Cream puffs, aka profiteroles are something that I never really saw myself making. Typically I’m not really interested in pastries that could be considered frou-frou or romantic-girly-ish – these eliminate a lot of dainty desserts… if you don’t get the hint yet, I like my sweets large. But when I saw these in my new Flour cookbook, Joanne Chang made cream puffs seem so easy and delicious, I just couldn’t resist. I also love hollow desserts that you can fill and top with additional sweet elements, these little cream puffs pack a lot of sweet deliciousness into a little package.
Side note: If you’d like to make eclairs instead of cream puffs there are only two things you need to do differently – 1. pipe 5″ long lines of batter instead of the little dots piped for cream puffs, 2. when filling, slice the tops of the eclairs off, then pipe the filling into the hollow cavity.
Classic Cream Puffs (or eclairs)
Adapted from Flour
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup AP flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk (go for the whole)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp AP flour
- pinch kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 oz. semisweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and prepare two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Over medium heat, in a medium saucepan heat the butter, sugar, salt and water until the butter is melted, do not boil. Add the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon, stir until the mixture looks like a loose dough and is not shiny, it will also begin to leave a film at the bottom of the pan (3-4 minutes).
Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl fit with a paddle attachment and mix the dough for 1 minute, allowing it to cool. Crack four eggs into the bowl of the mixer, one at a time and mix until the dough is glossy and shiny.
Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 degrees to bake another 30 minutes – or until the puffs are totally golden brown. Let them cool completely on a cooling rack.
To make the Tropez cream: heat the milk and vanilla on the stove, but do not boil. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, flour and salt, then mix in the egg and the yolk, the mixture will be thick and pasty.
Stir in the milk a little at a time and then return the mixture to the saucepan over medium heat. Whisk continuously 4-6 minutes until it thickens. As soon as it starts to boil, count to ten and then take it off of the heat. Ten seconds of boiling is all you need to cook out the flour taste.
Refrigerate until cold, or up to 3 days.
Then just before you’re ready to fill your cream puffs, whip the heavy cream until it holds peaks and fold the whipped cream into your custard (whip the custard up a bit before folding it into the cream, it will be easier to smooth out).
Using a small knife, poke a hole in the bottom of each cream puff, fit a pastry bag with a small round tip and fill it with the Tropez cream. Fill the puff with cream then dip the top in ganache. Let sit at least 6-8 minutes so the ganache can set, then eat at least 4 of them at your little patio bistro table and pretend you’re in paris.