Monday, August 27, 2012

For Once, No Ugly Ducklings

When Sara and I saw that this challenge tended toward the make-something-attractive side of the baking spectrum, we were skeptical as usual. Apparently, after over 4 years (!) of Daring Bakers challenges, however, our ability to turn out something that looks pretty has improved. We had fun with this one, and while the swans weren't the best tasting thing we've ever had, they were certainly cute.

Pâte à choux is not a very nice dough -- it's goopy, sticky and pretty tasteless. And, as enthusiastic tasters of raw batters and doughs, Sara and I were a bit disappointed with this one, though we really shouldn't be eating raw eggs in the first place.

Nonetheless, piping out the swan heads was fun. As the recipe said, they were a kind of hybrid numeral two/question mark.

Lots and lots and lots of swan heads...

Lots and lots of swan bodies...

Fortunately, my oven behaved itself for this challenge and everything came out perfectly baked.

Here is swan #1 next to the bowl of our Chantilly cream filling. For those not in the know, Chantilly cream is just whipped cream with confectioners sugar. We also threw in a dash of vanilla extract.

Check out this beautiful swan floating on some blueberry "water."

More swans... they're multiplying! No ugly ducklings here.

A whole flock -- which were eaten shortly after this photo was taken. RIP swans.

Thanks for a fun and daring challenge that took us out of our baking comfort zone and forced us to pay attention to making something aesthetically pleasing. I don't know that I will be making these again -- I didn't love the taste -- but Sara and I certainly enjoyed making them this time.

Appropriately enough, we took on this challenge on what would've been Julia Child's 100th birthday (August 15, 2012). Happy birthday, Julia! You are an inspiration to both of us.

Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pate a choux shapes, filled with crème patisserie or Chantilly cream. We were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors allowing our creativity to go wild!


Liz Garcia Cortina (nee Gibson) said...

beautiful! I'm very impressed!

Cat said...

That is a great Julia Child remix!

Kim said...

The swans turned out great, sorry to hear you did not like the flavor so much. If you are interested in giving them a try again you might try a chocolate cream filling or a fruit flavored cream. Regardless yours look great!

What's for dessert? said...

Great idea with blueberry water and beautiful swans

Within the Kitchen said...

Wonderful challenge results!

Renata said...

Love the swans swimming in a pool of blueberries! Great job on the challenge!