A cream puff is a choux pastry ball (or in other shapes) filled with pastry cream, whipped cream or ice cream and may be left plain or decorated with melted chocolate, caramel, sprinkles, or a dusting of powdered sugar. It is considered a French cuisine but the Americans have a National Cream Puff Day which is on January 2.
You may hear about the world’s largest cream puff crafted by the Team Cream Puff and certified by Guinness World Records on August 11, 2011 at the Wisconsin State Fair. It weighted at 125.6 pounds (around 57 kilogram) and was measured at 38 inches (96.52 centimeters) wide and 7.5 inches (19.05 centimeters) high. What a giant cream puff, isn’t it?
Cream puffs taste much better when they are still fresh. Therefore you may prefer making them at home to buying them from a bakery. The following cream puff recipe will help you make cream puffs from scratch with ease.
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- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 24 or more depending on size 1x
- Category: How to cake
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: French
For the Choux Pastry
- 250g water
- 20g sugar
- 2–3g salt
- 70g butter
- 150g all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
For the Custard Filling
- 2 egg yolks
- 50g sugar
- 27g cornstarch
- 330g fresh milk
- 20g butter
Chocolate (for decoration, optional)
Make the Choux Pastry
- Put the water, sugar and salt in a saucepan and stir on medium high heat.
- Place the butter in and keep stirring on the heat until it is all melted.
- Put the flour in and stir, on the heat, for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and thick as dough and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl.
- Add 4 eggs, and mix with a hand mixer until achieving a smooth pastry which looks like a thick cake batter.
- Transfer this choux pastry into a piping bag and pipe out small mounds of pastry in the shapes of your choice on a baking tray for baking. They will puff up considerably so don’t make them too tall.
- Bake at 180oC for 30 minutes until the puffs turn brown yellow, then remove them from the oven and let them cool down.
Make the Custard Filling (while cooling the puffs)
- Place the sugar and 2 egg yolks in a bowl and whirl.
- Put the cornstarch in the bowl and keep whirling to mix them.
- Pour 65g fresh milk into the bowl and stir well.
- Heat the remaining 265g fresh milk in a saucepan over medium high heat until it boils.
- Pour the egg yolk-sugar-cornstarch mixture into the saucepan, cook for one to two more minutes while stirring constantly until the mixture thickens up.
- Put the butter in and whirl constantly until the butter melts into the mixture and the mixture lightens a bit. Let it cool down. Now the custard filling is ready.
Fill and decorate the puffs
- Transfer the custard filling into a piping bag and pipe the filling into the puffs. The easiest way is to slice the puffs in half or poke a hole into each of the puffs and fill them. You can also fill the puffs without cutting them open if you have the right tip to do so. The puffs seem to look more inviting with the filling peaking out.
- You can enjoy plain cream puffs or make some decoration to them by dipping them with melted chocolate and adding sprinkles or other toppings. The decoration is open to your imagination.
- You should fill the puffs as soon as they are cooled so that they do not melt the filling and still taste fresh from the oven.
- You can store the puffs in the refrigerator for one to two days or freeze them for up to one month, however they will not taste as good as eating fresh.
Keywords: cream puffs recipe, choux pastry, custard filling
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