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From: Bryanna (
Subject:         Re: substitute for PÂTE Ŕ CHOUX ?
Date: November 2, 2005 at 11:20 am PST

In Reply to: substitute for PÂTE Ŕ CHOUX ? posted by rikjog on November 2, 2005 at 7:54 am:

Chef Deb posted a recipe on her board before, but it didn't work for me, and I read some other posts by people who had similar experiences. Cream puffs, made with Choux pastry, or Pâte ŕ choux (pronounced paht ah shoo), really depend upon the eggs for lightness AND structure.

Not to be TOTALLY dismissive, however, here is what I would try-- Chef Deb suggested splitting a vegan doughnut and filling it. Take this one step further and make a vegan yeasted, or raised, doughnut-- yeasted doughnuts are light and airy and crispy outside. Make it whatever shape you want, allowing for expansion. Cool on racks and cut and fill. There's a recipe at the bottom of this post, but you could easily veganize your favorite raised doughnut recipe.

From Vegan Chef Beverly Lynn Bennett, who agrees with me about this:

I really miss eclairs and cream puffs, which I used to make frequently, but all of my vegan attempts (Ener-G, Egg-Not) have been dismal failures. What is it about eggs that makes these things puffy? Would yeast work? Baking soda and vinegar? Help!

I have never heard of a vegan recipe for cream puffs, and personally I wouldn't even know where to begin to convert such a recipe. They contain very few ingredients: flour, fat, milk, and eggs, basically, and each plays their part in their "puffy" appearance. It's a challenge to replace such a large quantity of eggs in a recipe. It seems that the heat of the oven coagulates the gluten and egg proteins to set the structure and make the product firm on the outside. The dough is leavened during the baking process by steam which expands the product quickly and forms the large holes in the center of it. Like a soufflé, there is such a large quantity of eggs needed for a "puffy mass" that I wouldn't even know where to begin to attempt to duplicate such an item, therefore, I can't help you much with your inquiry. If you want to experiment, try starting with yeast, and maybe add vital wheat gluten or barley flour (also for color) to help with the structure, beyond that, I'm as stumped as you are.

Here's a description of making classic choux pastry (from

"Pâte ŕ Choux is the only pastry dough that cooked on the stove before baking. A critical factor in preparation of it is the establishment of a stable emulsion, done when it's precooked on the stove to form a gelatinized mixture. Then during baking, the eggs make the pastry puff into irregular domes they become crispy and golden brown.

Choux is made by boiling water and butter together, then adding all-purpose flour and salt. Sometimes a small amount of sugar in the dough adds flavor and helps in browning. When the butter is melted and the mixture just begins to boil, the flour is added all at once and stirred continuously until it comes away from the sides and forms a ball.

Cook the flour, butter and water paste, flattening and turning the ball of dough against the sides of the pan, drying the paste as much as possible. The bottom of the pan will be lightly filmed with the paste. The whole process will take about 5 minutes of continuous beating. To avoid overcooking the paste and letting the fat separate out, when it reaches this stage, remove from heat.

The eggs are then beaten into the cooked mixture or "panade", one by one thinning it, contributing leavening power and completing the emulsification. This is formed due to the lecithin in the egg yolk of the eggs...

The Pâte ŕ choux dough is then quickly spooned by the rounded teaspoonfuls or piped into puffs (about 1-1/2 inches in diameter and dropped onto a parchment paper or silpat mat lined sheet. Leave 2" between the puffs to permit spreading. Do not grease a metal pan, the grease will cause the dough to flatten.

The Pâte ŕ choux dough is baked immediately to ensure the greatest expansion and lightness. When baked, the dough crusts on the outside when the starches in the flour and proteins in the egg coagulate. During baking, the crust traps steam inside, generated from the moisture in its ingredients. It is this principle, that causes them to become inflated, hollow and stay puffy if properly baked. The salt in the recipe keeps them from cracking.

The Pâte ŕ choux is baked until has a outside that is crisp and fairly dry, with an all over golden color (not just on the tops, but up the sides). A properly baked choux retains its puffy shape, with a hollow interior. When broken apart, it should have a slightly moist crumb on the inside..."

Now, EnerG egg replacer cannot do this-- it's just a few starches with a little leavening added, so it can work for cakes and muffins, etc., but does not contain the protein and lecethin that eggs have. Flaxseed "glop" LOOKS like egg white, but it doesn't have the same qualities. I've tried all sorts of combinations, using some gluten flour for structure, egg replacer for leavening, tofu for protein, etc., but I've come to the conclusion that this is just something vegans have to do without!


1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup soy milk, warmed
Egg replacer equivilant to 2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp mace
Oil for frying

2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup hot water Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring the remaining water to a boil. Add the shortening and sugar and stir until the shortening has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from heat and LET IT COOL (very important!!!). When it is cooled, add the yeast and warm soy milk. Stir in the egg replacer and 2 cups of flour. Beat well. Add 2 more cups of flour and the salt and mace. Mix well. Add the flour slowly. Only add enough to make a soft and manageable dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, cover and let it rise until doubled in bulk. (about an hour).

Punch the dough down. On a lightly floured surface roll it out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut out doughnuts with a 2 inch cutter. Place the doughnuts on waxed paper or a greased baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Make holes in 'em with your finger if you feel the need. Let them rise for 1 hour.

Heat the oil to 370 degrees in a skillet or deep fryer. Fry 3 doughnuts at a time, until golden on each side. Drain on paper towels. Prepare the glaze or roll in sugar to coat.

To make the glaze, mix the ingredients until smooth in a shallow bowl. While the doughnuts are hot, coat all sides in the glaze

I found this online, but it didn't work for me!



1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vegan sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (or baking powder)
2 tablespoons vegan margarine (such as Spectrum)
equivalent of 4 eggs (2 tablespoon egg replacer whipped until stiff with 1/3 cup water)
1 cup soymilk

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare baking sheet--either parchment paper or a non-stick pan. Prepare egg-replacer. Stir together flour, sugar, salt, cream of tartar. In a sauce pan (non-stick works well), bring the soymilk and margarine to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the flour all at once, and reduce heat to low. Stir constantly until the dough forms a ball that pulls away from the pan and the spoon and is glossy and smooth. Working quickly, remove from heat and add the egg replacer, about a third at a time, beating well after each addition until the dough is glossy, smooth, and pulls away from the pan.

Shape the puffs as desired--I made mini-puffs about a rounded teaspoon each. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower heat to 350 for another 10 minutes, then turn off oven and allow to cool, with door slightly cracked for another 20 minutes, then cool completely on wire racks before serving or filling. As noted, I made small, little mini puffs. For larger puffs you might try longer time at each temp. or try 450/350. These come pretty darn close to the original and were great filled with vegan chocolate pudding. You could add a little more sugar for a sweetener puff or add espresso powder for flavor.

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