Choux à la crème chantilly, or cream puffs. Why do things sound a lot fancier in french? Well, I guess they just do.
I will admit, at first, the idea of “french pastry” seemed intimidating. But in the end, I was pleasantly surprised how easily it came together. The basic ratio for the main ingredients I used was from Michael Ruhlman.
Pâte a Choux: makes approx 3 dozen medium puffs if using 1.5 TSP scoop
1 CUP water
1/2 CUP unsalted butter
2 TSP granulated sugar (more or less to taste)
1/4 TSP salt
1 CUP flour
4 LARGE eggs
1. In a medium sauce pan, bring water, butter, salt, and sugar to a simmer over medium-low heat. Dump the flour to the pan, and using a wooden spoon stir like you never stirred before. Once the mixture resembles a dough ball, continue cooking (and stirring) for another 2 minutes or so.
2. Move the dough to a stand mixer, with paddle attachment. Let it run in low speed for few minutes to cool off the dough. Once the side of the bowl is lukewarm to the touch, beat the dough at higher speed and add the eggs one at a time. The dough will be smooth and sticky when it’s completed.
3. You can refrigerate the dough, or bake immediately. To bake, you can pipe the dough or drop with a cookie scoop. Preheat at 425 for about 10 minutes then drop the temperature to 325 and bake for another 30 minutes (more or less depending on the size of the pastry). DO NOT open the oven door no matter how tempting it is, until at least you’re more than half way through the total baking time.
Crème Chantilly: This will make enough to fill about 12-18 of above mentioned sized puffs.
1/2 PINT heavy whipping cream
1 TBSP bakers sugar (or you can use granulated)
1/2 TSP vanilla extract (more or less, to your taste)
1. Put all ingredients in a bowl. Using a mixer with whisk attachment, beat until soft peaks form (or until they look like what whipped cream should look like).
Assembling Choux à la Crème Chantilly
1. Make sure the puffs are completely cooled before adding the filling. Cut the puff in half, scoop or pipe the cream on the bottom half and put the top back on. A dusting of confectioner sugar would definitely make your puffs look fancier and add extra sweetness.
You may want to half the dough recipe or double (or triple) the cream recipe if you want to have enough cream for all puffs. I think I’m going to make ice cream sandwich with the rest of “leftover” puffs.