Baking | Filled Pate a Choux Swans – Daring Bakers, Ugly Ducklings and Swans

“I believe that every human has a finite number of heartbeats and I don’t intend to waste any of mine.”
Neil Armstrong

Filled Pate a Choux SwansWhen the pastry turned from ugly ducklings into swans it was definitely an ‘almost missed a heartbeat’ moment!  Ever since I got these gorgeous glasses from Urban Dazzle, I thought coffee filled pate-a-choux drizzled with melted chocolate would look beautiful in them! Fancy getting to the Daring Bakers rather late this month, and finding one of the easiest pastries ever but with a delightful challenge woven in –  Filled Pate a Choux Swans!

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!

 Filled Pate a Choux SwansIt was a strange coincidence that I’d been thinking choux pastry the last few weeks and knew I HAD to make the swans even though they did look a little formidable. My only concern was the pastry creme filling, given the hot and humid weather these days. However, the month passed in a heartbeat {what is it with time these days?} and the challenge got left behind!Filled Pate a Choux SwansThen 2 days ago at Veda for a Delhi Bloggers Table meet, the very talented and sweet {wickedly so if I may add} food blogger and fellow Daring Baker Ruchira fished out a pastry bag clandestinely and whispered, “Have got these. How much do I snip to get the necks right? Mine are just not piping OK!”Monsoons in IndiaYou need a trigger sometimes … sometimes stronger than Mr PABs persistent prod when he doesn’t see a show stopper by the 25th of any month. This was it! The next evening it was choux pastry time, done in minutes by the ever efficient Thermomix! The weather has been REALLY drippy and wet the past week, and all of last night too {the pic above is from this morning}. Humidity is HIGH … and crisp pastry proved elusive.Filled Pate a Choux SwansThe arty daughter decided to pipe a few swan necks too, and got the one that looks the best! See…Filled Pate a Choux Swans Made the pastry cream last night {Thermomix again, 7 minutes and done} … and just as my DB alarm rings out loud on my phone, I am hitting the keyboard while the pictures download! Breathless as always, so much to do and so little time … but I got there! Thank you for the inspiration Ruchira @ Cookaroo!Filled Pate a Choux SwansI loved the way these came out … whimsical, charming, romantic like a fairytale! Much like the ugly duckling story we read when we were little. I would have liked to whip some home made mascarpone that I had left over into the pastry cream, but there was no time!Filled Pate a Choux SwansFilled Pate a Choux SwansPate a choux is one of the simplest and lightest pastries to make – think chooclate eclairs, think Croquembouche, think profiteroles, think cream, puffs or think gougères. One delightful, light as air, crisp golden puff and so much variety. I love that you need very basic ingredients, a strong arm and you are good to go!Filled Pate a Choux SwansThe Thermomix Cookbook had a choux recipe in there, so my work was easy! The tough part was the waiting to see if the necks came out good, if the piped out ‘poopy‘ shapes made the ugly ducklings into swans, if the crème patisserie  would hold. Worked a charm! The swans remind me of Tchaikovskys Ugly Duckling … a ballet we attached on TV several times as kids; the LP would play forever at home!

Thank you Katand thank you as always Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for hosting this fab kitchen!! Do stop by here and check out some more fabulous swan songs!!!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India
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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  1. Deeba, you’re phenomenal! I wish I could accomplish a challenge in such short time and with fabulous results. Your girl is indeed talented! Your photos are wonderful, as always! Congrats on the great job!
    Renata´s last blog post ..CISNES & CARANGUEJOS (PÂTE À CHOUX)My Profile

  2. Oh beautiful.
    Words fail me at such times.
    You are an artist I told you na !!!!
    sangeeta khanna´s last blog post ..Can we use an app to track our food and health goals?My Profile

  3. So pretty! You did a great job here.



  4. Simply gorgeous …. truly a work of art !!!
    Smita´s last blog post ..Magical YellowMy Profile

  5. Beautiful swans! Perhaps next time I make them I can borrow your daughter to pipe my necks for me?!?
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes´s last blog post ..Peaches and Cream Crumble Top PieMy Profile

  6. Such beautiful swans. What gorgeous necks. How you can possibly call me your inspiration I don’t get. YOU are the inspiration. I might have been the egger. :)

  7. I remember when I w in high-school on a trip to Quebec City. We stayed at the Chateaux Frontenac and pate choux swans wee on the dessert sideboard.
    belllii´s last blog post ..Waffle Iron Shredded Hash Browns and Maple Glazed Bacon for Slow SundaysMy Profile

  8. woww.. these are phenomenal!! they look so graceful.. have called everyone around me to have a look at them!!!

  9. Very very beautiful swans. Glad you made them, they make me swoon.
    indugetscooking´s last blog post ..Hyderabadi Dum BiryaniMy Profile

  10. Deeba, if the swans are so gorgeous how can someone eat them!!!

  11. your swans look so beautiful….now I am thinking that I too should have given them a try
    Himanshu @ The White Ramekins´s last blog post ..Nutella Eclairs…Pâte à Choux for Daring BakersMy Profile

  12. Quite stunning with all the elegance of a real swan, well done to you.

  13. They look absloutley adorable.
    Happy Cook / Finla´s last blog post ..Filled Pate A Choux Swans Daring Bakers August 2012My Profile

  14. Well done Deeba. Just beautiful!

  15. Awesome this looks soo cute and attractive..Thanks for the Recipe dear..

  16. Gorgeous pictures, very impressiv! Do I stop vanilla in your pâte à choux?
    marilyne_k´s last blog post ..Daring Baker – August 2012 Challenge: Filled Pâte à Choux SwansMy Profile

  17. There is absolutely no way I could ever make those. That’s too bad too because I bet the ladies would really eat ’em up, both literally and figuratively!
    Johnny´s last blog post ..Another Mobile Wallet? Are You Kidding?My Profile

  18. They are superb!!! Well done! Beautiful photos too!
    Marjorie (Sugar for the Brain)´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers: Filled Pate a Choux SwansMy Profile

  19. Pictures are beautiful and your swans are perfect!
    What’s for dessert?´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers August 2012 – Filled pâte à choux swans challengeMy Profile

  20. Your swans are gorgeous! Excellent work.
    Nichole´s last blog post ..I finally faced my fear of pastryMy Profile

  21. Hahahaha! Waiting to see if the piped poopy shapes will puff up – it’s so true! :) You did an absolutely beautiful job and your swans look lovely.
    Shelley C´s last blog post ..August Daring Bakers’ Challenge – Pate A Choux SwansMy Profile

  22. These are beautiful. Well Done!
    Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie)´s last blog post ..Sunday Morning and no food in the houseMy Profile

  23. Absolutely a show-stopper Deeba!! Your choux swans look so very graceful and beautiful! Pastry cream in crisp choux pastry, yum!! I am inspired to try making these, hopefully successfully!
    Suma Rowjee´s last blog post ..Crispy Baked Onion RingsMy Profile

  24. omygod Deeba these look absolutely amazing and beauty
    gloria´s last blog post ..Berries lemon and thyme muffins with crumbleMy Profile

  25. Start to Finish only one word – Stunning!!
    Runnergirlinthekitchen´s last blog post ..Guava Juice – Low on calories, high on health!My Profile

  26. Super cute and fabulous swans..
    Priya´s last blog post ..Homemade Masala Fish FryMy Profile

  27. Bookmarking this….those swans took my breath away!!! :-)
    mj@cardamomhills´s last blog post ..Inspired by WINTER MELON PANNA COTTAMy Profile

  28. Deeba you are a talented food artist.These swans are perfect.
    There are couple of thing which i can’t follow in the recipe ,firstly did you use the egg whites too in the creme
    patisserie and secondly when do you add the low fat creme into the creme.

  29. Awesome job on the challenge !! it was such a lovely challenge enjoyed working on it. Thxs to your post that motivated me to work on it….i was not going to do this month’s challenge …till i saw this !! had to taste how these swans look
    turmericnspice´s last blog post ..Filled Pate A Choux Swan – Daring Baker Challenge August-2012My Profile

  30. Just can’t stop swooning over these swans … coming over to this post 4th time just to see these beauties :-)
    Rekha Kakkar´s last blog post ..Nine Foods In My Freezer That Always Help me to Eat HealthyMy Profile

  31. Lovely…

  32. What a great job! I really like pâte a choux. Delicious!
    Helene´s last blog post ..Grilled Brie and Apple Sandwich – Kronenbourg 1664 Beer reviewMy Profile

  33. Nice job! Reminds me of culinary school.

  34. kouky says:

    lovely swan!!!

  35. Gorgeous! Perfect! I have to tell you that when we lived in the suburbs outside of Paris, right on the edge of a huge forest, we put on our rubber boots one Sunday for a long trek through the forest, JP and I, the 2 boys (then in grade school) and the dog. We tromped through the trees, through mud, over paths and in and out of the trees, always hunting for chestnuts or mushrooms. And when we got about halfway to wherever Jp was dragging us, we were exhausted. But he said “wait, there is a bakery down this path. Who wants a treat?” and he left and came back with – whipped cream-filled choux swans. What a delight! They’ve always been his absolute favorite and sadly bakeries here make them less and less. They used to be fairly common; no longer. And I’ve sworn I would make them at home but haven’t yet. Yours do inspire me!
    Jamie´s last blog post ..TWELVE LOAVES CHEESE & BACON FOCACCIAMy Profile

  36. Wonderful !!!!!!!!! I like your creation. It is also delicious and yummy. Thanks for sharing……….
    Hemlata @´s last blog post ..Heroine’s Halkat Jawani SongMy Profile

  37. I’ve never been the baker in my family, but my mouth is watering and I am truly inspired. Pastry chefs, look out! Thanks for sharing such beautiful photos.
    Katb.´s last blog post ..Don’t Become a Statistic to House FireMy Profile

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