Cream Puffs (Pâte À Choux) with Vanilla Cream

by Sewerranger March. 19, 2015 2253 views

These were actually much simplier then I thought they would be. I've read all over the internet about how difficult these are to make, but I had no problem. If you don't want something a bit more savory, after incorporating the eggs, add chives and a strong cheese (gruyere works really well) and bake as normal.

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Pate A Choux
1/2 cup milk
6 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup flour
6 eggs
Preheat your oven to 425F.
Heat the milk, butter, sugar, salt, and 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the butter melts. Add all of the flour at once and stir slowly with a wooden spoon until it comes together and then stir harder until you get one solid mass. Keep stirring and press the dough against the side of the pan as you do so. Continue stirring and slapping until the dough leaves a film on bottom of pan and pulls away from sides. The idea here is to cook the flour and dry it out a bit. Let it rest in a bowl for 3 minutes.
Using a wooden spoon, begin to mix the eggs into the dough. This is where most people have issues. You may not need all 5 eggs. What you do is mix one egg at time. Mix it until it's fully incorporated (the dough will look broken at first, then come together as you continue to stir). The final texture should be smooth, glossy, and somewhat stretchy. It should run off a spoon, but still be able to hold its shape. At this point, if you want something savory, add the cheese and herbs.

Spoon the dough into a pastry bag with a 1" tip. Gently squeeze out dough into 1 1/2 inch circles. Leave about 2 inches in-between each circle. Beat an egg in a small bowl and brush the top of dough. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then lower heat to 350F. Continue to bake until puffs are deep golden brown all over and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven (turn your oven off at this point), and poke a small hole in the bottom. Place them hole side up on the baking sheet and place back in the oven with the door propped open for about 30 more minutes.

Vanilla Pastry Cream
2 cups milk
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Place the milk, butter, salt, and vanilla in a medium saucepan; simmer over medium heat.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and whisk until no dry spots remain. Continue whisking and slowly add the hot milk mix to the eggs. Transfer back to saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it becomes thick and the whisk marks remain.
Remove from heat and cover with plastic wrap (press the plastic directly onto the mix). Chill in the fridge until cold. Place a star tip on a pastry bag and pipe cream into the puffs to fill. Dust with powdered sugar. These get soggy in about an hour so I wouldn't fill them until you absolutely have to.

Start off by melting the butter in milk and water.

Add your flour and mix. You can see here that it's just about done. The dough is coming away from the sides when I smash it up against them and there's a film left on the bottom of the pan.

I didn't get a chance to take a photo as I was adding the eggs, but this is just about what consistency you want. It's thick enough that it holds some shape, but not so thick that it won't run off the spoon.

I made half of these sweet and half of these savory. This is the savory batch. I added cheese and chives to the mix.

You can use the hole you poked in the bottom to fill them with the cream.

Bake and enjoy.

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Marilyn Grimble 5 years, 8 months ago

Yep - I have made these too - both savoury and sweet.
These look very tempting ...

5 years, 8 months ago Edited