Last week was Mother’s day and as such, it called for a fabulous dessert. But what to do??? Having seen eclairs, profiteroles at every corner of cooking magazines and facebook profiles, I could not help but making my own the night prior to Mother’s Day. So at 10 o’clock in the evening, this is what I was doing in my kitchen.
Ingredients for 16-20 small cream puffs or croquembouches:
- 80 ml or 2 oz of milk
- 80 ml or about 2 oz of water
- 70 gr, or about 5 1/2 tbsp of butter
- 1 pinch of salt
- 10 gr. or 2 tsp of sugar
- 100 gr. or about 1/2 cup and 2 tbsp. of flour
- 2 eggs
Creme Patissiere, or Vanilla Pastry Cream
- 330 gr. or 11 oz. of milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 4 yolks
- 70 gr. or 1/4 cup and 1 tsp of sugar
- 12 gr. or about 1 tbsp of flour
- 12 gr, or about 1 tbsp of corn starch
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- In a saucepan, heat up the milk, water, salt, and sugar.
- Add the butter cut up in pieces.
- When the butter has completely melted, bring the mixture to boil.
- Remove the pan from the stove and add the flour by stirring very well.
- Place the pan back on the stove ( it must be turned off, but will still be warm), and stir and stir with a heat-resistant spatula until the dough starts becoming a ball and will no longer stick to the rims of the pan.
- Remove the pan from the stove, empty the dough into a cold bowl and add the eggs to the dough one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
- Place the dough in a pastry bag, with the large circular tips make large rounds of about 1 1/2 inches wide on a large silpat that you would have previously lay on a large perforated sheet.
- Place the perforated sheet in a warm oven of 350 and cook the cream puffs for 20 minutes. The dough should be brown and dry on all sides. If the dough is a little bit soft, continue cooking the puffs for 1-3 more minutes. Take them out to cool. Set them aside to prepare the pastry cream or creme patissiere.
- In large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture becomes whitish.
- Add the flour and the corn starch to the eggs and mix.
- Open the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds out of the bean and put them into the milk.
- Warm up the milk over the stove, or in the microwave for 2 minutes.
- Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture and stir. Place the milk/ egg mixture back onto the stove and cook until the mixture is bubbling and is becoming really thick. Remove the pastry cream from the stove, and place it into a bowl. Set aside.
- Pour the pastry cream in a round mold..
- Cover the pastry cream with some plastic wrap and place it into the fridge to cool.
- When the cream is completely cool, make a small indentation to fill the cream puffs with the pastry cream and lay them upside down for easier access when you are going to fill them up.
- Fill the pastry bag with the vanilla cream and fill each cream puffs.
- Place the puffs back onto the silpat, and prepare the caramel.
- Empty the cup of sugar into a medium-sized saucepan and place the saucepan onto the stove at a medium high temperature. DO NOT STIR!!!
- Only start stirring once the sugar is turning an amber color on the outside rim of the saucepan. Stir until all the sugar has turned that amber color. Reduce the heat to low, and leave the pan on it so that the caramel will not harden.
- Dip the head of each cream puff into the caramel and place them back onto the silpat until the caramel has hardened, and has cooled.