Besides update once already, I mean.
I spent the afternoon making these: Pate a choux aux framboises.
Aren't they pretty?
Of course, saying that I spent the afternoon doing this makes it sound terribly labour-intensive, and it was really very simple. I had brought home some end-of-the-season raspberries, and was poking around Chocolate and Zucchini when I found this recipe and was instantly inspired. (I am a huge fan of Clotilde's, as you will soon find out - I wish Powell's stocked her cookbook!)
I was too lazy to look up conversions for her recipe, and have yet to get a scale (see my bit about dutch ovens a little earlier today), so I turned to the Joy of Cooking for my recipe and ended up with kind of a mishmash of the two that goes something as follows.
Pate a choux.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a smallish saucepan, combine:
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup milk
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into little pieces
1 Tbsp. sugar
pinch of salt
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, and when the bubbles start add all at once:
1/2 cup flour
Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and sticks to itself. It is a very distinctive look. Transfer to a bowl to cool a bit. It will look very unappetizing, but that's okay - it gets better.
After about five minutes, using the same spoon, beat in:
Mix until smooth, then drop the dough in generous tablespoonfuls onto a layer of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. They will still look terrible. Do not be discouraged.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350 and bake for another 10 minutes. There will be an amazing transformation during this time:
Now - turn the oven off and let them sit - still in the oven - for an additional 10 minutes. Then pull them out, peel them off of the parchment paper and transfer to the rack that you hopefully own (I don't - again, dutch oven schpeal) and let cool. If you can't resist it, go ahead and eat one now. Matt and I polished off a couple before they ever got filled.
Once they are cool, fill with whipped cream and raspberries (for this version) or anything else that sounds tasty and eat!
The entire experience was very reminiscent of Japan for me, again. In every train station you can find little kiosks selling "shu kurimu," or choux cream - Japanese cream puffs, which I swear are one of the tastiest things you will ever put in your mouth. But if there are no Japanese train stations nearby, give these a shot - they'll do in a pinch.