Cream Puffs (Profiteroles)

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Cream puffs

“‘I missed that bit.’  Dimity leaned back.  ‘What I wouldn’t give for a nice pot of Assam with some of those little cream puffs with the sugar on top.  This isn’t the life for me.  It really isn’t.’

There was this one day when I just thought: “Why DON’T I make more French style desserts?!” And I went running off to find something I could make.  Low and behold, cream puffs, or profiteroles as they are formally know as were next on my “to bake” list.

Whether they are cream puff sized or eclair sized, cream or custard filled, and/ or chocolate or sugar covered, they are perfect.  Not too sweet, but can be made sweet.  Not too large, but can be made huge.  And most importantly, always pairs well with tea.

Profiteroles With Vanilla Creme Chantilly by La Mia Vita Dolce

Pâte à Choux Puffs – Choux Pastry Puffs {Pasta Choux – Bignè}

  • 140 g (1 cup + 2 tablespoons) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 237 ml (1 cup) water
  • 113 g (½ cup) unsalted butter, cut into 16 equal pieces
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 220° C (425° F).  Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper or silicone-baking mats.  Using a fine mesh sieve sift the flour onto a sheet of non-stick baking paper, set-aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan bring water, butter, sugar and salt to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring gently with a wooden spoon.
  3. When mixture begins to boil add flour all at once and stir vigorously until paste reaches an internal temperature of 80° C or 176° F and also pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball, about 1 minute. (A tell tale sign that the paste is cooked is if a white film develops on the base of the pan.) Remove from heat.
  4. Allow paste to cool, stirring a couple of times, to internal temperature of  50° C or 122° F, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs one-at-a-time, stirring vigorously after each addition making sure each egg is well incorporated before adding the next.
  6. Transfer choux pastry to large pastry bag fitted with large plain tip (i.e. Wilton 1A). Pipe 4-cm (1½-inches) high mounds, spacing 8-cm (3-inches) apart, on prepared baking sheets. To prevent tops from burning level peaked tops with tip of a wet finger.
  7. Lightly spritz puffs with water and immediately place in the oven to bake (water will help to create steam which helps create volume in the puffs while baking). Bake until tops and sides are golden, 25 to 30 minutes.  Turn off oven and allow puffs to rest in the oven for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven; poke each puff in the side with a small paring knife to allow steam to escape.  Transfer to wire rack and allow puffs to cool completely.

Crème Chantilly – Chantilly Cream {Crema Chantilly}

  • 1½ vanilla pods
  • 1¼ cups (300 ml) heavy cream (35%)
  • 1½ tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  1. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pods into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Add the heavy cream, and confectioners’ sugar. Whisk together until soft peaks form or stiff peaks form (*See Recipe Notes).
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.

*Recipe Notes – Whisk Crème Chantilly to a soft peak if you plan to pierce the bottom of the puffs and fill.  Whisk Crème Chantilly to a stiff peak if you plan on cutting the puff in half and then filling with Crème Chantilly.

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