Pâte à Choux topped with streusel or crumble has some real advantages. One, a smooth rounded surface on profiteroles or éclairs is easily obtained. Two, the added flavor and texture of streusel is a welcoming factor to the rather bland flavor of Pâte à Choux. Three, profiteroles or éclairs expand much larger and more uniformly compared to choux paste which is not topped with streusel. Four, the interior of the choux paste products is visibly more hollow.
For us in the baking industry having éclairs or profiteroles crack in the oven is disappointing and therefore I bake choux paste at rather low oven temperatures. Using flour with fairly high protein content allows for extra eggs in the batter, which in turn permits lower oven temperatures but with good expansion of the products. Adding a small amount of steam in the oven as soon as the pate a choux is loaded in the oven also helps very well with the prevention of cracks.
Photo below: Profiteroles piped the same size, baked on same tray. The one topped with streusel expands visibly larger.
Pâte à Choux
|8 oz||Milk||240 g|
|8 oz||Water||240 g|
|0.25 oz||Salt||10 g|
|0.5 oz||Extra fine granulated sugar||20 g|
|8 oz||Unsalted butter, cubed||240 g|
|9.5 oz||Bread flour||285 g|
|16 oz||Eggs, loosely beaten||480 g|
- In a saucepan bring to boil the water, milk, sugar, salt and butter.
- Remove from heat and immediately stir in sifted flour. Stir well until combined. Return to heat and stir until the dough releases from the sides and bottom, about 2 minutes.
- Place the mixture into a bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed gradually add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl often. Once 14 oz (420 g) of the eggs are added examine the batter, it should be smooth and have a light sheen. It should be firm enough to hold its shape when piped. Add the remaining egg if needed.
- Pipe the batter using a plain tip on parchment lined sheet pans.
- Cut the streusel in circles 10% smaller than the piped pate a choux and place on the surface.
- Place in a (lightly steam injected) oven at 350°F (180°C) with steam vent closed. When the products are well expanded, open the steam vent (or part oven door) to let the steam escape. Bake until the products are crisp when pressed on the sides. About 27-33 minutes for profiteroles.
Streusel (Crumble) topping for Choux paste
|3 oz||Unsalted butter, very cold||90 g|
|3.75 oz)||Brown sugar||110g|
|3.75 oz||Bread flour||110 g|
- Cut the butter in small cubes and combine with all the ingredients in a machine bowl fitted with a paddle attachment.
- Mix on medium speed until a crumbly mixture is obtained. Remove from machine.
- Between parchment paper or plastic roll the streusel 2 credit cards thick. Place in freezer until hard.
- Cut the streusel in pieces 10% smaller than the piped pate a choux and place on the piped choux paste pieces.
- Place in oven and bake.