Spent the day working with some of the many beautiful possibilities with choux pastry. Below, are a half-sheet of eclairs and profiteroles-to-be. The ones I piped are on the left. See the fat tails and lopsided rounds? My teammate Nicole piped the other half.
This is what you do with day-old choux pastry...add cheese, and voila, you have gougeres, aka cheesy puffs. Here they've been formed into the traditional quenelle shape using two spoons. They were a welcome snack at 11:30, as none of us had had breakfast. See how big and poufy they get once baked?
Chef did a centerpiece, or entremet, which is three rings of choux pastry (two on bottom, a third on top), topped with egg wash and raw sliced almonds. What you are looking at, ladies and gentlemen, is a Paris-Brest, thus dubbed for its inception on a train between the two cities. It will be sliced in half and filled with pastry cream.
And finally, a little demonstration in decor possibilities. Profiteroles topped with fondant, some coffee eclairs, Myer's rum-infused and caramel-topped salambo, and a sugar-crusted "S" filled with creme chantilly and jam. Which one did I like best? The S. All the others were either too sweet from the fondant, or had too much alcohol, but the S was light, crunchy, fluffy, and had a tang from the jam. Perfect.