Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cream Puff recipe!

Hello everyone!

Once upon a time, I went to a french cafe with a friend, and there I saw the most delicious looking eclairs ever!  When I got home, I mentioned how amazing looking they were to David, and that is how we ended up baking eclairs and cream puffs a grand total of 4 times in the next 3 weeks.
It all began with David saying, "let's make it!  it's not that hard I've made it once before", so that night, we had a little midnight baking session thinking that it would be a breeze.

Sadly, our midnight baking session didn't turn out so well... and here is the breakdown of our cream puff adventures:
the first attempt?  failure. on both the outer shell and the filling  (we used cream cheese frosting.  don't do it)
the second attempt?  failure. on both accounts again (used pudding mixture packet. don't do it)
the third attempt?  with the addition of the stand mixer from our anniversary presents, the shell dough was a success, but the lack of piping skill on my part made them look rather interesting.  Annie, one of my friends who is also very into baking gave us a cream filling recipe, and it was exactly what we were looking for!
the fourth attempt?  success!

The eclairs are harder to pipe than the puffs for me, and while some of them did turn out, we like the bite-sized-ness of the puffs anyway, so we're just going to stick with those..  haha
The recipe for the shell has been adapted from Alton Brown's show 'Good Eats', and the recipe for the cream is adapted from the recipe my friend Annie gave us!

So for these cream puffs, you'll need...
1 cup water
6 tbs butter
pinch of salt
1 tbs sugar
5 3/4 oz flour
3 whole eggs + 3 egg whites

350 ml whole milk
150 ml double cream
75 g sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg + 3 egg yolks
40 g flour

I would recommend making the filling first because it has to cool, so let's start with that!

Cream Filling Recipe
1.  Pour milk and cream into a saucepan with 1 tbs of sugar and the vanilla extract.  slowly bring to boil then turn off the heat.

2.  In a big bowl (or in your mixer) beat 1 egg, 3 egg yolks, and remaining sugar until pale and creamy.

3.  Sift a third of the flour into the bowl and whisk until well incorporated, and then do the same (twice more) with rest of the flour.

4.  Take the milk/cream mixture and pour a third onto the egg mixture, beating well.  gradually pour rest of the milk and whisk continuously.  We were afraid that we would have cooked egg happening because the milk/cream mixture was so hot, but I guess if you whisk furiously, they don't have a chance to become cooked?  anyway, this worked, and we did not have cooked eggs in our cream!

5.  Return mixture to pan, whisking.  simmer for 3-4 min, continuously whisking (we used a stick blender) until smooth and thick.

6.  Pour into a bowl, then refrigerate until the shells are ready to be filled!

Now, onto making the shell portion of the cream puff!
Shell Recipe

1.  Preheat your oven to 375.
2.  Boil 1 cup of water and 6 tbs of butter.  Add a pinch of salt, sugar, and 5 3/4 oz of flour to the boiling water/butter and mix.  Lower the heat, and keep working the dough until it is dry to the touch.

3. Move the dough to mixer and leave it until you can touch comfortably.  With the mixer on, add 3 eggs and 3 whites slowly one at a time.

4.  You'll know the dough is ready to be piped when it makes a nice 'v' shape off of the mixer attachment.  This picture was taken the first time we used the mixer, and David's face really conveys our excitement at having gotten an actual 'v' from the dough. haha.  Before we had the mixer, the best we ever got was a sad looking 'w'..

5.  Now it's time to pipe the dough!  you can be all fancy and use a piping bag, or if you're like us and do not own one of those, just use a ziploc bag!  Just pipe a little Hershey Kiss looking blobs on your baking sheet, and then with a wet finger, flatten out the little tips so you get a nice rounded puff in the end  =)

6.  Once your oven has preheated to 375, put the puffs in the oven and increase the temperature to 425.  Bake for 15 min, then turn heat down to 350 and bake for another 10 min.

7.  Once the 25 minutes is up, take them out, and pierce each of them with a knife.  This lets out the steam and keeps them crisp and puffy!

8. Once the puffs have cooled (the cream should also be cool by now) fill the puffs and you're done!

It's a bit labor intensive, but was a huge hit at the reception, so I'm sure we'll be making it again.. perhaps for our Thanksgiving party?  ;)
I hope you give this little puffy delight a go, and let me know how you like them!
Thanks for stopping by!

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