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Cream Puffs (choux à la crème)

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Sunday, 10 March 2013 11:52
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We were looking for something different for dessert this weekend and we haven't had cream puffs in a long time, so we decided to make some.  The light airy pastry puff, and the decadent vanilla cream filling with a dark chocolate topping make these treats a crowd pleaser!  They are actually pretty easy to make, and are always delicious.  I hope you enjoy.

cream puffs

Ingredients:

For the pâte à choux (pastry part of the cream puff):

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs

For the vanilla cream filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean split and scraped
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp butter

For the chocolate topping:

  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 6 oz dark chocolate chips (we use Ghirardelli double chocolate bittersweet chips) or good dark chocolate finely chopped

Instructions:

Pâte à choux:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball.
  • Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
  • Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an un-greased baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Centers should be dry. 
  • Remove to cooling rack.

vanilla cream filling:

  • In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring milk, cream and scrapings of vanilla bean just to a boil. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl whisk together sugar, eggs, cornstarch, flour, and salt until well blended and slightly pale, about 1 minute.
  • Remove saucepan from heat, while whisking pour 2/3 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture and mix until combined, then pour egg mixture into milk mixture in pan while whisking mixture in pan.
  • Return to heat and reduce temperature to medium-low. Cook whisking mixture constantly to prevent curdling, until mixture has thickened (it should be quite thick and feel heavier to stir), about 4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and butter. Press mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a heat proof bowl, cover bowl with plastic wrap pressing directly against surface of pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming, and chill 2 hours or until mixture is cold.

chocolate sauce:

  • In a small sauce pan heat the corn syrup and whipping cream just until it comes to a simmer. 
  • Pour over the chopped chocolate and stir to melt the chocolate.

Assembly:

  • With a sharp knife, cut the tops off of the pâte à choux then fill with pastry cream, replace top and drizzle with chocolate sauce.
  • For best results served immediately once filled.

Scott Pollacek - about me


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