My continuing struggles with pate a choux

If I ever wrote a baking memoir, there would be a whole 50-page chapter devoted to my roller coaster-like ride in learning the pate a choux. I had thought that the hard-fought success after my first gazillion trials would help me nail the eclair rather easily. Turns out there is more to it than knowing technique and what the batter should look like at certain points. I mean, these are the things I have already truly learned after all my previous failures. No, this time I really have to chalk up the “rough” appearance of my eclairs to my lack of proper equipment. I now realise I do not have the piping tip appropriate enough to squeeze out the eclair shape of my dreams.

Fortunately these eclairs baked as they should into beautiful golden shells. And the better part? They tasted divine. Bouchon’s pate a choux are by far the best-tasting ones I’ve ever had. And as a whole, the Pierre Herme recipe for chocolate pastry cream definitely played a large part in the glorious taste of these eclairs. I guess you could say whatever my eclairs lacked in finesse appearance-wise they more than made up for in taste.

Truth be told I haven’t thought about making choux pastry for quite some time, but after seeing this challenge posted by Love & Olive Oil I was encouraged to once again test myself on what seems to be my baking Achilles’ heel. I am happy to report that I can now recognise the pate a choux batter when it is in its right consistency, and so for the most part, my attempt this time around was a resounding success!
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I heart Bouchon’s Chocolate Chip & Chunk Cookies

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe I have found THE ONE.

Let me get down to it: these cookies are the most delicious and the most beautiful chocolate chip cookies I have ever made and put in my mouth. There I said it.

I kind of hate myself right now because my photography does not give justice to just how gorgeous these cookies are! The dark and stormy weather on the day I made these was a glaring contrast to just how bright and delicious these were. But you know what solved all those petty annoyances? A bite of these cookies. Just a bite and I could forget about everything else, and that included nearly forgetting to photograph for this post!

Previously, I had thought the NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies were the most gorgeous (and also really delicious), with Alton Brown’s The Chewy having the best taste, but here we are with the Bouchon version and I find myself at a loss for words for how seriously good these are.
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