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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Swan

With all my pleasure, I would like to try something more challenging for the sake of improving my baking skill. Considering being single gives me a lot of flexibility and free time now. Why not do something fruitful yet enjoyable, like creating these swans?

So I flipped through this favorite book of mine "Le Cordon Bleu Dessert" and settled my eyes on page 173. Such beautiful choux swans. I know if I ever see it in the bakery display I would definitely fall in love with it and never leave without buying at least a pair. So here I go messing up my kitchen all over again, following each and every step out of the book, making adjustments whenever it is necessary for my own convenience, and hoping at the end of the sweats I achieve the desired outcome: swans that are at least adorable? :-)

I would like to dedicate this post to Lisa Michelle of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives for sharing the same "moving on" sentiment. "Let's bake, smile and move on!!" Also to Fitri of Rumah Manis for seeing the brighter side of life. "You rock, girl!"

Makes 10 pieces.

1. Creme Patissiere

- Milk > 350 ml
- Egg yolks > 3.5
- Granulated sugar > 90 grams
- All purpose flour > 18 grams
- Corn flour > 18 grams
- Vanilla essence > 1 teaspoon

- Boil milk in the saucepan. Remove from fire and leave to cool slightly.
- Whip egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Fold in all purpose flour, corn flour, and vanilla powder.
- Slowly pour milk into the egg yolk mixture and combine to form custard.
- Place custard back into saucepan and cook at low heat while stirring continuously until it is thick. Leave to boil for one minute. Keep stirring.
- Pour into shallow container and cover with cling film. Leave to cool.
- When it is cool, beat with electric mixer until smooth. Set aside.

2. Choux

Need 2 baking trays lined with baking paper.

- All purpose flour - sift > 75 grams
- Salt > ½ teaspoon
- Granulated sugar > 8 grams
- Milk > 65 ml
- Water > 60 ml
- Salted butter > 50 grams
- Eggs – beat moderately > 1.5

- Combine sifted flour and sugar. Leave aside.
- Heat water, milk, and butter in a pan until butter is completely melted. Bring to boil.
- Remove from fire immediately. Pour flour and sugar mixture into the boiled milk mixture.
- Stir mixture until forming a paste that leaves the sides of the pan clean. Leave to cool for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven at 200C.
- Fold eggs into paste in a few additions while beating in slow speed.
- When the whole eggs are added, change speed to high and beat until paste becomes smooth and glossy.
- Fill paste into the piping bag fitted with a big star nozzle. For the swan’s body pipe a long teardrop shapes with the length approximately 6 cm. Allow space in between piping. Leave some choux paste for piping swan’s neck.
- Bake at 200C for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 180 degree Celsius and bake for another 5-10 minutes choux is cooked and golden brown. Choux will grow to the length of 8 cm.
- Meanwhile pipe swan’s neck by cutting the tip of the piping bag with a small hole. Pipe number 2 with a long neck and a short pull at the end to form the swan’s beak.
- Bake later at 180C until golden brown.
- Cool both.

3. Assembly

- Crème patissiere > 1 recipe
- Melted chocolate > enough to draw swan’s eyes and beaks
- Icing sugar > just enough for dusting

- Draw eyes and beaks with melted chocolate on the swan’s neck pieces. Leave to set.
- Cut the teardrop choux into half horizontally. For the top piece, halve lengthwise to make wings.
- Fill crème patissiere into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe the lower piece to form the swan’s body. Attach the wings with the wing tips pointing upwards.
- Dust with icing sugar especially the wing area.
- Attach the neck piece to the body.
- Serve with chocolate sauce.


  1. Awww..that was so nice of you to add that dedication. Doing things you love, and learning to love yourself is what makes you happy and stronger, and baking/cooking is definitely something we both love to do.

    Now..your sawns..can I say OMG?? I've made these before, and they looked more like ugly ducklings (check out my patisserie set on, but seeing how stunning yours turned out, makes me want to try again, especially since I've improved my piping skills since then! It's amazing how thin and delicate you got the neck, and the beak is perfect! Too GORGEOUS to eat, but I'd eat them nonetheless!! *HUGS*

  2. I'm so honored, Thank you Kris. that's friend are for, when you are weak,another will cheer you up. :D

    That's beautiful swan I ever seen. You are ROCK, a very talented person.

    Btw, some of my friends organize nice event, if you like to check this : always nice to try everythings and make a new friend too.

  3. I love your choux swans! They are beautiful and adorable--it makes me want to set aside all the orders I need to finish baking and just play and make some too! :)

  4. Thanks, Fit! Yes, that's what friends are for!

    Slfphotography seems like a nice playground!


  5. Lis, I believe you will do great with your swans! Let's wait for your next badge!

    And, yes of course I ate them all :-) That's pretty much the appetite of a food bloggers and I am no exception ...


  6. Thanks, Jill! Okay, let's play and make more swans.... I am sure you will do great with them :-)