Pate A Choux Swans with Vanilla Creme Patisserie ~ Daring Bakers’

by FoodBabbles on August 27, 2012

Post image for Pate A Choux Swans with Vanilla Creme Patisserie ~ Daring Bakers’

Today I have not one but two posts for you today! It just so happens that today is the Daring Bakers‘ reveal day as well as Secret Recipe Club. So hang onto your hats for the scrumptiousness that will be appearing on your screen today.  Also, today marks my 1 year anniversary of being a Daring Baker! One year ago today, I tried my hand at candy making for the very first time. I remember that challenge well. I had such a hard time trying to temper chocolate for dipping truffles. I also made pate de fruit which reminded me of eating jam in candy form. So good! The first few months with Daring Bakers I was so intimidated and thought I couldn’t possibly accomplish these projects. One year later, I look back and realize that I’ve learned so much through being a part of this amazing group! I can’t wait to see what my second year of Daring Bakers’ holds.

For my first post today, we’re starting off with something you’ve seen before but in a different form.  Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pate a choux shapes, filled with crème patisserie or Chantilly cream. We were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors allowing our creativity to go wild!

If you aren’t familiar with pate a choux, you may remember me talking about it in detail when we did eclairs for First on the First. Pate a choux is the dough that eclairs, profiteroles, french crullers, beignets and other delights are made from. It’s a breeze to make and only contains butter, flour, water and eggs. Having made the dough before that wasn’t too much of a challenge for me. However, I’ve only done it once and all I had to do that time around was pipe a straight line. For this project I had to make shapes that would hopefully end up resembling swans. My piping skills need some work so this part made me a little nervous but bring it on!

I made my dough and piped out heads and necks that resembled something like a cross between a number two and a question mark. That seemed pretty easy. I moved on to making the bodies. That was a breeze too. Into the oven they went and out emerged golden pastries waiting to be transformed into lovely swans. The first few didn’t look too hot but after a little practice swans indeed began to emerge. This was a pretty easy challenge overall.

The thing I liked best about making these swans was the presentation. After a satisfying dinner, I presented my swans to my family who all “Ooo’ed” and “Ahh’ed” over them. Now it’s your turn to impress someone with these lovely little filled pate a choux!



One Year Ago: Candylicious!

Pate A Choux Swans with Vanilla Creme Patisserie

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 36 swans

Pate A Choux Swans with Vanilla Creme Patisserie

Pate A Choux shaped into swans and filled with vanilla creme.


    For The Pate A Choux(cannot be doubled)
  • ½ cup (120 ml) (115 gm) (4 oz) butter
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • ¼ teaspoon (1½ gm) salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm) (5 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • For The Vanilla Creme Patisserie
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (7 gm) (1/4 oz) (1 envelope) unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup (120 ml) (115 gm) (4 oz) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) (18 gm) (2/3 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 4 large egg yolks, well beaten
  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy (whipping) cream (about 35% butterfat)


    Make the Pate A Choux
  1. Line at least two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper, or grease pans well.
  2. Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F/190°C/gas mark 5 .
  3. In a small saucepot, combine butter, water, and salt. Heat over until butter melts, then remove from stove.
  4. Add flour all at once and beat, beat, beat the mixture until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pot.
  5. Add one egg, and beat until well combined. Add remaining eggs individually, beating vigorously after each addition. Resulting mixture should be somewhat glossy, very smooth, and somewhat thick.
  6. Using a ¼” (6 mm) tip on a pastry bag, pipe out about 36 swan heads. You’re aiming for something between a numeral 2 and a question mark, with a little beak if you’re skilled and/or lucky.
  7. Remove the tip from the bag and pipe out 36 swan bodies. These will be about 1.5” (40 mm) long, and about 1” (25 mm) wide. One end should be a bit narrower than the other.
  8. Bake the heads and bodies until golden and puffy. This took about 35-40 minutes for me. The heads will be done a few minutes before the bodies, so keep a close eye on the baking process.
  9. Remove the pastries to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before filling.
  10. Make The Vanilla Creme Patisserie
  11. In a medium saucepan combine gelatin, flour, and sugar. Mix very well.
  12. Add milk and egg yolks and turn heat to medium-low. Stir almost constantly until mixture is thick enough to cover the back of your spatula or spoon. This should take about 10 minutes.
  13. Once thick, immediately dump into a bowl, straining through a fine mess sieve.
  14. Add the vanilla, and mix in well.
  15. Cover the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and chill for about 45 minutes. You do not want the mixture to set, just to continue thickening.
  16. In a large bowl, beat cream until light peaks form. Carefully fold the vanilla mixture into the whipped cream until the mixture is well-blended and fairly smooth.
  17. Refrigerate mixture if not using immediately.
  18. Assemble Your Swans
  19. Take a swan body and use a very sharp knife to cut off the top 1/3rd to ½.
  20. Cut the removed top down the center to make two wings.
  21. Dollop a bit of filling into the body, insert head, and then add wings.
  22. Enjoy!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Wendy Read August 27, 2012 at 10:02 am

These are just gorgeous! I must admit I have never tried to make these 🙂 Good for you for taking the challenge. I am bookmarking this recipe.


Kate August 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Thank you Wendy! I was pleasantly surprised to find that they weren’t as difficult as I anticipated. So easy!


MomD August 27, 2012 at 10:46 am

Not only pretty, but they were delish !


Kate August 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I’m so glad you thought so 😉 xoxo


Jamie August 27, 2012 at 11:25 am

I have been wanting and meaning to make these for years! Choux swans filled with whipped cream are my husband’s absolute favorite thing in the world – he introduced me to them maybe 20 years ago. We hardly ever see them now in bakeries. Sad because they are so cool and fun. Yours are wonderful!


Kate August 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Thanks so much Jamie! I know any time I’ve seen them at an event I’ve always been impressed by them. Turns out, they’re pretty easy to make! So you can wow your husband with very little effort 😉


Barbara | Creative Culinary August 27, 2012 at 1:03 pm

OK these are just too much. Are you daring us? Beautiful Kate.


Kate August 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Ha! Thanks Barb 😉 They were actually not difficult to make at all! Just takes a swan or two to get the hang of it.


Nancy@acommunaltable August 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I adore Pate a choux – it is IMO one of the best things out there – versatile and easy!! Your swans turned out darling – so much fun to serve something like this, isn’t it?
One of these days I am going to do the Daring Bakers – great way to refresh my skills!!


Kate August 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Thanks so much Nancy! I agree, it is one of the best things out there. You can do so much with it and it’s not too time consuming which is always a plus!


Shelley C August 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Beautiful swans! And I agree – sharing them was the most fun – they get such a great reaction, makes it that much more satisfying 🙂


Kate August 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm

It really does!! Thanks Shelley.


Melissa Klotz August 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm

You did a great job!! This was my first Daring Bakers Challenge and I was a little scared of the whole process, having never made pate choux before, so I tried doing the Paris-Brest and ended up with profiteroles! Haha, it was a journey, but a fun one!!


Kate August 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Thanks Melissa and welcome to Daring Bakers!! Hope you enjoy it. It’s always a great challenge.


Barbara @ Barbara Bakes August 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Very impressive swans! So fun to have your family oooh and ahhhh.


Kate August 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Thanks so much Barbara!!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

Copyright © Food Babbles
Site Development by Kinetic Webs