Cream Puffs

These cream puffs are an amazing sweet party snack. They freeze extremely well and all you need to do is let them thaw for about 45 minutes. You can fill hem with pastry cream, split them open and place ice cream in the middle for profiteroles, or even eliminate the sugar for a savory pate a choux that's good with savory fillings or with a soup. A great foolproof pate a choux recipe is the one from the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook, Try this out next time for an impressive party snack that's not at all difficult.

Ingredients for pate a choux (makes about 40)

  • 1 cup water
  • 3 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup flour. 
  • 4 or 5 eggs.

Directions for pate a choux

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking pan with a silpat.
  2. Mix water, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan until butter melts and the mix simmers. Reduce heat to medium low, add flour and mix until it is incorporated and smells nutty and the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan.
  3. Remove mixture to a large mixing bowl and whip with the whisk attachment for a couple seconds to release some of the heat. While mixer is running, add 4 eggs one at a time until incorporated. If needed, add another egg to the mixture. Mixture should fall slowly from a spatula, not stick or fall in clumps.
  4. Pipe mix immediately silpat in disks 1 1/2 inch cross and bake for 10 minutes at 450. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 15 more minutes until dough is lightly browned, puffed and hollow inside. It should not be gooey or eggy.Cool completely before filling.
Ingredients for Pastry Cream
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 Tbsp Kirsh
  • 1/2 cream, whipped to soft peaks
  1. Scrape seeds out of vanilla bean and press the sugar with your fingers until incorporated. Add egg yolks to sugar and mix until homogeneous. Add flour and corn starch and mix until incorporated.
  2. Heat milk in a small saucepan with the outside of the vanilla bean it just starts to simmer. Remove vanilla pod and slowly temper the egg mixture with the milk. Stirring constantly, slowly add the egg mixture back to the milk and cook until thickened. 
  3. Stir in Kirsch and pour pastry cream into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap (touching the mixture to prevent a skin) and refrigerate until cold. Fold in softly whipped cream to create a lighter pastry cream and pipe into pate a choux.