Choux Paste is a cooked Paste made mainly with water, butter, flour and eggs. It is also to base for desserts such as eclairs and profiteroles. The Paste has had a lot of modifications over time to get where it is today.
The paste was first invented in 1540, seven years after Catherine de Medici left Italy to marry Henry II in France. When Catherine left Italy she brought along her entire court including her chefs. A chef she brought with her, named Pantanelli, invented a cooked paste that dried to make a gateaux (cake). Seeing as it was Pantanelli that created the paste, it was first named pâté à Pantanelli.
Of course over time the recipe changed and so did the name, the next notable change was made by Pantanelli’s successor Popelini. Popelini played with the recipe and change the name to pâte à Popelin, with his version of the paste he used it to make a cake from the called a Popelin.
During the 18th century , the paste started to become similar to the paste we use today when a Pâtissier named Avice modified the recipe and made choux buns. As his buns had a cabbage-like resemblance he named his recipe Pâte à Choux, which is the name still currently used for the paste.
Following avice, the recipe changed once again when Antonin Carême perfected the recipe in the 19th Century. Antonin used it to create some of his famous Pièces Montées, which are elaborate centerpieces.
Because of all of the modifications choux paste went through, the verstile paste became what it is today. It is widely used today in our modern world and is responsible for some of our most beloved desserts!