I’ve made choux paste so many times. In fact, I think I have more choux paste recipes than I have cake recipes. It’s probably because of how delicate and wonderful choux is. It’s slightly crispy on the outside but melts in your mouth as soon as you take a bite. Whether you make churros with your choux paste, éclairs, or something else delectable, it’s guaranteed to be delectable. Since if you’re making something delectable, it has to be delectable to be delectable, if you catch my drift. It’s also because the golden rule of baking is that if it’s made with choux it’s made with awesome. Yeah, the golden rule of baking is much better than the golden rule of life – you know, the one that says do onto others as you’d like them to do onto you. This one involves choux paste after all.
Choux paste is pretty easy to make but it can look really impressive. It’s essentially just boiling water with some butter, stirring in flour, and then beating in a few eggs. The real magic of choux is in the oven, where it expands from tiny dollops of an off-white paste to large puffs of perfection.
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Funnel cake is one of my favourite carnival treats. Funnel cake is made with either pancake batter, or choux paste, poured through a funnel into hot oil. That’s why it’s called funnel cake. It’s not because it’s funnel-flavoured. While using pancake batter is definitely quicker, and far more efficient if you run a restaurant (you could make pancakes, waffles, and funnel cakes all from the same batter) choux paste is the tastier alternative that results in a fluffier and lighter funnel cake. While choux paste can be a bit harder to make, if you’re looking for a gourmet carnival treat, it’s the way to go. If you’re looking for a less delicious option, feel free to use pancake batter.
I’m a big fan of funnel cake. Whenever I go to the local amusement park (which also happens to be the largest in Canada) I always spend time standing behind a glass wall that lets park visitors see how the funnel cakes are made. First, the batter is cooked in hot oil until it turns golden brown. Then, the funnel cake is dusted with icing sugar, topped with strawberries, and served with soft-serve ice cream. I’ve stood behind that window countless times. Well, not countless, but let’s just say I didn’t count.
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