Much Ado About Choux

Today was my second go at choux pastry. The first time around I made some decent buns, but I didn’t have the ingredients to make a filling. I had also spooned out those first buns instead of piping them out into nice looking shapes. Today I tackled the same basic recipe with a piping bag and multiple tips at the ready.

That is where the organization ended. This is also a time when I realized that pretty pictures of food just isn’t my thing. You’ll be getting the unvarnished, and often times poorly lit, photos of my bakes in progress. Learning to bake is messy. Having kids in the kitchen is messy. I am generally messy.

So I went for a cinnamon sugar variation on this basic recipe in The Great British Bake Off Everyday cookbook (it is on page 200).

So far so good. It’s shiny and smooth!

Instead of the white chocolate coffee mousse they suggested I made a chocolate coffee mousse. I’m just not a huge fan of white chocolate. That recipe is on page 198, if you’re  up for looking.

I should have known I did it wrong when I had more than the recipe said.

Right out of the oven I could tell I piped them too small. They were dried out and tasty, but filling was going to be a problem. A big problem. Also, my daughter decided that this moment was a great time to wash all of her tea set dishes-she ruined her singing tea pot but I’m not sad about that.

This is what baking with a 3 year old is like.

The mousse, like the buns, tasted great, but I failed horribly at the execution. It was all the fail. The buns were too small to get the mousse in. The tip on my piping bag was too big. And I suck at piping. I just do. I got more mousse on my hands, my stove top, and a little on my floor. After trying to fill each bun I had more left in the bag than made it into any of the pastry. The flavors were on point, but I won’t be winning any contests with the look of those beasts.

This took a lot of clorox wipes to clean up

Yummy, but not sturdy. Or well filled. Or pretty.


Cinnamon Sugar Choux Buns with Chocolate Coffee Mousse

I’ve included my variations which I applied to the GBBO recipe. You can’t go wrong with their awesome recipe, but if you want to be brave and experiment with me give my version a try. Let me know how it turns out; maybe someone can help me not suck at filling pastry. Which ever way you go, pipe the buns larger than you think you need, especially if it is your first time filling something.


Here is the place where I laud or lament my equipment. The Kitchen Aide stand mixer is must. I never used one growing up, so I thought it was superfluous. Damn it I was wrong. This mixer is my kitchen work horse and I want to hug it every day. I only wish I had one more bowl. I’ve got one bowl for the mixer and often times I have to wash it between steps. Go big, buy the second bowl.

Things I hate. My piping bag. I shouldn’t whine, I got it for free from my mom after she realized she hated making macarons. It is silicon and has all these tip attachments, and it should be awesome. It is not. It is always a mess and it is a pain to clean. Or maybe I’m just bad at using it. Who knows. Next time I try to pipe I’m just going to buy a whole bunch of those disposable ones and call it a day.

Happy Baking


Choux Part Deux

Last week I made my first attempt at choux buns. Things went well for a first try, but I didn’t have the ingredients to make a filling for them. Today I’m going to attempt some filled pastry, since I was organized enough to remember to buy heavy whipping cream.

The chocolate pastry was light and not too sweet, which went well with the chocolate sauce I made. I was shocked to see the Center was hallow-just like it supposed to be-on my very first try.

This afternoon I’ll post and update and a recipe for my second attempt. My OBGYNs office will be getting the bulk of them during my surgical consult today. Wish me luck on both fronts.

Happy baking!

Halloween Candy Leftovers

The weeks after Halloween, but before Thanksgiving, are an absolute nightmare. I overbought our candy, plus my daughter is cute, so every fucking house in the neighborhood gave her a ton of candy. We ended Halloween with more candy than when we started. The problem here is my totally lack of self control; I am that guilty kid with a constant chocolate glaze on my face.


Staring down this beastly pile of candy I decided to do something useful with them-bake cookies! I dug through my books and opted for a vegan recipe to bastardize. Check out my version of the Vegan with a Vengeance Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe.

Halloween Candy Leftover Cookies


3/4 cup margarine (I like Smart Balance)
1/4 cup applesauce
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 TB molasses
1 TB vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 Tb baking soda
1 Tb salt
1 1/2 cups chopped up chocolate halloween candy (if you want the cookies to be vegan then use vegan chocolates)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350
  2. Take all that leftover Halloween Candy that you don’t want to be caught eating and chop it up. From experience I say avoid anything with a wafer, they just taste kind of gross when baked into something else.
  3. Cream together (in your stand mixer or with a wooden spoon and your ripped muscles) the margarine, applesauce and sugar. I use SmartBalance because cholesterol.
  4. Add in the molasses and the vanilla. I usually err on the side of more vanilla because I love it, but don’t over do. You’ll know if you’ve overdone if there is an alcohol burn. Save that for the weekend.
  5. Mix in all the dry ingredients until there are no dry patches.
  6. Mix in the halloween candy. The finer you’ve chopped the candies the easier it will be dispersed.
  7. Spoon onto a foiled cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or if you have my crap oven 10-15 minutes.

Baking from Scratch

Like a lot of other kids who grew up in the 90s my family didn’t make many things from scratch. This isn’t a knock on anyone, but the truth. We grew up in that amazing time of pop tarts, every kind of snack in a disposable package, and ready made mixes. I remember the first time we bought cookie dough in the giant tub in the freezer section at Costco. And then of course I would sneak into the kitchen and eat some raw because YOLO.

Things a bit different. One, in older and words like cholesterol and diet have entered my lexicon. I also struggle with anxiety disorder. Magically, baking seems to have found its way into my life. I love to snack-my arteries don’t love it. But the process of making something from nothing, with my hands, soothes my nerves. Plus, I can better control what goes into the food, taking better control of my health. Snacks. Calmness. Happy Heart. Triple win.

So here I am. Learning to bake, eating some good, and some awful, stuff, and sharing what I learn as I go along. Be prepared for poor quality kitchen photos, details on my almost 4 year old daughter eating all my raw ingredients, a list of foods I drop on my infant sons’ head while he’s in the Ergo, and my constant struggles with a smoky oven that never makes it to the right temperature.


Along with recipes and books I like, I will make sure to share decent gadgets I find and places we eat. Also, failure. More than a blog about baking and eating, here is my blog and trying and sometimes failing.

Happy Baking!