Cream Puff/Profiteroles

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Cream Puff or sometimes called as Profiterole is a filled French choux pastry ball with a typically sweet and moist filling of whipped cream, custard, pastry cream, Mousseline Cream or  ice cream. The puffs may be decorated or left plain or garnished with Chocolate Ganache , Salted Caramel, or a dust of powdered sugar.

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This choux pastry is so easy and simple to make, and it never failed to give me the crispy outside shell, and the hollow dry inside. Profiteroles and Eclair both uses pâte à choux (pronounced pat-a-shoe) or choux paste. This is simply cooked flour and butter (which is called roux) mixed with eggs. It is thicker than batter, but not as stiff as regular dough. It sounds fancy and difficult, but this is one of the basic and easy pastry that will let you do a lot of things. Once you know how to make it , there’s a whole world of pastries and desserts that will open to you.

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These mini cream puffs are so addictive. I guess it’s the filling that makes this little minis irresistable to eat. Pastry Cream and Mousseline CreamMousseline Cream are my two favorite filling. Although you can also make it using whipped cream, but I still prefer the smooth texture of those creams.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten (at room temperature)

Filling/Glaze:

How many Eggs?

This is a small batch recipe so this only uses 1 egg, beat it first so that it incorporates in the batter easily then add it gradually (regardless if making a small batch or a big batch). It’s important to only add as much egg as the dough will hold. If you add too many eggs, the dough will be too wet, you’ll have trouble piping it, and the pastries will have trouble puffing and drying out in the oven. Some days, you’ll need 1 whole egg. Other days, there will be little left. It all depends on the humidity in your house and the kind of flour you’re using that day. Once you get the hang of making this, you will be know immediately if you reach the correct consistency.

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Beat or manually mix until combined and thick

How to tell if Choux Paste is ready?

This is often a struggle as a lot of factors can affect the consistency and texture of the choux paste, just like when making French Macarons. Sometimes, no matter how you follow exactly the ingredients, measurement and steps, it just doesn’t come out the way you expect it to be. Finished choux paste should be soft, smooth and be able to be piped. Not too stiff and not to runny to the point that it starts to drip out of the tip even without squeezing the piping bag. It should be similar to photo no 10 in the photo grid in the instruction section.

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Choux pastry is a 3 part baking process – so be patient

Baking pâte à choux is a three-part process: First, with the oven at high heat (400°F), the pastries puff and begin to set; Second  you lower the heat to 350°F to bake them and develop their golden color; Third, you turn OFF the oven and leave the puff  in the oven for 30 minutes to let the pastries hang out a little longer to make sure they’re dried-out and crisp.

Select the photo to see the description

Instructions:

  1. Make your filling. Pastry Cream or Mousseline Cream or Whipped Cream.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.
  3. In a bowl whisk the flour with the sugar and salt.
  4. Place the butter and water in a saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
  5. Remove from heat and, with a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture, all at once, and stir until combined.
  6. Return saucepan to the heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball (about 1-2 minutes).
  7. Transfer the dough to your electric mixer (can do this by hand or with a hand mixer), and beat on low-speed to release the steam from the dough (about 1 minute). Once the dough is lukewarm start  gradually add lightly beaten eggs (dough will separate and then come together) and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick paste (dough will fall from a spoon in a thick ribbon).
  8. Place the dough in a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip and pipe. You can also use tea-spoon to scoop the choux pastry. Scoop 1 tea spoonful of dough and arrange it in the baking sheet.
  9. If desired, with a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the dough with a lightly beaten egg.
  10. Bake the puffs for 10 minutes, then open the oven door for 5 seconds, lower the heat to 350, and close the door. Continue to bake at 350F for 18-20 minutes. Do not be afraid of brownness. If  the dough is under-bake, the inside will not dry out.
  11. When the puff are done baking, turn the oven off, and remove the sheet from the oven. Using a thin knife, poke a hole or make a slit in the side of each puff. Return the pan to the turned-off oven, and let cool for 30 minutes with the oven door ajar. This will make the shell crunchy with dry and hollow center.

Good to know:

  1. Pastry Cream or Mousseline Cream  can be made 2-3 days ahead. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.
  2. Choux pastry can be made 2 days ahead. Store in a ziplock bag and refrigerate. Take out from the fridge and leave in room temperature for 30 minutes. Pipe or scoop when ready to bake.
  3. Baked and cooled shells can also be frozen in zipper-lock bags for up to one month and recrisped in a 300-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely before putting filling.

Note: Click on the photo to see the description

Assembly:

  1. Make your Chocolate Ganache.
  2. Fill th piping bag with Vanilla Pastry Cream or Vanilla Mousseline Cream or Whipped Cream.
  3. Make a small hole at the bottom of the choux pastry.You can also cut the choux pastry into half and scoop small portion of filling inside just like in the photo.
  4. Insert the tip of the piping bag in the small hole and squeeze to let the filling out.
  5. Dip the top of the cream puff into the Chocolate Ganache. You can also have it plain, just dust confectioners sugar on top.

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Try it and let me know hoe it goes. Feel free to share this recipe and let’s get the community baking!♥

Recipe Adapted from : Joy of Baking

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