This month's Daring Bakers Challenge filled me with excitement the second it was posted. Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pâté à choux shapes, filled with crème pâtissiére 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!
For me, there was no choice other than swans. I have been wanting to make these for a while but never found the excuse. What a perfect excuse this was.
These are a lot easier to construct than you may think. First, you bake the choux. I piped the swan necks and bodies, then used wet hands to shape some tails and beaks on them. Then all you have to do is slice the bodies lengthways, then chop the tops in half. Just like making butterfly cupcakes.
I filled the bases with vanilla crème pâtissiére.
Then I stuck the necks on and piped some vanilla Chantilly cream to give the wings a bit of volume. I made the cream with a little vanilla bean paste to make it extra special.
Then all you have to do is place the wings on top and you have yourself a lovely swan.
I served these guys on plates of blueberry jelly to give them a little pond to swim in.
The shiny surface of the jelly also gave the swans a life-like reflection on the surface of the "water".
But of course I had to take things one step further. I made some white and black swans to pay tribute to one of my favourite ballets (Swan Lake) as well as my favourite ballet movie (Black Swan). Black swans (Cygnus atratus) was also the very first species I studied as an undergraduate Zoologist, so either way they were definitely going to make an apperance.
These are made the same way as the above swans, only I dipped them in chocolate before assembly.
As I neared the end of the batch and the chocolate began to set and thicken, I ended up with some pretty cool patterns.
I gave the batch of swans to my sister to take to her teaching placement. They were a total hit. I'm sure she made some new friends very quickly.
Here's how you can make your own flock of delicious swans.
Filled Pâte à Choux Swans
Vanilla Crème Pâtissiére
Vanilla Crème Pâtissiére
Make sure you have measured out all your ingredients before beginning this recipe: you will need them all on hand immediately.
You'll find the printable version of this recipe here.
20 thoughts on “Daring Bakers: Filled Pâté à Choux Swans”
Daring Bakers Swans
Your swans turned out great. And what a lucky sister you have to get to take them to her teaching assignment. They look great, and the vanilla bean cream sounds like a perfect addition! Kim at askafoodie.blogspot.com
Re: Daring Bakers Swans
Thank you! She was definitely chuffed when I said they were all hers haha.
Beautiful swans: Black and white chocolate swans are awesome
Thank you. 😀 The chocolate coated ones were the first to go!
They look amazing!
Thank you. 😀 They were lots of fun.
These look great at every step of the process. Even without the pastry wings put back on, they would have looked great. I never saw these (in person) with the jelly, but that was very inventive too.
Nice job! You got some great shapes out of the pastry.
Eventually! Haha. I’m only disappointed I didn’t have them ready for when you were over.
They were still very impressive when I saw/had them. And I’ve seen the final result in the photos.
Oh my gosh, you went all out – vanilla bean paste in the filling sounds amazing and the chocolate dipped swans look gorgeous. Really amazing work.
Re: Beautiful Swans!
Thank you. 😀 The vanilla bean paste definitely gave it an extra kick – it was hard to not eat the cream right out of the bowl!
Wow, your swans are so beautiful, and the ones coated in chocolate are so inviting! Amazing job on the challenge! Great pics!
Thank you so much! ♥
Those patterns from the chocolate are beautiful. It’s like they have feathers. These certainly came out fantastic!
Here’s to the next challenge!
These are beautiful!
Thank you. ♥
The chocolate covered swans look soooo good! Yum! Great in-process photos 🙂
You did a brilliant job on this challenge
I love the idea of dipping the swans in chocolate (love that ballet too), I need to do that next time.
The blue plate was a beautiful touch by the way
Putting chocolate on the swans…. GENIUS!