The cream puff pastry is very easy to make, but it looks lovely and elegant. It is extremely versatile as well. It’s basically the same recipe used for Chocolate Eclairs. But it can be used to make luncheon or brunch sandwiches and adapted for different uses, too.
You create a dough called a “pate a choux”. If you don’t know how to pronounce it, try saying, “pat a shoe” really fast (just make sure that people from France don't hear you. They're pretty particular about pronunciation.) If you are using it for a savory sandwich, it's called a Gougère.
First, let’s start with the basics:
1 cup water
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
4 eggs Pour the water into a saucepan over medium heat, add the butter. Stir until the butter melts. Add in the flour and the salt, mix until mixture forms a ball. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and whip until shiny and smooth. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet (I use a non-stick spray), creating mounds of dough. If you prefer, you can pipe it on with a pastry bag and make logs, which will be perfect for Eclairs. Or, you can put the mounds in a circle with the edges touching. Brush it This will create a circle that is perfect for brunch sandwiches. Cook at 400º for 30-35 minutes. Let cool, then split through the middle. If there is filament inside, scoop it out.
Here are Chocolate Cream Puff Swans:
For a savory version, perhaps use a chicken salad with lettuce.
Here are a couple of our family’s favorite variations. Cream Puff Cake
1 c. Water
½ c. Butter
1 c. Flour
1 8-oz. Pkg cream cheese, softened
4 c. Milk
3 pkg. Instant vanilla pudding (small box)
2 c. Whipping cream
¼ c. Powdered sugar
½ c. Dark chocolate chips
¼ c. Butter
½ c. White chocolate chips
2 tbs. Shortening
Put water and butter in a sauce pan. Bring water to boiling, stir until butter is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in flour until a ball forms. Add eggs, one at a time, and whip until shiny and smooth. Spread dough out on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400º for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown and puffy. Remove from oven, cool.
Beat cream cheese with milk in a mixer, add in the instant pudding. Beat until it's all mixed. Chill for about 30 minutes.
Place whipping cream into a mixing bowl, beat on high until soft peaks start to form. Add in powdered sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Spread filling mixture across the top of the cream puff pastry. Top with whipped cream. Melt the dark chocolate chips in the microwave with the butter, checking every 15 seconds or so, until it is melted and pourable.
With a spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate across the top of the whipped cream. Melt the white chocolate chips with the shortening (hint: do not use butter, or else the white chips will seize and not be usable). Add a little more shortening if necessary to get to a pourable consistency. With a spoon, drizzle the melted white chocolate across the top. Let the entire cake chill until time to serve. Use a pizza cutter to cut into squares.
Dazzling Mint Chocolate Cream Puffs
1 cup flour
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 cup water
½ tsp salt
1 tbs. granulated sugar
½ c. butter
Creme' De Minthe Filling
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon green mint flavor OR 1/4 cup green creme de menthe
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons water
Drizzle top with chocolate glaze.
Make the pate a choux as described above, adding in the cocoa powder with the flour. Bake at 400 for about 25-30 minutes. Let cool, split and fill with the Creme’ de Minthe filling.
Whip up the cream to stiff peaks with the powdered sugar, set aside. Add the water to a small saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin over it. Stir over medium heat until the gelatin is melted. Remove from the heat, add the creme de menthe. Stir. Let sit until it thickens up.
Pour the creme de menthe mixture slowly into the whip cream while the mixer is going. When it is all mixed, use it to fill the cream puffs.
You can drizzle with chocolate syrup, or melted chocolate chips.