Choux Pastry Swans a French Baker’s Challenge
Originating in 1540, choux pastry is used to make countless French pastries. This type of pastry has the ability to form a number of different shapes – even swans! Choux Pastry Swans an incredibly beautiful option to make for any occasion. They are delicate and elegant, with a retro flair that comes from the commonality of seeing these edible swans on tables all over the world in the 1970s. You can serve these with some sweet berries for a delicious and beautiful way to spice up your dessert!
Choux Cygne (Swan Choux)
For the Pastry
- 250 ml Water
- 3 g Salt
- 7 g Sugar
- 125 g Butter
- 150 g Flour
- 4 Eggs + 1 yolk for the gilding
For the Vanilla Cream
- 750 ml Whole Milk
- 120 g Sugar
- 3 large Eggs
- 90 g Cornflour
- Vanilla Bean
For the Décor
- Powdered Sugar for garnish
For the Vanilla Cream:
- Cut 1 vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds.
- In a saucepan, mix in the cornflour, powdered sugar, and whole milk, mixing with a whisk.
- Then, add in the rest of the vanilla bean and seeds and bring the mixture to a boil as you whisk.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and the powdered sugar for 3 minutes. Lightly moisten with a bit of milk, while continuing to whisk.
- Place the mixture into a saucepan and mix. Remove it from the heat as soon as it boils.
- Remove the vanilla bean, pour the cream into a bowl, and place the bowl into a larger container filled with ice cubes.
- When the cream becomes lukewarm (50°C - 120°F), incorporate the butter and whisk vigorously.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
For the Choux Pastry:
- In a saucepan, add the water, salt, sugar, and butter. Bring to a boil.
- Once it reaches a boil, remove it from the heat, and add the sifted flour.
- Next, put the saucepan back on the heat, and stir well for several minutes, stopping when you obtain a homogenous dough.
- Then, remove from the heat, and incorporate the eggs, one by one.
- Cover two baking sheets and scoop the mixture into a piping bag with a round nozzle.
- To make the swans, on the baking sheets, pipe an éclair, as wide as 7 to 8 cm for the body. On the other sheet, for the neck and head of the swan, pipe an “S” shape with a smaller nozzle about 7 to 8 cm long but not larger than the body.
- Then, with a brush, glaze them with the egg, and place the sheets in the oven for 25 minutes.
- When done, remove them from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool.
- Once they are cooked and cooled, cut open the swan's body lengthwise (to about 2/3 height) and fill the body with pastry cream using the piping bag.
- Next, cut the top of the body in half to create swan wings, but leave a few centimetres in the front to attach the neck and head. Pipe in the vanilla cream, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and enjoy!