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Tout de "Sweet": The Choux

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

For a language supposedly sparse in vocabulary, the French have multiple variants of the word chou, as made confusingly clear in this video. We’re, of course, going to talk about choux with an “x”, natch — the delectable puff pastry seen in many French desserts — and true to its name, it is quite possibly the cutest item of the bakery bunch. Also known as pâte á choux, the pastry was invented in the kitchens of Catherine de Medici’s head chef, according to some historical accounts. Many alterations came after, most notably through the royal chefs who worked in Marie Antoinette’s court.

The dough for choux pastry can be used for a variety of dishes, from French crullers, to beignets, to zeppole and dumplings. There are even chouquettes – a smaller version of choux pastry that is traditionally covered with pearl sugar. Talk about cute! One of our favorite takes is a more savory one, the gougères, or cheese puff -- here's Claire Saffitz whipping some up below.



Image via The French Workshop Instagram page.

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