Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cream Puffs

I like cream puffs, especially Beard Papas Cream Puffs. I've taken them on planes. Right after our honeymoon I made Niall follow a trail of random shoppers in downtown London to find the Beard Papas store. I had heard cream puffs were fairly easy to make and finally took the plunge.

Land O'Lakes recipe blog was the inspiration (and source of the dough recipe). I cut it in half to make six palm-sized cream puffs. They recommended whip cream as a filling but I wanted something a little more custard like. A random Yahoo query gave the recipe for Beard Papas-like filling. I cut the recipe in 1/3's and it was still too much filling. (Which maybe I refrigerated and put on digestive biscuits later.)


1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whipping cream (double cream)

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter (unsalted)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs

Powdered (icing) sugar for dusting the cream puffs

For the filling...

The filling takes the longest, because it needs to cool. The basic idea is to create a custard and then fold it into fresh whipped cream. Heat the milk to steaming (I used the microwave for two minutes, the original recipe suggests using a pan.) In a clean, dry pan combine the flour, cornstarch, egg and sugar. When the ingredients are combined, turn on the stove and slowly beat in the milk, stirring vigorously. Continue beating the custard until it comes to a boil-it takes about five minutes. This made twice as much filling as we needed, I would half the filling recipe if I were making six cream puffs again.

When the mixture has come to a boil, remove from the heat and beat in the butter and vanilla. Refrigerate for about four hours. (I put it in a separate container and refrigerated for about two hours and put it in the freezer for the last 30 minutes.)

Whip the cream. (I used electric beaters and didn't add anything to the cream.)

Fold the cooled custard into the cream until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the dough...
The dough is pretty easy to make and doesn't take long. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a saucepan, combine the water, the butter and the salt. Bring to a boil.

Then stir in the flour until the mixture forms a ball.

Remove from heat. The Land O'Lake recipe said to let the mixture cool 10 minutes, but I didn't. Whether you wait or not, beat in each egg separately until the dough is smooth.

Divide the dough into six each parts, make each piece into a ball (of sorts) and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes and decrease the temperature to 300 degrees for another 10-15 minutes (for 30-35 minutes total cooking time.)

I thought for sure these were going to burn, but they turned out okay. They should be puffed and lightly browned. I forgot to do this part, but pierce each puff with a fork to allow steam to escape.

Cool completely. Just before serving, cut off the tops of the puffs and remove some of the inside to make room for the cream. Fill generously with the custard cream, put the tops back on and dust with powdered (icing) sugar. These were best right after the cream was added.

1 comment:

AM said...

That's how I feel about this recipe.