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Pate a choux swans

Filed under :Desserts, The Dairing Kitchen

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!


Pate a choux

½ cup butter

1 cup  water

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

Line at least two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper, or grease pans well.

Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F.  In a small saucepot, combine butter, water, and salt.  Heat over until butter melts, then remove from stove. Add flour all at once and beat, beat, beat the mixture until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pot. Add one egg, and beat until well combined.  Add remaining eggs individually, beating vigorously after each addition. Resulting mixture should be somewhat glossy, very smooth, and somewhat thick.

Using a ¼” (6 mm) tip on a pastry bag, pipe out about 36 swan heads.  You’re aiming for something between a numeral 2 and a question mark, with a little beak if you’re skilled and/or lucky. Remove the tip from the bag and pipe out 36 swan bodies.  These will be about 1.5” (40 mm) long, and about 1” (25 mm) wide. One end should be a bit narrower than the other. Bake the heads and bodies until golden and puffy.  The heads will be done a few minutes before the bodies, so keep a close eye on the baking process.  Remove the pastries to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before filling.


1.  Take a swan body and use a very sharp knife to cut off the top 1/3rd to ½.

2.  Cut the removed top down the center to make two wings.

3.  Dollop a bit of filling into the body, insert head, and then add wings.

Vanilla Crème Patissier

1 cup whole milk

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

6 Tbsp. sugar

1 large egg

2 large egg yolks

2 Tbsp.unsalted butter

1 Tsp. Vanilla

Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup of milk. Combine the remaining milk with the sugar in a saucepan; bring to boil; remove from heat.

Beat the whole egg, then the yolks into the cornstarch mixture. Pour 1/3 of boiling milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so that the eggs do not begin to cook.  Return the remaining milk to boil. Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, continuing whisking.  Continue whisking (this is important – you do not want the eggs to solidify/cook) until the cream thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.  Pour cream into a stainless steel/ceramic bowl.  Press plastic wrap firmly against the surface. Chill immediately and until ready to use.


Chantilly Cream

1 cup cold heavy cream

2 tablespoons confectioners’ (powdered) sugar

Chill medium mixing bowl and whisk in freezer for 10 minutes before beginning. In chilled bowl, whisk cream until it begins to foam and thicken. Add sugar and continue to whisk just until soft peaks form. Do not over-whip.

For my swans I mixed some of the Chantilly cream in to the Vanilla Creme Patissier. It made the Creme lighter and delicious!

Brasilian Potato Salad (Maionese)

Filed under :Brazilian Recipes

Brazilian potato salad is usually a side dish you will find in many variations at parties and BBQs. This one I make is simple and easy. It can be a basic recipe where you can then add other toppings accordingly with your family’s taste.  My husband likes it this way, so it is usually what I do.

6-8 medium potatoes

1 large carrot or 2 medium carrots

salt and pepper to taste

1 can peas (drained)

green onions (to taste)

3-4 T mayo

Boil potatoes and carrots until soft. Dice them. In a large bowl, mix potatoes, carrots, salt, pepper, peas, green onions and mayo.

Other things you can add to this basic recipe:

Diced boiled eggs



Diced onions

Shredded chicken

Ham and Cheese (diced)

Green Peppers


Diced apples

Palmito (hearts of Palms)