TWD – Not so Peppermint Cream Puff Ring

June 18, 2008

This week’s recipe comes from Caroline of A Consuming Passion.  I’ve been wanting to try to make pate a choux since I saw it on Good Eats ages ago, now I have the chance.  I do not, however, enjoy peppermint.  No.  That’s an understatement… I loathe peppermint.  The smell, the taste, the feel.  All terrible.  I get nauseated when I eat it.  Maybe I’m allergic…

At any rate, I knew a Peppermint Ring was out, but, luckily, the mint was only in the filling and Dorie gave some alternatives.  Being a citrus lover I knew I would go with a Lemon Cream filling.  Now this filling could only come after three (in my opinion) failures at the dough.

Now, it came together fine.  I boiled it until it was a ball.  I mixed my eggs in one by one.  I squeezed it into a ring and (on the first attempt) into eclairs and rolls.  I baked them for a total of 45 minutes.  Each time they came out browned and firm and puffed up.


And everytime… after leaving them in the kitchen to cool… I came back to a deflated ring.  It looked a bit like a large donut that someone sat on.  So, I tried a second time.  Same result.  I looked up Alton Brown’s recipe on footnetwork.com.  He had a suggestion of puncturing the choux after it came out of the oven to let the steam escape and stop the dough from going soggy.

Eureka! I thought.  This the problem!  If I puncture the dough when I take it out, all will be well and my ring will be lovely.  So, into round three I went.  I did everything I was supposed to.  I turned the oven down after 15 minutes.  I even baked it an extra 5 minutes to be sure it was done.  As soon as it came out, I took a paring knife and punctured the ring in several places.  The crust was so nice and firm!  But, alas, when I returned from letting it cool…

Pate A Choux pancake

Voila! A Pate A Choux Pancake! That’s right, flat again.

I don’t know what the issue is but I’m thoroughly frustrated.  I never got to the lemon cream.  What’s the point of making it, if your pastry won’t be able to hold the weight?

I’ll give it a day or two, and maybe I’ll have another go.


  1. Aw what a shame! Good on you for persevering tho! I’d love to know how the lemon goes! Hx

  2. Hey, I think at this point it is safe to give up without beating yourself up! My ring deflated too–although the puffs and eclairs stayed aloft. But they didn’t taste good anyway. So just move on the the mixed berry cobbler, and hopefully that will be a dream!

  3. Applause for you for trying it three times! I hope the lemon cream makes up for it.

    If you do decide to try these again, you might consider changing the flour you use. I’ve read in several places that you’ll get the best results with a high-gluten flour, like bread flour.

    Hope the cobbler goes better — berries and biscuit dough, mmm.

  4. Perhaps the pastry wasn’t in the oven long enough? Kudos you didn’t give up. And the pastry is only the medium for lots of filling. Good luck with the filling

    Ulrike from Küchenlatein

  5. do try it again…if it deflates, no biggie – just fill it up anyway – it’s sooo good! i think the eclaris looks especially good on your post – hang in there!

  6. sorry you had so many problems, esp since lemon cream sounds delightful. give it another try, this time baking even longer. it really needs to be SUPER brown.

  7. Lemon cream sounds lovely. If you do try again, let us know how it turns out.

  8. I also love the idea of the lemon cream. And I have no advice on the deflating pastry… I’ve had similar problems and never been able to figure out what I’m doing wrong.

  9. what oven do you cook eclairs in ?

  10. My oven is just a basic came-with-our-house gas oven.

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