Pâte à Choux has a lot of variations. But the basic idea is a roux which has eggs beaten into them. They puff up with steam while they’re cooking and become quite light and fluffy. In a way, they’re a bit like a popover.
The variation here is a it more like thick gravy with eggs beaten in, in that it uses a bit of water to substitute for some of the eggs and butter. An ordinary roux is usually in the range of 1:1 fat to flour, this is about 1:2. The water in this case is taking the place of some of the egg and some of the butter, just to lighten things a bit.
Fun part of this is that you can actually deep fry this or bake it. Same temperature, different medium.
- 1 cup water
- 6 tablespoons fat (some combination of butter and bacon fat is good
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- Melt the salt and fat into the water in a saucepan, over a medium heat
- Add the flour and mix with a spatula over the heat until you get a smooth paste, should take a couple or three minutes
- remove from heat and let cool. If you spread it out across the bottom of a cold metal mixing bowl this will go faster.
- Take this opportunity to turn oven on to 375°F
- Add the eggs to the roux, one at a time, beating until smooth. It’ll get a bit chunky a bit before it smooths out. Don’t stop early.
- Now add stuff*.
- Pipe or spoon it out on to a sheet of parchment on a cookie sheet. Using a serrated tip on the piping bag is recommended. Helps it expand.
- Bake for 20 minutes or so until lightly browned.
* You can add a bunch of stuff here, cheese, flavorings, stuff. In the pictured, there’s a bunch of parsley, and about 1/2 cup of cheese, grated Parmesan and crumbled feta in this case. I left the feta crumbled, and chunks remained in the finished puffs, but the grated Parmesan disappeared into the baked puff to just be flavor