Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cream Puffs

It has been a long journey to find this cream puff recipe. Every recipe I've tried before has produced eggie and less-than-stellar results. Finally, I found these beauties. Delightfully crisp on top, hollow and dry inside. The perfect little pocket to hold a surprise creamy filling. :) Well worth the effort!

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine


10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bring 1 1/2 cups water, the butter, sugar and salt to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to melt the butter.

Remove from the heat and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon to make a paste. Return to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste is shiny and pulls away from the pan, 6 to 7 minutes. Cool slightly.

Transfer the paste to a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-low speed to cool, 1 minute. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Transfer the dough to a large pastry bag with a 1/2-inch tip. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or foil. (If you use parchment paper, dab a bit of dough under the corners to keep the paper in place.) Pipe 1 1/2-inch balls of dough onto the paper (about 48 total). Smooth the dough peaks with a wet finger.

Alternatively (and MUCH quicker/easier), use a cookie scoop to scoop the balls of dough onto the baking sheet.

Bake until puffed, 15 to 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake until golden, 15 minutes. Turn off the oven; keep the puffs inside 10 minutes to dry out. Pierce each puff with a dry piping tip; transfer to a rack to cool.

Fill pastry bag with Vanilla Creme from this recipe, or other preferred creme. Insert the tip of the pastry bag into the hole and squeeze until full.

Alternatively, split puffs in half, fill with creme, and place top back onto puff.

If desired, top with Chocolate Ganache from this recipe. Chill, then serve.

FYI: Unfilled puffs can be frozen for up to a week. To re-crisp, thaw, then brush with a beaten egg; bake 5 minutes at 350 degrees.