Classic Cream Puffs

Photo Credit: Lovely Little Kitchen

Cream puffs are a beautiful, classic dessert consisting of a golden and crisp exterior, fluffy interior and creamy vanilla-flavoured filling. This classic cream puffs recipe from Julie, the author of the Lovely Little Kitchen recipe blog, will give you the perfect instruction to making these delectable treats in the traditional way. Although they look very fancy, cream puffs are quite simple to make and use a choux pastry dough which is a common pastry dough recipe in French cuisine. Choux pastry dough may be used to prepare eclairs, cream puffs, crullers, churro doughnuts or cream filled swans. This dough can even be found in savoury puff recipes such as gougere which have plenty of cheese in them. If you would like to start your foray into this unique corner of baking and pastry, try Julie’s classic cream puffs recipe, and you won’t be disappointed.

Despite using a fancy dough, making cream puffs isn’t overly difficult or technical. The dough gets made in a pot on the stove, which may seem a little unorthodox if you are used to other kinds of pastry baking, but it is essential to producing the light and fluffy dough, which puffs and hollows in the middle during baking. For the first step of the choux recipe, plenty of water and butter are simmered together before adding the flour. Once the flour is added, the mixture turns into a dough and must be cooked for a minute or so to cook out some of the moisture and get rid of the starchy flavour. You will know it is time to add the eggs by if there is a white skim on the bottom of the pot. The eggs are added to the dough recipe once it has cooled for a few minutes, so they don’t curdle, and they help make the puffs fluffy and give them their levity. The cream portion is easy to make as it is simply freshly whipped cream rather than the usual pastry cream in French pastry.

Although the finished cream puffs can have a craggy appearance, Julie mentions that using a piping bag to pipe the choux pastry dough will make the puffs more uniform. A plastic food storage bag with a corner cut out of it will do the trick, so there are no special baking products required. Simply place the bag in a tall glass so that it is easy to fill, and them pipe equal-sized portions onto a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet. You may also use a traditional piping bag if you have one, but it won’t be completely necessary. You will have the perfectly sized fun desserts every time you make this cream puff recipe. If you decide that uniformity doesn’t matter to you, though, simply drop portions of the dough onto a baking sheet with a spoon. These cream puffs will still become a favourite of whoever you serve them to.

Once you have made this puff recipe a few times, feel free to vary the flavours of it and modify it for the occasion. Julie mentioned that she almost turned these puffs into a fresh berry dessert by fusing the cream with strawberries for taste and colour. A strawberry-infused cream puff would be a stunning addition to a summer spread. Alternatively, you can make the cream lemon-flavoured with some lemon zest or add some melted chocolate to the cream for a chocolate filling. You can even add pie filling to the puffs in addition to the cream. The possibilities are relentless when it comes to this classic French dessert recipe. Thank you to Julie, the author of the Lovely Little Kitchen recipe blog, for sharing her classic cream puffs recipe with us.

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