If you have ever made a filled cupcake or used a decorating pastry bag....then you can absolutely make a cream puff. In fact, its probably easier. You will be surprised at how easy it is to make the shells. I have been making these for so many years and always a hit!! A must have and....a trophy winning desert at our families annual Christmas Eve dessert competition!!!
1 CUP WATER 1/2 CUP BUTTER 1 CUP FLOUR 4 LARGE EGGS 1/4 TSP SALT
1 CUP SUGAR 6 TBLSP FLOUR 1- 1/2 CUPS MILK 4 EGG YOLKS BEATEN 1/4 CUP BUTTER 1 TBLSP VANILLA 1/2 CUP HEAVY CREAM - WHIPPED 1/4 TSP SALT
Start by making the filling so you can refrigerate it while you are making the puffs. It is easier to fill when chilled.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and salt. Stir in the milk. Stir constantly over a low heat about 10 minutes until it starts to thicken. Add the egg yolks and continue cooking about another 5 minutes until thick. Do not let it boil. When done, add the butter and vanilla and set aside and let it cool. Then refrigerate to chill. In the meantime, you can whip the heavy cream in another bowl and refrigerate that as well.
Now...on to the shells!! Preheat your oven to 450 degrees!!
Add the water, butter and salt in a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in flour. Then beat with a hand mixer until it starts to leave the sides of the pan. Add the eggs one at a time and beat after each one is added. This mixture will look smooth and glossy!!
Lay a piece of parchment paper on a baking tray. Make one inch mounds on the tray about two inches apart. I like to use two spoons. Pick up with one.... and push it off with the other. You will get into a routine and a consistent size using this method. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. then turn it down to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and rigid.
While the beautiful puffs are cooling, you will finish the cream filling. Slowly, fold the whipped cream into the bowl of cream. Easy...right??? Now you are ready to fill the puffs. Using a piping tip, prepare your pastry bag. When your tip is in place add the filling to the bag. You can literally pick any place on the puff to poke the tip threw. Then just fill them up. You will get to know when they are full after practicing on a few. Don't worry when you over fill them it will let you know by seeping out the cracks!! It is so easy and goes so fast after the first couple.
Last step... your almost there. Now to make them look amazing and irresistible!! Fill another pastry bag with a decorating tip this time and fill with a chocolate frosting of your choice. I like the dark chocolate but you can, of course, use a milk chocolate. If you are doing any kind of color scheme for a party, use a white frosting and food coloring to make it any color you like. It will look beautiful with any choice you make.
Amazing...beautiful and absolutely delicious!!! Your cream puffs are bound to impress!!!
And here's an extra hint...I made these last for a party with a bunch of friends. We took a limo into the city for a night out at a great piano bar called "Howl at the Moon". I thought they would be a nice sweet treat on the way home in the limo. They were definitely nice and sweet and a huge treat seeing drunk people bite into a cream puff. Let's just say they are not careful at all!! It was hysterical...so much fun. I'm sure certain people are happy I do not have pictures to post!!