Can you replace the butter in pate a choux with ricotta or farmer's cheese?

I read that you can make marillenknodel with pate a choux, but the dough was quite sticky tonight, so I thought maybe I would try cheese like many of the recipes that I have seen in german (although the internet says that I can use choux...)

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nogaga
nogaga May 25, 2011

Hmm.... Pate a choux can be a bit sticky, though it would be unusual after baking. I don't think substituting cheese is necessarilly the way to go, expecially if you plan on making in over the stove-top in the traditional way of making pate a choux. I'm afraid you run the risk of ending up with a huge gloppy mess. Maybe you just needed some extra flour?

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LucyS
LucyS May 25, 2011

I have made great cheese puffs using choux paste, but the cheese (and any other flavorings) are added after you make the choux paste and taken it off the heat. I think the butter is pretty much essential. Instead of substituting, I would make a very thick choux paste, and the stir in the cheese after it's done and you've taken it off the heat. Stir the cheese in about 1/4 cup at a time, and don't add the next bit until it's all incorporated. It's a bit of an arm workout but stick with it! Also, I'm not sure how a soft cheese like ricotta or farmers' cheese would change the texture - I've only used shredded gruyere - you might get a softer choux paste at the end. Good luck!

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ChefJune
ChefJune May 25, 2011

Pate a choux with cheese added is called "Gougere" in French. And you definitely stir in the cheese after the butter has been incorporated. I'm afraid the whole texture would change if you subbed out ricotta.

On the other hand, you could try it and see if you like how it turns out. Please be sure to let us know if you do that. That's how new (and sometimes great) dishes come into being!

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ChefDaddy
ChefDaddy May 25, 2011

First off the paste is an emulsion. Your not going be able to build an emulsion with out the use pure fat. Also, they would not get crispy.

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boulangere
boulangere May 25, 2011

ChefDaddy is correct, frannycakes. Choux paste is an odd emulsion, but it is one. I like LucyS's suggestion to really stiffen it. You'd do that by boosting the flour content in the first place, maybe by 20% Then turn the paste into the bowl of a stand mixer and start adding the yolks after the paste is cool. Stop adding them maybe when the paste is still on the too stiff to pipe end of things, then start adding ricotta in sort of yolk-sized amounts until it does reach a piping consistency.

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ChefDaddy
ChefDaddy May 25, 2011

@boulangere-Great idea!

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frannycakes
frannycakes May 26, 2011

Thanks for all the input. I tried with the ricotta in place of the butter, and it almost worked. It might have even held up making eclairs. But it was even stickier than my last batch.

I added the ricotta at the end and it actually worked perfectly. I am going to try changing up my flour blend a little (I bake gluten free, so it is a blend of 4 flours) and see if that changes much...but for now, they worked and turned out delicious!

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boulangere
boulangere May 26, 2011

Oh good for you. It's all a science experiment!

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