Thursday, January 28, 2010

Number 39: Cream puffs

Roomie was craving cream puffs, as previously posted, so here they are. She prefers vanilla pastry cream to chocolate, but we drizzled chocolate glaze over it anyway. Because we're both girls, and we're both hating life (school!) right now.

Throat hurts from running in the cold - silly weak immune system. Can't even handle a quick jog to catch the bus.

Also, trying to contact publishers Stranger Danger distros. Help please! I'm on deadline for tomorrow and I have no story. I keep getting emails, but from all the wrong people. Life.

So eclairs with cold vanilla cream to make us feel better. Assemble these fresh, or they'll get soggy.

Cream puffs
recipe adapted from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
For the pastry cream
Go here. Omit the chocolate, but simmer 1/2 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract in milk

Cream Puff Dough.
(makes 20-24 eclairs)
½ cup (125g) whole milk
½ cup (125g) water
1 stick (4 ounces; 115g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
¼ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature (I ended up using 7 to get the right consistency)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, with two racks evenly distributed.
1. In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to theboil.
2. Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium and start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together very quickly. Do not worry if a slight crust forms at the bottom of the pan, it’s supposed to.
3. You need to carry on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. After this time the dough will be very soft and smooth.
4. Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using your handmixer or if you still have the energy, continue by hand.
5. Add the eggs one at a time,beating after each egg has been added to incorporate it into the dough. You will notice that after you have added the first egg, the dough will separate, once again do not worry. As you keep working the dough, it will come back all together again by the time you have added the third egg. In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted it should fall back into the bowl in a ribbon. The dough should be still warm. Pipe immediately.
6. Pipe circles about 2 inch in diameter, 2 inches apart.

Notes: Once the dough is made you need to shape it immediately. You can pipe the dough and the freeze it. Simply pipe the dough onto parchment-lined bakingsheets and slide the sheets into the freezer. Once the dough is completely frozen, transfer the piped shapes into freezer bags. They can be kept in the freezer for up to a month.


1. Bake one tray (or two if you can fit it) for 7 minutes on the top rack.
2. After those 7 minutes, put the handle of a wooden spoon between the oven door to let it vent. Bake another 7 minutes.
3. Move the tray to the lower rack, rotate it front to back, and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until golden.


To make the chocolate glaze
1. Take 3 ounces semisweet chocolate and 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2. Melt together, drizzle over baked and assembled cream puffs