August Daring Bakers 2012 / Pate a Choux Swans

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!
Oh it went wild alright….swans?! holy crap…oh what the heck why not?! I’ve heard of pate a choux pastry, but always thought it was a lot more finicky then it really is. Basically, it’s a cooked dough. Some recipes use butter, some use oil. I tried both ways. Today I am sharing the oil version, but I will share the butter version later this week.

Yes I made the swans. I was so excited for how they turned out. As I was baking them off, I pondered how I could make feathers for them. Coconut! Hmmmmm what kind of pastry cream pairs with coconut?….RUM!…. yes and we could place some small pieces of sweet pineapple under the cream…. Pina Colada Swans!!!! Yes Yes I know… I’m getting pretty good at this brainstorming thing….They were a hit!….Even better I got to serve them to my Grandma who never gets to taste my baking…she thought they looked great! I’ve even gotten requests for rabbits?! yeeeeeaaaa I’m not that good I think I’ll stick with these swans !


Pina Colada Swans
Very slightly adapted from Hanielas
300 ml water
180 ml canola oil
180 grams all purpose flour
5 eggs at room temperature
pinch salt

– Place water, oil, and salt in a medium pot over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil.
-Remove from heat dump in all the flour and beat with a wooden spoon for one-two minutes. (The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the pot and forming a ball. Allow to cool to room temp. It may separate a little it will come back together with the eggs
-Place rack on the top wrung in your oven. Preheat oven to 480 degrees. Place parchment papers or silicone baking mats two cookie sheets.
-Transfer dough to the bowl of your stand mixer and beat in eggs one at a time. Beat until the dough is thick and glossy.
-Using a medium to large round or star tip pipe an oval or heart shape about 1.5 to 2 inches long.
-Bake at 480 for 17 minutes. When the timer goes off decrease the temp to 335 for 13 minutes. After allotted time is up decrease oven temp to 290 for 17 minutes.
-As soon as they come out the oven cut them in half through the center. Cut the top half again but this time lengthwise to make the wings.
-Repeat with extra dough, saving a little for the heads.
-Replace medium large round or star tip with small -medium round tip. On parchment or silicone mat pipe A shape somewhere in-between a number two and a question mark. At the top end pipe an ovalish shape for the the head. Bake at 400 for 5-7 minutes. Careful! These little suckers burn (and break) quickly and easily. So keep a eye on them and be gentle!

Rum Pastry Cream
adapted from Island Vittles
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoons rum
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour, sifted

-In a medium bowl whisk together sugar and yolks followed by the flour. Whisk until evenly incorporated.
-In a meduim pot heat milk, cream, and rum over medium heat.
-Remove when milk is heated trough but before it has reached a rolling boil.
-While hissing the egg mixture slowly pour in a quarter of the milk (not to fast! You don’t want scrambled eggs). Mix until well incorporated then add the rest of the milk into the eggs while continuing to whisk.
-Wipe out pot and return the milk mixture to it. Bring mixture to boil over medium heat whisking constantly. Decrease heat once boiling is reached so that mixture boils lazily for about a minute (you are still whisking!).
-Remove from heat and pour into stainless steel bowl. Place cling wrap directly onto surface of cream so it won’t form a skin on top. Place in fridge until chilled throughout.

Bottoms and Wings (from Pate a choux recipe above)
Rum Pastry Cream (recipe above)
Sweetened Shredded Coconut
1 Can Crushed Pineapple, drained

-Place one or two small pieces pineapple in the bottoms and cover with 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of rum pastry cream.
-Attach head by securing bottom into cream. Lay wings on top of pastry cream. Sprinkle with coconut…Voila Pina Colada Swans!

Love, Steffie


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Renata
    Aug 28, 2012 @ 07:09:32

    Wonderful idea!! That was SO creative! Wish I could taste some right now 🙂 Your swans are gorgeus with those “feathers”.


  2. What's for dessert?
    Aug 28, 2012 @ 08:53:45

    Pina colada swans!! Great idea!


  3. Kim
    Aug 28, 2012 @ 09:20:30

    How fantastic. I love the pina colada idea! How great that you got to share them with your grandmother, mine would have enjoyed this as well. Congrats on such a nice job. I will be interested to see how the butter ones turned out as well!


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