Russian Season


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How I didn’t make Choux Puffs

Christmas tree

For the New Year’s Eve, I wanted to make choux puffs. I have to say I had never made them before, but I googled for the recipe and it sounded like something pretty easy to make. Choux puffs are so beautiful and perfect on a New Year’s table! So, I decided to go for it and asked my sister to come over and babysit for a couple of hours (while Stano was chilling out at their corporate NYE party). I made vanilla cream filling with one of my precious vanilla beans. The filling came out flawless - fluffy, glossy, and richly flavoured with vanilla, but that was apparently the last thing I made right. Every recipe I found called for 4 eggs in the batter, but I felt like my batter was too loose already after the third egg, so I didn’t beat in the fourth. The batter didn’t hold its shape at all, but I still decided to pipe it onto the baking sheet and see how it would behave in the oven. I had read that the batter balls (or in my case - batter blobs) had to be around 1 inch in diameter. So I placed my tiny blobs into the oven and waited. After 7 minutes the blobs got pretty brown in colour and puffed up a little bit, but they still were tiny. They looked like real choux pastry inside, though. Ugly little brown dwarfs :) I still had some batter left and thought I’d make larger blobs and see what would happen. This time I got a batch of small flying saucers… I was devastated! But that was hilarious too - all those baking sheets with miserably flat “puffs” stacked around the kitchen..

Now can anybody tell me what I did wrong? What didn’t I read between the lines when I was reading the recipe? It looked very simple at a first glance. I need to learn to make choux puffs!!

So, as you could have guessed, we had no choux puffs for New Year. Which actually didn’t make our family get-together any worse - it was still very generous and very international, you could hear Russian and Slovak and English and Italian and Spanish languages, there were Italian and Latvian sweets on the table, and the jewel in the crown - Mom’s cranberry and whipped cream trifle cake, decorated with Christmas trees of kiwi and fireworks of coloured sugar.

Aaaand I know I’m late as always (this year I have an excuse though), but I’d like to wish all my fellow bloggers a very happy, cheerful and delicious New Year. Cin cin!

Winter view

Winter view

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23 Responses

  1. Sorry to hear about the lack of success. Baking is science, everything has to be exact. If it says 4 eggs it has to be 4. Also if you open the oven door during baking the choux will deflate, or not rise. Practice makes perfect:)

    Anyway, flat choux can still be tasty treats, you can make flat choux sandwiches.

    • Alina says:

      Three-Cookies, nope I didn’t open the oven door (although I was tempted!), and as for the eggs… I just can’t understand why the batter was so loose with just three eggs!! :-(

    • Efrain says:

      If you read no further than the first snetence of this post, know this: YOU MUST MAKE THIS SOUP!Chef John saying “it’s the best” guarantees I’ll try the recipe, and am I ever glad I did!Like Birder, those fritters got to me, so I doubled the recipe. Glad I did too, because no one touched the crusty baguette but nary a single fritter crumb escaped.Thank you again for your inspiration, Chef John!

    • feel nothing says:

      I’m shocked that I found this info so easily.

    • Ricky says:

      Hi Grace,Thanks. That was taken from far, so it looks good. But actually, my failmy told me it’s “tasteless”! Hahaha…Can you believe something like that can be tasteless? It was because I didn’t add sugar to the chocolate cream fillings, so it made the cream puffs tasteless! Do you still want a piece? :p How about we exchange? You give me a piece of your French Apple Tart & I give you a few pieces of the Chocolate Cream Puffs?

    • I’m thankful that I grew up on a farm & learned what it takes to put good food on the table. I’m thankful for the 31 year relationship I’ve had with Whole Foods & for the opportunities I have today to help others put good food on their tables. Life is good!

    • I read your post and wished I’d written it

    • John Killick writes … Thanks for your article. Alison Latham’s ‘Oxford Companion’ ascribes this title to a J. A. Scheller’s 1847 edition of a “13th century” German manuscript in the Bavarian State Library, Munich. Stanley Sadie’s ‘Grove Concise’ ascribes the title to a J. A. Schmeller’s 1847 edition, which exploited the neumatic notation of some of the songs. “The MS was found at Benediktbeuren in 1803 but may have originated at Seckau. I have heard some of these tunes being broadcast and recognised some as having been used by Orff, though not to their original words.Regards, JohnK.    

    • Bianka says:

      Before arthritis, I ran like that and I also had that exact felneig. What a treasure it is.Since then, I have found that closeness when my heart is in the right place. I can’t expect it to occur unless I invite Him to be near me. But when I invite Him, when I pause long enough to think on Him and praise Him He overwhelms me like a goose-down comforter.I just love this entry of yours. Beautifully written, as always, and it helped me remember how important it is to keep that flame lit to make my love for him habitual.

  2. I’ve never heard of choux puffs, let alone made them, so I have no advice! They sound really good though, even if they were flat :) I hope you’ll post about them if you try again!

    • Alina says:

      Thank you for your support Megan :) sure I’ll post if I succeed next time!

    • Emy says:

      Hi Chef John, an amazing soup, love the nuetmg flavour with a touch of heat from the cayenne. What do you use for oil when cooking the fritters? We used Canola Oil and it does not seem to have a very high heat temperature prior to it starting to smoke. Love your site and have recommended the site to many Canadians in the Great White North.Erik

    • That’s more than sensible! That’s a great post!

    • Lauriianee says:

      thanks for posting this video… didn’t reazlie how easy it is to make a basic soup that tastes good and on the cheap. Bought an immersion blender last week and I’ve tried cauliflower, brocolli and the mushroom. I found that adding a lot of cayenne while the onions are sweating is perfect for my tastes.. and 3 or 4 cloves of garlic :)

    • Samijee says:

      i ask’d that very same question a few weeks back & i fiuregd that perhaps they were all burned-out & in the case of, i understood his frustrations w/ so many links dying out, that can really send a person to the asylum after such hard work. that’s why i started (enter self-promotion music, dare i say hustle strut) eatmyartout.blogspot.comin honor of those guys, especially jim & eric here at MS & countless others. i want to hope that i can hook all you guys up just as you’ve done & keep doing for me. i agree though, the blog world misses those guys, damn, this is stating to sound like an elegy, hope that’s not the case. take care allpanagiotis

    • My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a number of websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard fantastic things about Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  3. Miss Frangipane says:

    It sounds like your choux batter was too loose (although it’s better to err on the side of a little loose than a tight batter). When piped, they should hold their shape. When you are checking the consistency of the batter, if you run your finger through the batter, the cave your finger made should slowly come together but should not close. Maybe there is something wrong with the recipe. Also, it’s true that opening the oven before choux set results in deflated puffs.

  4. pokemongo says:

    Wow because this is great work! Congrats and keep it up

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