Friday, September 25, 2009

Cream Puffs

I believe these cream puffs were once a Daring Bakers challenge. Being fashionably late, I made these today. They weren't that much of a challenge. They are, in fact, relatively easy. They are just very time consuming and need your full attention. But it all pays off when you see and taste the end result. I am particularly critical when it comes to pastries, but these cream puffs came out really well and didn't have a hint of 'amateur baker' in them. I rate them 5 out of 5.

Cream Puffs recipe: Martha Stewart - Baking Handbook

Ingredients: Makes 3 dozen
- All-purpose flour, for marking
- Pâte à Choux (see recipe below)
- 1 cup granulated sugar, for sprinkling
- ½ recipe Tart Dough (click here for the recipe)
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- Pastry Cream (click here for the recipe)
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Instructions:
- Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or with nonstick baking mats. Dip a 2-inch round cookie cutter in flour, and mark circles 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. Transfer pate a choux to a pastry bag fitted with a 5/8-inch plain tip, and pipe puffs to fit in flour circles. Smooth peaks with a moistened finger, rounding tops to ensure even rising. Freeze pastry puffs on baking sheets until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, sprinkle a clean work surface with ½ cup granulated sugar, and place tart dough on top of sugar, patting it into a round. Sprinkle another ½ cup sugar over dough, and roll to a scant 1/8-inch thick, coating both sides of dough with the sugar to keep it from sticking. Using a 1 ½-inch cookie cutter, cut out 36 rounds, and place a round on top of each frozen puff. Return to freezer until firm, at least 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds.
- Bake puffs until pale golden brown all over, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheets on wire racks. Puffs can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature overnight.
- Put heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Whisk the pastry cream to soften. Working in 2 batches, fold whipped cream into pastry cream. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch plain tip. Insert tip into bottom of each puff, and fill. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Pâte à Choux recipe: Martha Stewart - Baking Handbook

Ingredients:
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white

Instructions:
- Bring butter, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, quickly stir in flour. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture pulls away from sides and a film forms on bottom of pan, about 3 minutes.
- Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until slightly cooled, about 1 minute. Raise speed to medium; add whole eggs, 1 at a time, until a soft peak forms when batter is touched with your finger. If peak does not form, lightly beat remaining egg white, and mix it into batter a little at a time until it does.


Pâte à Choux. Quite easy to make.


Piped as puffs.


Cream puffs have a tart-dough topping.


This is how the cream puffs went into the oven.


Right out of the oven.


This is how I filled them up: I gently poked a knife through the bottom of a cream puff in 3 different places.


Took my Wilton piping bag and filled them up. I'd say I used 1 ½ tablespoon cream for each puff.


9 cream puffs later ...


Dessert!


A well-deserved first bite ;)

6 comments:

ABowlOfMush said...

These are soooo adorable!
These must taste so fantastic! Yum, I really want these now!
Adding the tart dough on top is such a great idea!

thereddeer said...

These look delicious - you never cease to impress!

Barbara said...

Oh I do love cream puffs! Your photos are amazing- I could almost taste them. The tart dough topping is a great addition!

Bonjour Madame said...

Perfect pastry goodness! They really do look amazing. Your baking talent is so impressive!

rookie baker said...

oooowh, so cream puff has tart dough on top of it.. YUMM!

Snooky doodle said...

very delicious! cream puffs are so so good !! :)