This is a classical recipe for cream puff. The dough can be shaped differently, but for party I like to make them like bite size. The puffs are filled with pastry cream and topped with chocolate ganache.
I hope all my American friends had a great Thanksgiving get together…
As the holiday season approaches, these little cream puffs are perfect…they are small bites filled with creamy vanilla cream (lighter version of pastry cream) and topped with chocolate ganache. This recipe is adapted from “Flour” from Joanne Chang cookbook.
I must admit that there are many steps in order to bake these little cream puffs, but trust me, it is well worth it.
So here it is…
Pâte à choux
- ½ cup butter, unsalted
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water (240 ml)
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
Vanilla pastry cream
- 2 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cake flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 5 egg yolks
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup milk
Pâte à choux
Heat oven to 400F.
In a medium pan heat the butter, sugar, salt and water until all the butter is melted. Add the flour all at once and use a wooden spoon to stir the flour into the liquid until fully incorporated. Keep mixing until the dough starts to loose from the bottom of the pan.
Remove from the heat and transfer the dough into a mixing bowl. Mix the dough at medium speed to allow the steam to escape and cool slightly.
Add one egg at the time by beating constantly at medium speed. The dough should be glossy and shiny.
Fit a pastry bag and pipe out little balls about 1 ½ inches in diameter onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Make sure that you leave some space in between the balls. Using a wet finger push down the tips.
Place the baking sheet in the oven (middle rack) and after 15 minutes (after the pastries inflate), turn down the oven to 325F and continue to bake for another30 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Let cool completely on wire racks.
Vanilla pastry cream
Place the milk in a small pan over medium heat, and scald it (bubbles forming on the side, not boiling). In the meantime, stir together in a medium bowl the sugar, cake flour and salt. In another small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly add the egg yolks into the flour mix until a thick paste is formed.
Remove the milk from the heat and slowly add the milk into the egg yolk and flour paste whisking constantly. Once the milk is all incorporated, return the mix in the pan and place over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens. Continue to mix gently until the cream boils and is bubbling.
Remove the cream from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Mix gently.
Place the cream in a bowl and cover with a plastic film directly onto the cream which will prevent a skin to form. Refrigerate until cold.
Before filling the pastries, in a medium bowl whisk the heavy cream until it holds a peak. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cold pastry cream until well combined.
Cover and refrigerate.
Place all the ingredients in a heat proof bowl. Place the bowl in a small saucepan with hot water over low heat without the bowl touching the water.
Gently mix until all the chocolate and butter are completely melted and the mixture is smooth and shiny. Let it cool to room temperature.
To fill the cream puff with the cream, either make a small hole and using a piping bag filled with the cream pipe into the puffs or cut the puffs and spoon the cream in it.
Using a teaspoon, gently spoon the ganache over the filled cream puffs. Let them sit for a while until the chocolate ganache is set. Refrigerate and serve.
Once the pastries are completely cooled, they can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Before filling, refresh the pastries in a 325F oven for 6 to 8 minutes. Let it cool completely and fill.
The cream and the ganache can be made and store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and 1 week, respectively.
To use the ganache, bring to room temperature or warm it up slightly.
I hope you enjoy this recipe…for more desserts recipes please take a look here.