and beat with a mixer until the heat begins to dissipate. Then beat in the eggs one at a time. Be sure egg is completely incorporated and beat until smooth. Start with 4 eggs and only add the fifth egg if the batter is too stiff. It should droop off the side of the spatula if lifted out of the bowl. 

Fit a pastry bag with the tip of your choice and fill with the pâte à choux.

On a lightly greased or buttered sheet (or parchment paper), pipe out the desired shape.

Beat egg with water for an egg wash. Brush tops with egg wash, taking care not to drip down the side to the baking sheet as this would inhibit the rapid rise of the puffs.

Bake the puffs at 425 degrees for 5-7 minutes then turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and  bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown and feel and sound hollow on the inside. 

 

GANACHE

Yield: 3 1/2 cups

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup fine quality chocolate, chopped small and evenly
2 oz. unsalted butter

Heat whipping cream in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan or on top of a bain marie.

Remove saucepan from heat and add chocolate and butter.

Allow chocolate to melt slowly, stirring occasionally, until smooth.

Cool slightly.  Dip tops of cream puffs in chocolate to coat. 

 

Bourbon Pastry Cream

1/4 cup corn starch
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoon Kentucky Bourbon
6 large egg yolks
16 oz. whole milk
1/8 tsp. salt

In a non-reactive saucepan heat milk to just boiling. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together corn starch, sugar, yolks, vanilla extract, Bourbon, and salt.  Make sure items are well blended.

Liaison the milk into the egg mixture slowly to prevent curdling.

Pour incorporated mixture into non-reactive saucepan and slowly heat mixture, making sure to stir constantly to prevent premature cooking of egg yolks.

Allow mixture to thicken to pudding consistency.  Remove immediately from pan to prevent further cooking.  Cool in ice bath to stop the cooking process.

Place plastic wrap on surface of cream and place in refrigerator to cool. 

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