The Goal: Light, puffy and hollow shells of delicate and delicious choux pasty, filled with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
The Source: Cream Puffs
This is another recipe that most people wouldn’t think to attempt for themselves. However I must say, I found success on my very first try, and I found the recipe actually pretty quick, and straightforward. I urge you to give these surprisingly easy puffs a try next time you want to impress your friends.
Since the pastry itself doesn’t have any sugar in it, it’s actually good in both a savory and sweet setting. I tried some with whipped cream, and some with cream cheese and salmon, and it worked well in both cases.
Leave a comment with what fillings you’d choose!
After I finished the dough, I was going to pipe it into eclair shapes, but I cut the hole in my “piping bag” (zip lock bag) too wide, so I just made circular blobs instead, like cream puffs. Then I wet my fingers with water and dabbed the top to smooth them, and maybe create a bit of steam. I have seen some recipes which call for steam, or spritzing them with water before putting them in the oven, which would hypothetically create a crisper shell around the outside, but this recipe didn’t. The puffs did end up light and crisp anyway, so maybe it’s just a matter of personal preference.
The main difficulty in this recipe is that I don’t have an electric mixer of any kind, so any beating I do has to be manually. It’s very tiring, and I was a little concerned that I couldn’t beat the mixture well enough, but I do believe a couple of sore arms later, I managed it.
Part way through the bake, I went to reduce the temperature, and I was shocked to find they’d already puffed up at least double their size, into little monsters! I kept them baking at the lower temperature until they looked golden brown and light, then took them out and let them sit for a moment. While they were still warm, I cut them in half to release the steam. If you don’t do this, they would get soggy and doughy in the middle.
After slicing in half comes the final step… More whipping! I whisked up some whipping cream into stiff peaks, added a little sugar and vanilla, and loaded it into my light crispy shells of pastry. With a few chocolate dipped strawberries on the side… Delicious!