Cream puff – the easy pastry ball for a slow evening

If there’s anything about France that I like, that’s their patisseries and the products they introduce to the world. Macarons are what brought me to baking, but it was cream puff, or choux a la creme, that I first succeeded in making. Its pastry, soft yet flaky, while smells as amazing as any other cake. The cream filling is sweet and melts in your mouth. Yet such awesome cream puff is so easy to make.

  1. Ingredients (for about 15 small cream puffs)
    1. Choux pastry
      1. 60 ml water
      2. 30g unsalted butter
      3. 30g all purpose flour
      4. 1 egg
      5. 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
    2. Cream filling
      1. 2 egg yolks
      2. sugar to taste (I used just 1 table spoon)
      3. 20g corn starch
      4. 200 ml milk
  2. Instructions
  • Preheat the oven to 220 degree Celcius. Place a baking sheet on the tray.
  • In a non-stick pot on high heat, put the water, butter, and sugar together and bring to a boil.
  • Quickly add the flour, stir until the dough is all incorporate and does not stick to the pot.
  • Take the pot from the heat, stir for about 1 more minute.
  • Add the egg, stir until the dough is smooth and thick
  • Pipe, or simply use the 1-teaspoon measuring cup and scoop the dough onto the baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Bake in the oven until risen and there are little bubbles on the outside (usually 15 minutes). Then reduce the temperature by 20 degree and bake until light golden brown, or golden brown if you like more colorful cream puffs (usually 10 more minutes). Turn off the oven, and let those shells stay in the oven at least 5 minutes more.

Note 1: Leaving the shells in the oven will prevent them from collapsing. Exactly why, I don’t know.

  • Now let’s start with the cream filling.
  • Beat the egg yolks with sugar until the mixture becomes light yellow. Use a hand mixture for this step, especially for those with puny little arms like mine.

Note 2: Before when I didn’t have a mixer yet, and when I didn’t have the patience (and strength) to whisk the egg yolks until they turned light yellow, I just stopped when the sugar was kind of half dissolved into the yolks, and the cream was still delicious. Well, I might as well change my baking style to messy baking, or screw-the-instructions baking.

  • Add the corn starch, mix until incorporate and there’s no lumps.
  • Bring the milk almost to a boil, then add the milk gradually to the egg-corn starch mixture.

Note 3: Gradually is the very important key word here.

  • Cook the milk-egg yolk-corn starch mixture on medium heat until it becomes thick.Turn off the heat. You can add 10g of butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt here for more flavorful filling.
  • Wait until the cream filling and the pastry both completely cool down.
  • Now you can either: 1/ Use a toothpick, make a tiny hole on the bottom or side of the puffs, and pipe the filling inside, or 2/ Use a sharp knife or in my case, scissors, to cut open the pastry shells and pipe the filling inside. Pictures on the internet really love to show the cream filling generously flowing out of the shells, but I always find the cream fully hidden inside to be ideal.

You can cut open the shell and scoop the filling inside, easy

I need to learn how to take better pictures.

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