We felt it was time to try to add video and here’s the first attempt.  WARNING: very low tech and echo-y sound but we couldn’t wait any longer so my friend Joe appeared one afternoon with a camera and there we are. Like the blog, the videos are a continual work in progress.  Maybe I’ll invest in a microphone!

I chose pate a choux because I had  blogged about it (see this post for finished photos of all the preparations).  Also, it was an easy demo of an easy preparation I want more people to do for themselves.  Steamy recently blogged about it, as have others.

Also, it’s a great recipe for the holidays and entertaining.  You can make the dough ahead and refrigerate till you’re ready to bake.  They make great canapes.  Fill them with a tasty savory or sweet cream.  I may make a curried version next time I do them. They’re delicious sweet and awesome deep-fried (what isn’t?).

The last thing I did with the dough was to mix two parts left over mashed potatoes with one part choux (not equal parts like I say in the video!); I shaped them into cakes, dusted them with flour and fried them.  Fabulous potato pancakes.  (Why do I find myself using the word fabulous with increasing frequency?  It’s one of the few words that is sort of automatically italicized.  Wonder if it’s a sign of some nefarious change in my psyche.)

How ever you use these, use them.  Pate a choux is a great example of how when you know one preparation, you increase your repertoire by a factor of ten.  And it also happens to help you think about cooking more clearly, make connections you might not have made before (like this one, which just occurred to me while writing this. Pate a choux is nothing more than a custard you’ve added flour to).

On my tombstone, please: It’s all one thing.

(In-depth discussion and recipe for pate a choux also in my book, Ratio.)


68 Wonderful responses to “Pâte a Choux Video”

  • Jill U Adams

    okay, so the video quality wasn’t the best, but you’re absolutely right about the recipe. I’m going to try these today!! Looks very easy and very fun.

    Thanks for the animated nudge.

  • Fuzzy

    Wonderful! I love making this, it’s so fun. Usually I try making it mixed with mashed potatoes and then deep fried (pets de nonne?). Unfortunately I’ve had trouble with that ratio- too much potatoes and they just fall apart (big mess) but not enough and they get too airy. What should it be?

  • Shane

    I jsut want to point out that you are the third google result when i search for pate a choux. Nice. I’ll be making some soon.

  • Donna Turner Ruhlman

    The videos are just going to get better—And I’m going to make sure we still get some good pics up there too. I’m going to post some right now on the photo info page.

  • Scordo.com

    Hi Michael,

    I liked the video and also seeing how you use your kitchen! Thanks for the info on the shelvs for your backsplash.

    Hey I love Luxardo; in fact, I did a post on amari after being inspired by Asimov’s article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/25/dining/25pour.html?_r=1&ref=dining , here’s mine: http://www.scordo.com/2009/11/before-and-after-drinks-italian-amari-aperitif-cocktail.html The Capo that’s references is actually made close to my parent’s place of birth in Calabria.


  • Carol Peterman

    Great job, a remote mic will make all the difference. I love making pat a choux, but have never used it for gnocchi. I think I know what might be for dinner tonight.

  • Bob

    The video is fine, a lapel mic is the obvious improvement.

    There was only one edit that was jarring. It’s as you mention parisienne gnocchi, and as you turn towards the stove, the camera is moving as if the photographer was putting it down … and we catch just a split second of that before cutting to your c/u.

    (BTW, I edit for television news.)

  • Russ Brown

    Very informative Michael. It looks like you have a two camera set up going with the reverse angle camera on a tripod and main front camera handheld. You might try the reverse. Lock off the front camera on a master wide and use the roving second camera to get the specific tights. I imagine you get a few cuts later for specific shots but with the suggested set up it might be a bit easier…also be sure to keep your screen direction consistent… just make sure your nose is always facing toward the same side of the screen when going from one camera to the next. I assume Donna is in charge of the video so I have the greatest confidence in your success !! Good Luck !!!!

  • Maria at Fresh Eats

    As one who suggested you start doing video, I’m thrilled. And, as one who has been wanting to make pate a choux forever, and especially since Ratio debuted, I’m even more thrilled. Keep it up!

  • Rhonda

    Michael & Donna (Ruhlmans):
    Congratulations on this latest innovation.

    Adding video is a wonderful idea. In my opinion, the quality of video is fine. I can’t see anything wrong with it. I come here to learn more about technique.

    As I have already made four billion, three hundred and 26 million gourgeres, I am excited to see what comes next on video.

    Is it too early to request a video from Powder on his deep fried Bone Marrow and how to remove the marrow without losing a digit?

    In any event, this is a wonderful addition.

  • Bob

    Oh – and kudos for not going overboard with dissolves/wipes/spins as often happens when people dive into non-linear editing. (This, much to my chagrin, happens in news far too often.)

  • Julie Turner

    Great job… fun video (quality was fine btw)… ok, ok… I’m going to make it. This weekend, I promise!

  • PJ Mullen

    This was great and very informative. I’m anxiously awaiting your ‘Ratios’ book for Christmas. I just made some cheese puffs after watching this video and am going to try the parisene gnocchi in the next few days when I do my dry run Christmas dinner.

  • Colin

    Fun! I think video is a great idea. Seeing the transitions happen in real (or near-real) time is extremely useful: “pulling away from the sides” , integrating the eggs, the boiling of the gnocchi. Too bad we didn’t get to see anything from the finished gougeres.

  • msparksls

    great stuff michael. close-up angles were excellent. this is a great idea! thanks and please continue on with these if possible.

  • Mark from St. Louis

    Very nice Michael! I look forward to more of these videos. And with Festivus coming up (Dec. 23), I’m going to try adding it to my Traditional Festivus meatloaf 🙂

  • Al W

    You know, for a guy who is such a hard ass regarding the use of scales, this was bereft of any weights. Fantastic video, I can think of some techniques in Charcuterie that I’d love to see on video. Keep up the good fight. Thank you, Al W

  • Natalie Sztern

    Michael you are my Julia Child. You made it look so easy and simple that I can’t wait to try it. I so hope more videos of this sort will become the norm…I just loved that it was like being opposite you in the kitchen watching…

    Really truly my Julia Child.

  • Pete from DC

    A great start and looking forward to seeing more! Enjoyed the pop-up reminder about “don’t forget the eggs, Ruhlman” toward the end of the video: that made me laugh… I like sites where the authors can have a sense of humor about their own work!

    And congrats, btw, on “Ad Hoc at Home” selling out (well, on backorder until Feb 2) on Amazon (& Borders.com)! Didn’t those silly publishers listen to you guys about needing to do a larger printing? 😉

  • Natalie Sztern

    I don’t want you to get a swelled head, but i am sitting here thinking that, for me, this was the best teaching video I have seen thus far on the net. Whatever errors you think exist here: I don’t see. And considering i am probably of the audience this is geared to: Easy is about the only word I can say from the way you generated pate a choux and gnocchi…and I never thought it was this easy

  • Bruce Harlick

    Thank you, Michael. Your video was very informative and a great addition to the section on Pate a Choux in your excellent Ratio. I appreciate it.

  • Kate in the NW

    I really appreciate technique videos!!!! I swear – if you put out a DVD set of technique videos to go with Ratio – I’D BUY IT!!!! If you plan to do a bunch of these (which I hope you do), please make a sidebar where we can see them all listed in one place and click on whatever we need to watch.

    And maybe “Fabulous!’ will be your Chef-ly tag-line, like “Bam!’, or, God forbid, “Yummo!”. > ;-}

  • Sarah

    I love it. This recipe requires a visual and you delivered. Simply perfect. I learned a lot in the short time I sat and watched. Thank you.

  • Chuck Shaw

    Hadn’t thought about it since cooking school, but it sounds like something I’ll make for my party on the 19th.

  • eat4fun

    Thanks for the vid… I would think 4 ingredients pate a choux would be so simple. I tried making eclairs and became quite frustrated when the dough didn’t puff as much as I thought it should. I wasn’t sure how much to cook the butter and flour mixture, but you explained what to look for in your vid. Very nice!

  • luanda

    Fabulous indeed! It’s one thing to read about a process (even though you write fabulously), another to actually see the process. And now…. I really will make these.

  • Matt C

    Great stuff! This makes me want to see a Ratio TV show.

    If someone from PBS is reading this, please take note!

  • luis

    Great surprise Michael. This is great you are a natural and this is like everything in life. You practice and practice and you get very very good at it. I want to see more videos. Can’t wait to see you make pizza…

    There is nothing like watching someone actually do it in their kitchen.

    Build your video collection and then burn a dvd.

    And thank you for the Pâte a Choux lesson.

  • Sally Pasley Vargas

    Great video! So glad you are spreading the word on this easy and versatile dough. For another version of the gnocchi (Gnocchi alla Francese): mix with equal parts mashed potatoes (from Russets) and poach as you suggested. Put the gnocchi in a baking dish, cover with tomato sauce and grated Gruyere. Bake until bubbly. The permutations go on and on!!

  • S. Woody

    A side note –

    Contrary to popular belief, straight men are allowed to use the word “Fabulous.”

    “Faboo,” on the other hand, should not be used by anyone. Ever.

  • Liz Larkin

    That looks freakin’ fabulous! (i’m just teasing). Will be trying these – forgot how easy they are to do. Used to make em all the time before kids.

    Question: can you freeze the puffs? (not that they’d last long enough for me to get em in a freezer bag, I am sure, since i’d probably eat em all.)

  • jason

    so cute to see that your wife dresses you for your website headshots and videos.

  • JoP in Omaha

    The video was great. Thanks.

    The gnocci application was of particular interest, reminding me of my attempt to make the dumplings for Ad Hoc At Home’s chicken and dumplings. The dumplings are made from a choux dough. I made the dough correctly, it looked like yours. But my dumplings were dense and doughy. I think I made them too large; they were probably 3 times the size of your gnocci. Can you describe what the texture of the cooked choux gnocci (and hence the dumplings) should be? Thanks.

  • Susan

    Thanks for the video and all the other great stuff you’ve done. I got Ratio from the library this fall and thought it was so good I bought a copy. I used the Pâte a Choux recipe in my culinary class instead of the one we were supposed to use from our textbook and my group’s were the only profiteroles to turn out! It is a great guide for anyone who wants to learn the basics of ratios like I was trying to understand. smw

  • Laura

    Love the video…keep them coming! I have a recipe for Pate a Choux and it called for milk rather than water. How would this change the outcome?

  • Chemist

    Just made these last weekend (inspired by “Ratio”), which was fun and incredibly easy. But the video certainly inspires to explore more uses of the p-a-c.

    Took them to a party where they earned a lot of compliments. Someone wanted to get the recipe, because she tried to make gougeres for thelast ten years and they always would turn out like golf balls…

  • amy

    I had an aha moment watching this. I know baking is a science and for me to be a better baker is the knowledge of ratios…and when you described how to make pate a choux..i got it!! Thank you!. IM going to get your ratio book tomorrow..IM a good baker now..ill be a better baker after.

  • robert

    Hey Michael,
    Well done, you truly made it look as easy and fun as it can be. I’m looking forward to more. suggestion-one of those cool Shamwow headsets!

  • devlyn

    I made pate a choux last night with some parmesan for my knitting club. It’s so simple to make and so “wowing” to those who don’t cook. Can’t wait for the Ratio iPhone app!

  • Lucy

    Question: how long do you bake the puffs at 350F? You said 10-15 min at 450, but you didn’t say how long to bake it at 350F. Thanks.

  • carri

    I just did a class on this for my 13 year old daughter and a college student friend of mine, whom i also gave a copy of Ratio to so she could continue on her culinary studies armed with the best info possible! Such a great thing to have in your repertoire.

  • ruhlman

    jop: dumplings should be tender and light, not doughy.

    cook gougeres for a total of 30 to 45 minutes or to taste (taste them while their cooking!)

  • JoP in Omaha

    Michael, thanks for the info about the dumplings. The next time I try the Ad Hoc chicken and dumplings, I’ll make the dumplings the same size as your gnocci. Seeing the size of the gnocci was a great help. I’m pretty sure my dumplings were way too big, and even cooking them a long time didn’t make them light and tender. Many thanks.

  • Steve C

    A wet paper towel under your cutting board will keep it from sliding around on the counter.

  • Phyllis

    Kitchen tip: Dry your knives immediately after washing them and give them a few strokes on your honing steel before putting them away.

  • paula blum

    Make sure you squeeze all the air out of any dumpling or ravioli when sealing them.

  • Emilie Unkrich

    That video was perfect!
    I bet you will get lots of people making this dough, once they see how simple it is to do!

  • Katie Davis

    My tip:

    If your old oven does not have a legible temperature knob, as mine does, you should get a thermometer and not guesstimate. You will fail miserably if you try. One day, when you’re not broke from planning a wedding or taking impromptu trips to New York City or building a fence to entrap your dogs so they won’t continue to eat your futon, you should buy a new oven with a proper temperature gauge. Then you will know for sure how to position the knob for 350 degrees and won’t burn your chicken pot pie, which is a bit of a sin.

  • Aron Pobereskin

    when peeling vegetables such as carrots or potatoes, peel onto a tray or paper towel to make for an easy clean up

  • Kim

    When you say make ahead and refrigerate, would you go ahead and pipe the dough onto trays and ref that way, or save the ball, bring the dough up to workable temperature and pipe just before baking?

  • Russ

    I’m not going to comment on the quality of the video as you said it’s a first attempt. And it is still head and shoulders better than much of the videos I see online. The subject was a great start. Chox is pretty easy, but not the first time you make it and seeing it mad definately helps. Also Chef Academy on Bravo this week focused on Pate a Chox so it was timed nicely.

    As anybody who has read your books or followed this blog for any length of time knows, you are a STOCK GUY! I would love to see a video on the making of stock. What should it look like, skimming without stirring, Exactly what does a simmer look like. And you could do a time lapse thing from start to finish at the end just for fun.

  • Anthony

    I’m a little confused. I thought you said one cup water, one cup flour and a stick of butter in the video, but the ratio is one past water and eggs and half as much flour and butter. Did I miss something? If eggs are 2 oz. each, with four eggs, that would be 8 oz. eggs…so that’s equal parts for all?

  • Claudia

    Thanks Michael, I’ve made this dough many times, but this just goes to show you can always learn something, and I did (your technique for getting the dough into that plastic bag). I love your blog and enthusiasm for what you’re doing.

  • Bonnibella

    I haven’t been here for a while, Ruhlman…many things have changed! I love love LOVE the video concept. While you may want to improve the production quality, I like it the way it is…especially with the dropped in graphics. Magnificent. 🙂

    So glad I was able to reconnect with your blog…I really need to visit more often. I also love reading Donna’s comments. Hearing her “voice” is another fine addition to the blog.

  • luanda

    Have I forgotten my math? On a previous post, the ingredients listed were: 1 cup water, 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), 1 cup flour, 1 cup eggs(4 large). In the opening shot of the video it was: equal parts water and eggs; 1/2 as much butter and flour. Wouldn’t that make it 1/2 cup flour? Santa has not arrived with my copy of Ratio so I can’t double check your #’s. I started looking @ other recipes and those were really off the wall qty’s. BTW, do you use salted or unsalted butter??