For the longest time I’ve been buying those frozen cream puffs in a white tub at the mega mart. They’re so fluffy and light and filled with the creamy cream stuff. I know that you know what I’m talking about. You have them at baby and bridal showers and they just seem way too difficult to ever make yourself, right? Wrong!!!!
The fancy French name for this dough is called pate a choux, (pronounced “pat a shoe”). It’s the same dough you use for eclairs, crullers, and beignets. So really, I’m giving you the recipe to four wonderful pastries, not just one. I know, I’m generous like that!
I think the French like to name their pastries so that we’re too intimidated to think we can make them ourselves. Turns out the word choux means cabbage in French. I guess that’s not as appetizing, so I get why they kept the French name. Forgive me, I love the French! They gave us croissants and baguettes. And, where would Julia Child have been without them?
This post made it to #1 on Foodbuzz’s Top 9 on April 11, 2011. Check it out!
So back to this choux dough. Can you believe it’s only four little ingredients? I bet you have them in your house right this second.
It’s butter, flour, eggs and water……..really?! Raise your hand if you have these items.
I would, but then I couldn’t type at the same time, so pretend I’m raising my hand right now.
I’ve found the easiest way to make these into to pipe them out of a bag. Notice I only have a coupler on the tip. That’s the white plastic thing on the end there.
It gives you a good rigid round tip to pipe out of.
This is what you end up with. They kind of look like those cartoon honeycombs, huh?! So cute.
Make sure you push the tips down so that they don’t burn in the oven.
And besides, my mother always told me it’s not polite to point, heehee!
When you make these, you’re going to say to yourself, the same thing I did. “Why didn’t I learn how to make these sooner?” and “I’m never going to buy those frozen ones in the tub anymore!” So satisfying. Okay, I’m down off my soapbox. Go and make them already!
Here’s a variation on the profiterole filling. Here I used a box vanilla pudding mix.
Here’s one of the reasons why I love to bake.
To see this face light up!!
Whipped Cream Filled Profiteroles
adapted from Ina Garten
1 cup milk
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 extra-large eggs
powdered sugar for dusting
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat the milk, butter, and salt over medium heat until scalded. When the butter is melted, add the flour all at once and beat it with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a dough. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with blade. Add the eggs until they are incorporated into the dough and the mixture is thick.
Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe in mounds 1 1/2 inches wide and 1-inch high onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should have about 18 puffs. With a wet finger, lightly press down the swirl at the top of each puff. (You can also use 2 spoons to scoop out the mixture and shape the puffs with damp fingers.)
Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, then turn off the oven and allow them to sit for another 10 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Make a small slit in the side of each puff to allow the steam to escape. Set aside to cool. After they are filled, dust with powdered sugar.
In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, cream will then become lumpy and butter-like. Put into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip and squeeze them into the empty middles of the profiteroles.