Jul 8, 2013

Cream Puffs


Now tell me, who doesn't love cream puffs?  Those decadent little puffs filled with cream or custard with lots of powdered sugar on top are so hard to resist.  I have a serious sweet tooth and I am not ashamed to say that I do.  These are quite simple to make, it just takes time and practice.  I made them a couple of times before I got it right.  I filled mine with custard.  I found an English custard mix by Birds which is to die for.  The custard is very thick and with a couple of drops of orange oil you would think that you were in sweet heaven.  

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 egg, beaten for brushing the tops of the puffs
1/2 cup of water
4 TBS butter, cut into small pieces
powdered sugar for dusting 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper or use cooking spray.  In a medium saucepan over medium to high heat add the water and the butter.  Bring to a boil.  Take off the heat and add the flour all at once.  Stir the dough until it is mixed well.  Place the pan back on the heat and continue stirring for a couple of minutes.  If you see a film on the bottom and sides of the pan that is normal. You want to try and get rid of some water.

Put the dough in a mixing bowl.  You can use a stand up mixer, hand mixer, or wooden spoon for the next step.  Mix the dough until it is lukewarm on low. Gradually add the eggs, about a 1/3 at a time.  You want to end up with a smooth dough that is wet, but not runny. If you pick some up with a spoon and try to drop it, it will stick but still fall off, sort of like a blob.  

This mixture makes 12 puffs.  Use two soup spoons or you can use a pastry bag.  Scoop up about a tablespoon into one of the spoons and push it onto the parchment paper with the other.  Place them about 2 inches apart.  Brush the puffs with the remaining beaten egg.  Use the brush to smooth the puff and round the edges. 

Place the pan in the middle of the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Then turn the puffs around and lower the heat to 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  If they start to brown too quickly turn the temperature down to 315-325 degrees.  The end result is a hollow puff that is crispy.  If at the end of the baking time the puffs are a little wet on the inside, put a couple of slits on each side of the puffs and place back in the oven for about 5 minutes, but turn off the heat and leave the door ajar.  Allow them to cool.  If your puffs begin to deflate that means that they are not cooked.  Place them back into the oven.  They should be a nice golden brown when done.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and fill with cream or custard.  Enjoy!