As I have said in my previous post, having a baby changes EVERYTHING! That includes compromising usual night out with good friends. Since I still can't leave my baby, my thoughtful "artklas" kumars paid me another visit at home last night. They brought some pizza, and chicken, and I, made desserts! =)
Jakob's starting to have longer sleeps in the daytime, that means I have more time in my hands, and so I decided to do some baking. I texted them yesterday morning and asked them to choose between custard filled cream puffs or some chocolate cupcakes. They seem to be indecisive on what they want, and I too on what I want to make; but since I have missed my kitchen, I made both! =)
For today, I shall share with you Sweet Liaison's basic, fool proof recipe for custard filled cream puffs/profiteroles. I have missed making these babies since we stopped operations.
There are 3 parts in making cream puffs. First, is making the "choux pastry"; second, is the custard; and if you want it to be more lavish you can add another component by making it a glaze of your choice. So I won't waste any more of your time and let's begin.
Part 1: "Choux Pastry" / Cream Puff shells
Ingredients you'll need: (makes about 30 big puffs/ 50 mini cocktail puffs/ 36 mini eclairs)
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 tsp of salt
1 cup all purpose flour (sifted)
3 large eggs
2 egg whites
1) Cut butter into small pieces. In a saucepan, combine water and butter pieces. Bring this to a boil just until butter melts.
2. Remove saucepan from heat once butter is melted, then pour in the flour all at once.
3. Return the saucepan to low heat and continue stirring just until dough separates from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat completely.
4. Then using a hand mixer, add in the eggs one at a time. Make sure to COOL the dough prior to addition of the eggs to avoid "cooking" the eggs.
5. Place dough in a piping bag; and use a round tip if desired. (But since I don't have any tips, I just cut the piping bag to a create a medium round shape.) Another tip: to easily place the dough mixture to the piping bag, place it in a tall glass.
6. Prepare your sheet pan and line it with parchment paper or cookie sheet. Tip: Get some dough and paste it on some sides of the sheet pan prior to placement of parchment paper to avoid unnecessary movements.
7. Pipe round mounds making sure they have enough space even when they "puffed".
8. Wet your index finger to flatten the pointy tips of the mounds.
9. Bake at 230 C for 30 minutes.
Part 2: Custard filling (you can make this while the puff shells are baking)
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla syrup
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/5 cup flour
1/5 cup cornstarch
1. Combine the yolks and sugar; whisk until pale yellow.
2. Sift the cornstarch and flour, then add it into the yolk-sugar mixture.
3. Combine the milk and vanilla in a saucepan and bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally.
4. Once milk is boiling, temper the yolk mixture with about 1/4 cup of the hot milk; STIR VIGOROUSLY. This process is important as to avoid curdling the custard and having "scrambled egg yolks".
5. Then, quickly add the tempered yolk mixture back again to the hot milk and stir until mixture is thick.
6. Remove from heat and place a film/cling wrap directly on top surface of the custard to avoid it from forming a "skin". Set aside until ready to use.
Once shells are cooked and you are ready to fill the shells, place the custard to a piping bag with a small round tip or "needle" tip. (I didn't have any of this so I just cut my piping bag to create a small round shape)
Find the natural crest/indent on your puff shells and pipe in there the custard until shell feels heavy enough. (Tip: you can use a small knife to gently lift the indent of the shells.)
Part 3: Sugar Glaze
I was supposed to use a hard caramel-candy glaze for this cream puffs but since I didn't have any cream of tartar on hand, I opted to do an easier sugar glaze. This glaze is ideal for doughnuts; but there is really no hard rule to glazing or topping your puffs. You can even just dust them with powdered sugar; or dip them in chocolate glaze; whatever suits your fancy.
Ingredients for Sugar glaze:
1/4 cup of milk
1 tsp of vanilla syrup
2 cups powdered sugar
1. Place the milk and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat.
2. Sift the powdered sugar over milk and whisk until melted.
3. Once melted, turn the heat to a low and dip the puffs to the glaze.
I also made some mini milk chocolate cupcakes. The recipe I used for this is new, so I won't post the details of it just yet. Well, you can say that it didn't pass in my test kitchen. Haha. According to my Kumars, it tasted good but it seems to me just like any ordinary chocolate cupcakes, nothing special. So until I have perfected the recipe for this one and achieved the oooey goooey center cupcakes I am aiming for, satisfy yourselves with just this pictures. Hehe.
Nothing beats good conversations with good friends over great foods! =) Here's my Kumars, delighted with the goodies.
Gathering of friends need not always be fancy; what's important are the conversations we make. We're always lost in the tracks of time when were together; for we can endlessly exchange stories of marital life and adventures of having a new family. Friends are blessings. I am thankful having them. =)
Happy Eating! =)