I’m giving all of the choux pastry recipes you will ever need! Choux pastry (also known as pate a choux) is a classic French pastry batter that is utilized for many different applications. Once you master how to make choux pastry you can tackle a wide array of pastry components both sweet and savory.
How to Make Choux Pastry
Choux pastry, also called pate a choux and choux paste, is a basic pastry recipe that is extremely versatile and can be used to make a wide variety of final products. In pastry school, choux pastry is one of the first techniques learned because it is utilized in so many different ways.
Choux pastry is made on the stove by cooking a mixture of water, butter, and flour together. Eggs are then stirred into this mixture slowly until you have a smooth and shiny batter.
Choux pastry is unique in that it’s texture is almost in between a dough and a batter and the fact that it is cooked on the stove before its final preparation. You can find a full detailed tutorial for how to make the basic choux pastry batter here.
Why is it Called Choux Pastry?
The word choux is a French word that translates to mean cabbage, which is what choux buns look like when baked.
Baked Choux Pastry Desserts
Once the choux pastry batter is made, it can be piped and baked to make a variety of baked goods. Pate a choux contains quite a lot of moisture in it and when the batter hits the hot oven the moisture quickly evaporates off creating steam and puffing up the shells. This makes the perfect vessel to fill with whipped cream, pastry cream, chocolate ganache, or any filling you desire!
#1: Cream Puffs
- Cream puffs are one of the most iconic desserts made with choux pastry. To make cream puffs the shells are piped onto parchment paper and then baked in a very hot oven. The heat of the oven rapidly puffs the shell and dries it out to create a then crispy outer layer that is hallow and can be filled. I love filling my cream puffs with vanilla whipped cream (also known as creme chantilly).
- Learn How to Make Cream Puffs »
- Profiteroles use the same cream puff shell technique as cream puffs. But the thing that defines a profiterole from a cream puff is that profiteroles are cut in half and filled with ice creaminstead of filling them with whipped cream. Classic profiteroles are also drizzled with a chocolate glaze and are called profiteroles au chocolat.
- Learn How to Make Profiteroles »
- Eclairs are also made from baking choux pastry into a crispy hallow shell. The thing that defines an eclair is that it is piped into an oblong shape. Traditional eclairs, called eclairs au chocolat, are filled with pastry cream and is dunked in a chocolate glaze.
- Learn How to Make Eclairs »
- Paris-brest is made from baked choux pastry that has been piped into a ring. This ring is cut in half and filled with praline flavored cream and topped with powdered sugar.
- Learn How to Make Paris-Brest »
- A croquembouche is an impressive tower of cream puffs. The cream puffs are stacked into a cone shape and then are drizzled with caramelized sugar to bind the tower together. Croquembouche are typically made for special occasions such as holidays, weddings, or baptisms.
- Learn How to Make a Croquembouche »
Fried Choux Pastry Desserts
#6: French Cruller Donuts
- French cruller donuts are just about as fun to make as they are to eat! Pate a choux batter is piped onto little squares of parchment paper and then dunked into hot frying oil until it puffs up into a beautiful donut! Dunk in a simple powdered sugar glaze and serve fresh with a strong cup of coffee!
- Learn How to Make French Cruller Donuts »
#7: Pate a Choux Beignets
- While choux pastry beignets are not quite the same as the ones you will find in New Orleans, they are delicious all the same! Just scoop coux pastry batter right into hot frying oil and watch them puff up and get hallow inside! Toss in powdered sugar and you are good to go!
- Learn How to Make Choux Pastry Beignets »
- Did you know those beautiful crispy churros were also made from choux pastry? It’s true! Pipe the batter right into the hot oil using a star tip and snip it off to create the iconic churro shape. Then you know the drill! Toss them in a cinnamon sugar mixture and serve with warm chocolate sauce!
- Learn How to Make Homemade Churros »
Savory Choux Pastry Uses
#9: Parisienne Gnocchi
- Parisienne gnocchi is a style of gnocchi made with choux pastry rather than a potato mixture like traditional Italian gnocchi is. Because there is so much moisture in the batter, the choux gnocchi puffs up and gets all pillowy just the way gnocchi should. After the choux is simmered in boiling water until cooked through, it can be sauteed with anything you like to make a delicious hearty dish.
- Learn How to Make Parisienne Gnocchi (Choux Gnocchi) »
#10: Gougere (Cheese Puffs)
- Gougeres are baked savory choux dough that is filled with cheese. Most traditionally, gougere are made with gruyere cheese, but virtually any cheese you like could be used!
- Learn How to Make Gougere (Cheese Puffs) »
#11: Savory Profiteroles
- While we traditionally think of profiteroles as being a dessert item, who’s to say you can’t make savory profiteroles? Caprese profiteroles are a perfect appetizer for a summer party or change up the filling to make any kind you like!
- Learn How to Make Savory Profiteroles »