When I was in Galway, I stumbled upon a book called Pastry: Savory and Sweet by Michel Roux. I loved the simple cover of the book (yes, I judge cook books by their covers... and then by their photos inside) and the beautiful images. Flipping through the book, I realized that I have so much to learn about pastry, and there are so many kinds of pastries that intimidate me. I didn't have room in my suitcase for another book, so I vowed to buy the book when I got home so that I could start to conquer all of my pastry fears. I'm a little broke at the moment, but when I have money to spare, you can bet it will be the first thing I buy. Lack of funds didn't stop me from my goal and while I was home in Connecticut, I spent an afternoon in my mom's kitchen making pate a choux dough, lining her counters with eclairs and cream puffs.
I don't know why I was so intimidated! The dough is incredibly quick and easy to make. I used Alton Brown's recipe, which you can find here.
I filled the cream puffs with pastry cream made from a Joy of Baking recipe. I halved the recipe, but I wasn't thrilled with the consistency. The next time around, I'll definitely try the whole batch.