Cream puffs, sadly, are one of those desserts that I disliked as a child.
Clearly, I had bad taste because cream puffs are light, fluffy, round puff balls of deliciousness. And they were crazy simple to make. Even when I thought I had messed them up, they came out beautifully. And, if yours do like mine did and deflate, you can just use those as taste testers! Seriously though, once you pipe the pastry cream into them, they will likely puff back out. It’s like magic!
Source: Baker Bettie
Makes 16 large cream puffs or 32 small ones
1 cup (8 ounces, 240 ml) water
1 stick (4 ounces, 113 grams) of butter, cut into pieces
large pinch of salt
2 tablespoons (0.9 ounces, 25 grams) of granulated sugar
1 cup (4.5 ounces, 127 grams) of all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the water, butter, salt, and sugar over medium heat. Stir until the butter is melted and allow to boil.
3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the flour all at once and stir quickly. The batter will be lumpy at first, but keep mixing. Continue to stir and until the dough comes away from the edges of the pan and forms a ball. (Should take a minute or two.)
4. Place dough in the bowl or a stand mixer, or separate bowl if mixing by hand, and continue to stir while allowing dough to cool. (Should take 5-10 minutes.)
5. Add the eggs to the dough and mix completely after each addition. (The dough will look wet, smooth and glossy.)
6. Add the dough to a pastry bag or zipper-topped bag with a hole cut in the corner. Pipe the dough into mounds on the prepared cookie sheet, holding the bag straight up as you pipe, about 2 inches apart. Release pressure and pull the bag straight up from the mound. This will create little peaks, which you can pat down with a wet fingertip.
7. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and turn the heat up to 450 degrees F. Bake for 10 minutes (do not open the oven door!) Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until the shells are crispy and golden.
8. Allow to cool before filling the shells with the pastry cream (recipe below).
Adapted from: Allrecipes.com
Makes 3 & 1/2 cups
2 cups (16 ounces, 480 ml) milk
1/4 cup (1.8 ounces, 50 grams) granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1/4 cup (1.1 ounces, 32 grams) cornstarch
1/3 cup (2.3 ounces, 67 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (1 ounce, 28 grams) butter
1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
1 cup (8.1 ounces, 232 grams) heavy whipping cream
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolk. Add the sugar and cornstarch and whisk together until completely combined.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and 1/4 cup of sugar to a boil over medium heat.
3. Drizzle a small amount of the boiling milk into the egg mixture, mixing well. Continue adding a small stream of milk to the eggs, being careful not to cook the egg mixture. Once all of the milk has been added to the eggs, return the liquid back to the saucepan and, stirring constantly, heat to a boil. (My mixture had some lumps on the bottom, which turned out to be the sugar/cornstarch. Just keep whisking and it will incorporate.)
4. Once thickened, remove from heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract and mix until completely incorporated.
5. Pour the mixture into a heat-proof bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap comes in contact with the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled.
6. Once chilled, pour the heavy whipping cream into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a bowl if hand mixing), and whip until stiff peaks form. Add the pastry cream, in thirds, to the whipped cream and mix until fully incorporated.
7. Place the pastry cream into a piping bag fitted with a bismark or large round tip. Poke the tip into the cream puff shell and fill. Alternatively, you can slice the shell in half and fill it with the piping bag or a spoon.
8. Top with melted chocolate or drizzle with confectioners sugar.