Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cream Puffs

I don't know how it is that I haven't blogged about these yet. I guess I haven't made them in a few years. But they are one of my favorites from childhood. And in spite of the fact that they are SUPER EASY to make, they are also impressive and people think you are magical when you make them. The Pie Queen used to make big ones filled with pudding. I like to make little ones. Mostly because they remind me of this...

I've always made them with chocolate filling (see below), but decided to try a couple of different things this time, namely Raspberry Whipped Cream and Caramel Whipped Cream. And they were incredibly delicious. The caramel is probably my new favorite substance on planet earth. I am thinking of more and more things I can put it on for eating. It's not particularly easy to make. I'll give you this hint: the caramel will seize up when you pour the cream in. It just will. But put the whole thing back on the burner and keep stirring and the caramel will dissolve into the hot cream and you will be so happy you were patient about it.

Here's the recipe:

Cream Puffs *click here for printable version*
(yield approx. 10 large or 40 small)

½ c. butter
1 c. water
⅛ tsp. salt
1 c. flour
4 eggs

In medium saucepan combine butter, water, and salt. Bring to boiling. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball that doesn’t separate.

Remove from heat. Cool 10 minutes. (I put mine in the stand mixer with the whisk attachment at this point, but you can beat with a wooden spoon, the old-fashioned way if you want) Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Drop batter by heaping tablespoons 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown (30-35 minutes). Cool and split to remove uncooked inside. Then fill and replace top.

Note: For mini puffs, drop batter by heaping teaspoons and bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown.

Do not split when cool. Make filling and fill pastry bag with medium-hole tip. Insert tip of bag into bottom of puff and fill.

Chocolate Filling:

Whip 4 T sugar and 5 T unsweetened cocoa (or more, to taste) into 1 quart of heavy whipping cream until stiff.

I stabilize my cream when it's part of a dessert that's going to be sitting in the fridge for a while. Use 2 tsp. of powdered milk per 1 cup of cream, and just whip it in when you are whipping the cream.

Oh, and P.S. the Chocolate Filling recipe makes A LOT. Probably as much as you would need to fill 10 of the large-size puffs, but too much for 40 small. Adjust as you see fit. And the recipes for raspberry and caramel each only fill about 20 small puffs. You might want to quadruple the caramel recipe just because you will want to eat it by the spoonful. Or stick your head right in the mixing bowl and lick your way out. Was that TMI?

TGIP Rating--Cream Puffs--KEEPER. I've kept it since childhood and will always come back to it as a comfort dessert. Probably more often now that I've discovered the Caramel Whipped Cream.

Next up: I'm baking treats for my niece's wedding reception in mid-December. I told her I'd make sample batches for her and her fiancée to try. So, that's going to mean small batches of Candy Cookies and Chocolate Whoopie Pies (I'm making miniatures). Both recipes by BAKED. Of course.


Tracie said...

My goodness, what don't you do! I adore you. And miss you. And now I'm hungry to boot! Damn.

April Fossen said...

You sweet thing! I adore and miss you too!

Becky at VintageMixer said...

I loved your idea of an edible landscape of cream puffs!! I just made some the other day as well. They are at the top of my list of favorite desserts for sure :) Best of luck to you in the Mist giveaway!

wheatgerm said...

now thats tasty