pThis cream puffs recipe is a basic choux pastry, and are not difficult to make. You can easily make eclairs with this pastry, too.
Like many of the recipes I’ve posted, there is often a story behind them.
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This story starts at a housewarming party in 1991, after my husband and I had just purchased our very first house in North Hollywood, and had invited a few friends to join us in celebrating the event. Among the invited guests were my husband’s good friends, Jon and Dave, who happen to be cousins.
At one point during the evening, one of my girlfriends approached me and asked, “Who is the guy over there with the big hair?” referring to Jon, who had a lot of hair at the time. I told her he was my husband’s friend, but I wanted to know why she was asking. She then informed me that he had been advising guests who were just arriving not to eat the cream puffs as they were bad!
Well, you can imagine the earful I gave Jon. And apparently Cousin Dave had been his partner in crime, also dissuading party guests from eating the cream puffs, so they could both have more for themselves!
The “cream puff incident” has been a topic of conversation for over 20 years now, and we often laugh and joke about it. Jon likes to call them “profiteroles,” emphasizing the second syllable and sounding as if he gets as much joy out of uttering the word as he does from eating them.
Dave has been dropping hints about me making him cream puffs for years (since he lives nearby, while Jon now calls Ohio home).
You may also enjoy my step by step cinnamon roll recipe.
Last year I had wanted to make Dave some cream puffs for his birthday. His birthday is a few days before Christmas, and I was so harried and busy, I just never got around to it. However, this year I did write on my 2012 calendar “make David cream puffs for his birthday,” which just happened to be his 50th! So I made it a point to make them!
Here is a photo of Dave with his cream puffs–finally! He was a happy camper!
And here’s the recipe, especially for Jon and Dave, so they can make their own profiteroles! Also, if you don’t want to make the filling, you can substitute freshly whipped cream, instead, but you won’t know what you’re missing!
Cream Puffs (aka Profiteroles)
filling adapted from Good Housekeeping Illustrated Book of Desserts. makes
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) butter
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup (5 oz) flour
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- one recipe of Homemade Custard, using all the same ingredients, but reduce the milk to 3/4 cup (6 oz)
- 3/4 cups (6 oz) heavy whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks
- 2 tbsp Grand Marnier liqueur
- Chocolate Glaze (optional)
- 1/4 cup (2 oz) dark chocolate
- 1 1/2 oz heavy whipping cream
- Confectioner’s sugar to dust
Heat oven to 400ºF.
First prepare the choux pastry, by placing the butter and water in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, until it comes to a rolling boil.
Add the flour, all at once, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon for about a minute…
…until the mixture forms a ball.
Remove from heat, and add an egg, beating well, until well incorporated, before adding the next.
Repeat with remaining eggs, until. the batter is smooth and satiny.
Place spoonfuls of the batter onto a prepared baking sheet, about 3″ apart.
Bake for about 30 minutes. Turn off oven, and leave for 10 minutes, then place on cooling rack. While the cream puffs are baking, make the filling and chocolate glaze (see recipes below.)
How to make the filling:
Whisk the prepared custard, and allow to cool, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t form a skin.
Fold in the whipped cream, until evenly blended. Keep covered and refrigerated until needed.
Make the chocolate glaze by placing the chocolate and cream together in a small pot until the chocolate is melted. Set aside.
When the cream puffs are cool, slice in half and remove any filaments of raw dough with spoon.
Fill each cream puff with a spoonful of filling.
Decorate with the chocolate glaze.
Alternately, you can just dust the cream puffs with powdered sugar.
Refrigerate if not serving immediately, but they are best served right away.
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- 1/2 cup/1 stick (113 g) good quality butter
- 8 oz (235 ml) water
- 1 cup (120 g) all purpose flour
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- one recipe of Homemade Custard (printable card below) using all the same ingredients, but reduce the milk to 3/4 cup (6 oz)
- 6 oz (175 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp Grand Marnier liqueur
Chocolate Glaze (optional)
- 1/4 cup (2 oz) dark chocolate
- 1 1/2 oz heavy whipping cream
- Confectioner's sugar
Heat oven to 400ºF.
Make the Choux Pastry.
- First prepare the choux pastry, by placing the butter and water in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat, until it comes to a rolling boil.
- Add the flour, all at once, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon for about a minute until the mixture forms a ball.
- Remove from heat, and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Add an egg, beating well, until well incorporated, before adding the next. Repeat with remaining eggs until. the batter is smooth and satiny.
- Place spoonfuls of the batter onto a prepared baking sheet, about 3" apart.
- Bake for about 30 minutes. Turn off oven, and leave for 10 minutes, then place on cooling rack. While the cream puffs are baking, make the filling and chocolate glaze (see recipes below.)
Make the Filling.
- Whisk the prepared custard, and allow to cool, stirring occasionally so it doesn't form a skin. Add the Grand Marnier.
- Fold in the whipped cream, until evenly blended. Keep covered and refrigerated until needed.
Make the Chocolate Glaze
- Be sure to make this just before you want to finish your cream puffs.
- Make the chocolate glaze by placing the chocolate and cream together in a small pot and stir until the chocolate is melted and the consistency is smooth.
- When the cream puffs are cool, slice in half (don't go all the way through so the top and bottom are still attached) and remove any filaments of raw dough with a spoon or even your fingers.
- Fill each cream puff with some of the cream filling (or freshly whipped cream).
- Coat the tops with the chocolate glaze. Refrigerate for ½ hour or so to set the glaze.
- Alternately, you can dust the cream puffs with powdered sugar.
Best when served as soon as possible.
- Nutrition information is given for cream puff filled with custard filling and dusted with powdered sugar.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 450Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 39mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is only estimated.
- 1¼ cups (10 oz) milk (I use whole milk)
- ½ vanilla bean or a few drops of vanilla (the bean will taste much better)
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 to 3 tsp sugar, depending on you sweet you like it
- 1 tsp corn starch
- Split open the vanilla bean and place in a small pot along with the milk. Heat over medium low heat, meanwhile, prepare the rest of the custard.
- In a small bowl, whisk the yolks, sugar and corn starch together until well combined.
- When the milk begins to simmer, remove the vanilla bean and pour about half a cup of hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking quickly. Add the rest of the milk, then whisk and return to the pot.
- Heat over medium heat and continue stirring, taking care that the custard doesn't stick or burn, using a wooden spoon is best at this point (the photo below is before I switched to the wooden spoon)! Add the vanilla extract if not using the vanilla bean. Continue to stir until the custard begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat, use as desired. If pouring over a dessert, use immediately.
egg custard, dessert sauce, British
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 3 ounces
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 141Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 45mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 8g
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