Cream puffs are delightful. They are perfect when: plain, filled, filled then frozen, stacked, alone. I love their delicate texture and slight egg flavor. There are hundreds of recipes out there but they basically consist of the same things....a water butter flour mixture that is heated then mixed with eggs and/or milk. Here are a few tips regardless of your recipe:
- when heating the water/butter/flour mixture, after it comes together mix it an additional 1 minute to thoroughly cook out the starch and improve taste
- after taking your mixture off the stove and placing it in a mixer with the paddle attachment NOT the whisk, add the eggs one by one until the mixture makes a "v" when you pull up the paddle. If your mixture does not do this add more eggs or warm milk a little at a time until it does.
- pipe out the pate a choux (cream puff) onto parchment paper lined sheet trays. Do not use wax paper.
- when baking watch the puffs and just when they seem to have reached their optimum puffiness open the oven just a hair to let out some of the moisture and then allow them to finish cooking. This will prevent the puff from cracking.
- To make the croque en bouche (crack in mouth) like above, heat 1/2 c. water and 3 c. sugar and a pinch of cream of tartar without stirring to a medium caramel color about 345 degrees F. pull off heat and work quick dipping 1/2 of the puff in the syrup arranging the puffs in a tight ring getting smaller with each new level