Cream Puffs are easier to make than you might think! Fill them however you’d like (vanilla pudding, chocolate custard, whipped cream) for a richly decadent dessert.
I have been meaning to make Cream Puffs for ages now. I meant to make mini ones to take into work, after one of my coworkers mentioned having a craving for ones from his hometown. Little did I know, he was planning to move to Seattle, and I got bogged down with Life, so I didn’t make them before he moved. This is where procrastination sometimes lets me down – Usually I like waiting until the last minute, because I feel more focused when I’m working under a deadline. Since there was no firm deadline that I knew, I put it off.
But I decided I would start tackling some of my backlogged recipes – That ever-growing list I’m sure my fellow bloggers also keep, of recipes, dishes to try, and photographs to take. I spent the first part of the year neglecting the blog, almost to the point that I was ready to let it die, and I remembered how much fun it was in the beginning.
So I decided to make Cream Puffs. Pâte à choux (or, more simply, choux pastry) is a fancy term for a relatively easy to make dough. It’s water, butter, eggs, and flour. The trick to a good dough is in adding the eggs – You need to make sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
Since there’s no sugar in the dough, these can be used as sweet or savory treats. This dough is the basis for things like éclairs, a croquembouche, and gougeres. I made these a sweet version, with a chocolate whipped cream filling. You can fill them with vanilla pudding, pastry cream, plain whipped cream, dunk the tops in chocolate ganache…The options are endless!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Chocolate Whipped Cream adapted from Chocolate Moosey
For the Cream Puffs:
For the Chocolate Whipped Cream:
In a large saucepan, combine the water, butter, and salt. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and add the flour. Stir to combine, then return to medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until a thin film forms on the bottom of the pan.
Remove from the heat, and place the dough into a heat-proof bowl. Cool for five minutes, before adding the first of four eggs. Stir (the dough will separate and look somewhat curdled) until the egg is incorporated fully. Add the remaining eggs, one at a time, stirring until each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds onto the baking sheets, smoothing any pointed tips with your finger moistened with a bit of water.
Combine the last egg with a Tbsp. of water or milk to make an egg wash, and brush that over top of the puffs.
Bake for 27-30 minutes, or until the puffs are golden brown on top. Avoid opening the oven door to check on them, as they may fall.
Remove from the oven, and cool completely on wire racks.
To make the chocolate whipped cream, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add in the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and vanilla, and whip until thickened and stiff peaks form.
Cut the puffs in half, and pipe or dollop the chocolate whipped cream inside before replacing the tops.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Chocolate Whipped Cream adapted from Chocolate Moosey