Baking was my hobby for many years and it all started with Cream Puffs. I remember going to our favourite bakery on Saturday morning to purchase these delicacies. I only wanted half dozen or so and sometimes I would be able to buy them. Other times I left with only one or two. Then one day I arrived to find that they were sold out. They only make a limited number each day and they take pre-orders. One time I was in the line waiting and I was looking at all the cream puffs on the counter, and guess what ? Yes, the person in front of me bought them all, leaving me with none.
Then I was at the front of the line and the bakery lady said "why don't you order them a week ahead ?" I thought to myself, "how would I know what I wanted to eat next week?" I thought it can't be that difficult, and that was how this all started.
If you follow along, you too can make your own Cream Puffs.
Take a pot and pour 1 cup of milk and 1/3 rd cup of butter into it and bring it to a boil
In a separate mixing boil ADD; 1 cup of sifted flour, 1/8th Teaspoon of Salt and combine
When the milk / butter mixture above comes to a boil remove from the heat and wait a minute before adding the flour / salt mixture ALL at ONCE and start mixing manually. I used a wooden spoon
The flour mixture is using the residual heat from the milk/butter. Mix vigorously until you get stiff peaks and it sort of dries out, just a minute or so
Don't dilly dally for too long as you need the heat to incorporate the eggs, one at a time until they do not look slippery
Mix vigorously until the eggs are incorporated into your mixture and the dough can form peaks without falling over. I found that you only need 2, or perhaps 3 eggs which must be at room temperature. I usually take the eggs out of the fridge and put them in a boil with hot tap water for a few minutes to bring them to room temperature. If the eggs are too cold they will cool down the milk/butter mixture too much
For Vegan puff shells you can use Xanthan Gum instead of eggs, more info here . I found some at our local organic store and I nearly fell over when I noticed the price. I plan to experiment more with Vegan recipes when I get snowed in
My batter is nearly ready but I put in one too many eggs. It should not affect the shells but you will have more filling to remove
The dough is very sticky. I make small diameter balls and use two spoons to place them on my cookie sheets
Into our nearly new gas oven on the middle rack. 400°F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F for 25 minutes
I can't help myself, I like to look into our oven window and see them start to rise
Soon they are ready. You should leave them somewhere warm so that they don't collapse and wait for them to cool . When they are room temperature you take a small knive and make a diagonal cut to open them up
and sometimes you have to take a small spoon and take out some of the filling as you only need the outer shell
I do the same for all my shells
Whipping cream whips better if your mixing bowl is cold. I used to put it in our freezer but I don't have room so I fill the bottom with ice and put a plate on top to keep the cold air in, and then wait 20 minutes or so until you feel that the bowl is cold
I remove the ice and take a towel to remove the moisture, then pour in a cup or so of whipping cream (Heavy cream), and make sure to use your wire attachment so you can incorporate more air. Turn your mixer on high speed and add icing sugar until you get the sweetness you like. Don't over whip the whipping cream or you will just get milky water.
One of the benefits of whipping the cream is that you get to clean the attachment
I overfill the shells with as much whipping cream as I can, using a small spoon
soon all my shells are fill with whipping cream
and I put them on a plate. I prepared the chocolate topping the evening before
I use a small pot on top of another pot of boiling water, sort of like a double boiler so the chocolate gets indirect heat. I use the lowest heat I can and stir constantly
It depends on how much chocolate you need. For these few cream puffs, I used:
1 Teaspoon of butter
1 cube Baker's semi sweet chocolate square (1 oz)
6 teaspoons of Whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
and add icing sugar until you get the sweetness you like
if too thick you can add more whipping cream or milk
It was easy to remelt this chocolate by putting this container over a pot of boiling water
I took my spoon and drizzled the chocolate over the puff shells and put them into the fridge for the chocolate to set.
It was our son's birthday and these cream puffs didn't last long . . .
For Vegan whipping cream alternative, use Coconut Cream, something like this
Coconut cream behaves and mixed nearly the same as whipping cream (heavy cream), just mix on high speed using your wire whisk attachment and add icing sugar to taste
There you are . I have used this recipe for years and if I can do it so can you