Behind the Sweets: Leigh Omilinsky Makes Pâte à Choux at Café des Architectes

[Photographs: Amber Gibson]

Pâte à choux, or choux pastry dough, is the base for several delicious Parisian pastries, including cream puffs, éclairs, and Paris brests. At Café des Architectes, Pastry Chef Leigh Omilinsky makes the best pâte à choux in town. And if you're lucky enough to be staying at the Sofitel, you can even order her desserts delivered to your room. Considering her dedication to authentic French desserts, it's no wonder she recently won the 2013 Jean Banchet Award for Best Pastry Chef.

After spending several weeks staging at Pierre Hermé in Paris, Omilinsky has brought home a few tricks, not just for making Hermé's famous macarons, but for pâte à choux, breads, and other desserts. Like in many facets in life, she found that patience is key and the details in this seemingly simple recipe make all the difference. Click through the slideshow above to see how Omilinsky makes pâte à choux and how she uses the versatile dough in a variety of desserts.