Desserts · Pastry

Choux Swans

Feeling whimsical with sprinkle-bedazzled choux swans. # 286: Choux Swans

Happy February! Is it just me, or did January fly by? I wish I had one more week of January to finish getting ready for 2023. C’est la vie, have a swan.

I saw these in the Bouchon bakery book and they looked so silly and old-fashioned that I had to try them! I can’t find an origin story for them, but they were popular in the 1970s and ideally should be served on a mirrored tray to really lean into the ridiculousness. Cream puffs elegantly folding their wings and floating away – totally normal.

In this time when eggs are precious, I very sadly wasted two on a failed first batch of choux. (I learned that my oven consistently runs 10-15 degrees hotter than it claims it is, leading to slightly burned hockey pucks.) Luckily, I had enough eggs to make a second batch and I tricked my oven into being the right temperature, turning out golden, puffy pockets of air. Second [batch] is the best, right?

Have you ever heard of ruby chocolate? I was first introduced to this pink/purple version of chocolate through Great British Bake Off, but it was still a bit of a mystery. I randomly saw a bar of it for sale in a Croatian grocery store on our honeymoon and had to go for it!

It was launched by a Belgian chocolate company named Callebaut in 2017, and in my opinion tastes like a version of white chocolate. The ingredients are super similar to white chocolate, with the addition of citric acid. Here’s a bit from an article on

“Following the launch in 2017, journalists and other chocolate industry experts speculated that ruby chocolate was in fact made with regular but unfermented cocoa beans (which naturally have red-pinkish colour). Many chocolate experts agree that for the final chocolate product to be pink, the cocoa itself must be very pink to maintain its colour. It’s therefore believed they use fruitier, unfermented cocoa beans treated with acids, to maintain its bright colour. This would make sense as citric acid is listed on the ingredients.”

So basically, it’s white chocolate dressed in millennial pink. I’m glad I got to try it, but not sure it’ll become a regular in my pantry.

Here’s my go-to choux from batch #2. Should I make every line rhyme? It would take me about a year to do each post but might be worth it.

A half-recipe makes the perfect amount! About 8-9 large puffs, or a dozen smaller ones. Oo now I’m dreaming about how yum they would be with savory fillings, like chicken salad. I think I need to go make some lunch, brb.

Whip the dough for at least a minute or two before adding the eggs so it can let off a lil steam. Literally.

Chilled and ready to rumble.

Cutie squiggles thanks to the French star pastry tip.

Some of these swans have been to the gym and others clearly have not.

The dish towel curtains part to reveal the Oven Theater’s production of “The Taming of the Choux.”

I’ll spare you the sight of the first batch. . . Let’s focus on how happy these ones are!

Pastry cream time.

I was really hoping the pink color would translate, but no such luck. It’s more like a gentle lavender, if anything.

Melted, the chocolate looked more like a plum. Where did my pastel pink go?

Sprinkles to the rescue!

Whipped cream transforming the filling into a diplomat cream for our fancy pastry flock.

Really into whatever design is happening on these wings. You go, swan!

Happy munching!

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