14 April 2016

Cream Puffs - Pate a Choux

Cream Puffs - Pate a Choux / www.delightfulrepast.com

When my English grandmother made her rounds to her children's homes throughout the year, she always made these and they've never been forgotten by any of her grandchildren. The oven never had a chance to cool down when she was in town.

I still remember the first time I made cream puffs. It was a good thing my mother was standing by to give my skinny little stirring arm a break. I've always felt compelled to make them the way my mother and grandmother made them -- by hand -- but I'm still having an issue with my beating arm, so I made these in the food processor.

Most people have no idea how easy these are to make, so when you bring them out your guests will be positively dazzled! That's always fun. You know, when you look all modest and humble, only rolling your eyes when your head is down, thinking "If only they knew!"  

Stir constantly and cook the flour mixture well. It will pull completely away from the sides of the pan when it's done. Set the timer for 10 minutes, and allow the dough to cool for precisely (well, approximately) 10 minutes before beating in the eggs. If the mixture doesn't cool long enough, the eggs will scramble; if it cools too long, the dough starts to set up.

Bake the puffs thoroughly, until very well browned. Then cut a little slit in the sides to vent the steam and put them back in the turned-off oven to dry out. That's really all there is to it. But give yourself a break and make the Vanilla Pastry Cream the day before. Or just whip up a batch of Stabilized Whipped Cream.

Cream Puffs - Pate a Choux / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pate a Choux 

(pronounced pot-ah-SHOO) 

(Makes enough for 20 #40 cream puffs) 

2/3 cup (5.33 fluid ounces/158 milliliters or grams) water
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 dip-and-sweep cup (5 ounces/142 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs 


1 Combine water, butter and salt in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan (I use the Le Creuset stainless steel 2-quart saucier). Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. As soon as water reaches the boil, reduce heat to simmer and add flour all at once. Beat vigorously with wooden spoon until flour is absorbed and mixture forms a ball. Mash dough against bottom of pan with spoon for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. 

Cream Puffs - Pate a Choux / www.delightfulrepast.com

2 Preheat oven to 450F/230C/Gas8. Line a large baking sheet (I use a 3/4-sheet pan) with parchment paper. 

3 Add dough to food processor work bowl fitted with chopping/mixing blade. Process for 10 to 15 seconds. Add 4 eggs* and process about 1 minute, or until smooth and shiny. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. The dough should be shiny, smooth and very thick but not stiff; and it should hold its shape when lifted on a spoon. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, for 1 to 2 days. Cold dough can be shaped without bringing it to room temperature. 

Note: If you are making the dough by hand or with a hand mixer, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; beat at least 2 minutes after adding the last egg.

Cream Puffs - Pate a Choux / www.delightfulrepast.com
  
4 Drop dough by #40 scoops 3 inches apart on parchment-lined (or greased) cookie sheet. (I make 4 rows of 5 on my 3/4-sheet pan.) I go over the scoops of dough with a wet finger to smooth out any rough spots. Bake at 450F/230C/Gas8 for 15 minutes, then at 325F/165C/Gas3 for 25 minutes. 


5 Remove puffs from oven; cut a little slit in the sides to vent the steam and put them back in the turned-off oven to dry out, about 20 minutes. Cool on rack to room temperature. Just before serving, split the puffs horizontally (but not in half -- I cut the top 1/3 so that the bottom can hold more), fill, replace tops, ice or dust with powdered sugar. Or you can leave the puffs intact and pipe the filling.


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73 comments:

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

*Giveaway Winner Announced* - The winner of the Le Creuset saucier, by random drawing, is Julie (Charulie). Julie, as soon as you send me, delightfulrepast at aol dot com, your name, address and phone number (required by shipper), Le Creuset will ship the pan to you. Congratulations!

If I don't hear from the winner of the random drawing by 11:59 am Eastern time Sunday, April 17, another drawing will be held and new winner selected from among the original entrants (those who commented before the giveaway deadline).

This was fun! Watch for more giveaways here at Delightful Repast! In the meantime, follow me on Google and Twitter. You can even use the Follow Me By Email button in the right column.

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

I have pinned this and at the same time ooh and "aahed." The presentation is so lovely and I enjoyed reading about your training in the art of making Cream Puffs! What a sweet memory,
made my heart smile.
You know we are going to have a little ladies get-together in June. I am putting these on my list of desserts!
Happy Thursday and thank you so much for joining us at TOHOT!
Jemma

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jemma, thank you so much! All my best childhood memories seem to be about food! Do let me know how you all liked these at your ladies get-together.

Stacey said...

We love cream puffs but I've never had them homemade. I bet they just melt in your mouth! I will be at Jemma's house for that get together (we are neighbors in town). Hoping she makes them!! :)

Happy Thoughts of Home.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Stacey, thank you! That sound like such fun. Do let me know if she makes them.

Pauline Wiles said...

Jean, I have a terrible confession to make: I just joined Weight Watchers. Nonetheless, you should know I adore my vicarious (calorie-free) visits to your blog.

Charulie said...

Jean, I am so very excited!!! I received your notification email and replied a few minutes ago. I sent a second email too. Thank you so much. I can't wait to receive the saucier! Julie / Charilie.

Charulie said...

That was definitely fun!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Pauline, that is "a terrible confession" -- too funny! Like Weight Watchers, I'm all for portion control. Notice I make 20 cream puffs out of the amount of dough usually made into 12. So when you're ready to indulge ... :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Julie, it was fun for me as well. So excited for you! I'll send them your info, and I'm sure they'll ship it promptly.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I haven't made cream puffs since my beloved passed away, Jean. I'll have to make some soon, in his honor. My mom used to make them all the time, and yes, they really are easy! Yours look beautifully presented on that gorgeous snack set and with the embroidered napkin. Can I come over, please????

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Oh, Kitty, I wish you could! And thanks for using the correct name "snack set." For some reason, I had a mental block this morning and couldn't think of it and so called it a cup and plate. Silly me. And I think that would make a lovely post -- cream puffs in honor of your beloved.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Jean, your pastries look delightful. I have never attempted them although I really must. My grandmother was a phenomenal cook and baker and everyone says I take after her. That is quite a compliment for me because I remember how good everything was that came out of her oven. I actually made my first souffle yesterday and it turned out perfectly! I was so pleased because I had always been afraid to make it. Your cream puffs looks scrumptious on your pretty snack set. Thank you so much for linking up with me and enjoy your day.

Blessings,
Sandi

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sandi. If you like making a souffle, you'll like making these! It's been ages since I made a souffle. Did you make a sweet or savory one? I like both.

Daniela said...

I'm so very grateful to you for another wonderful recipe of yours, my darling Jean, I love bigné, actually I love all your so precious pastry recipes, my wonderful friend !

May your day be blessed with love, sending dear hugs to you, sweetest one,
with much thankfulness

Dany

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Dany, thank you. It's the sort of dessert that fits rather well with the style of your exceptionally beautiful blog!

Melissa AuClair said...

Jean, I've already reached out to my baking friend to make these amazing looking pastries. I'm so excited to make them and eat them.

Thank you so much for the step by step recipe (with pictures) and childhood story.

Marilyn Lesniak said...

I am just going to have to try this. It might not look pretty but I am sure it will taste wonderful! Thanks for sharing at #ThursdayFavoriteThings. Pinned and shared!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

[Sorry, I posted this on last week's blog earlier today (and saw your reply), so here it is again in the right column]
Alas, when they passed out subtle and nuanced tastebuds, I was out of town. Creampuffs are like a gateway drug to get me to éclairs where the filling gobsmacks you with its sweetness. Yes, crass is the word to describe my tastes. That said, I believe you got the excess of what I missed. Airiness and dryness with a molecule of sugar is what I get from a creampuff. The antonym (if not antidote) would be a Krispy Kreme vanilla donut (DoNot, if your tastes run to creampuffs), preferably where the pastry chef pounded on the south end of the cream injector to get a double dose inside the thick, chewy shell (a.k.a. sponge-for-grease). I hang my head in shame...

Laura said...

Oh my.
Cream puffs.
They look heavenly and your memories of your grandmother are as well.

Thank you for sharing this Jean.
This post is wonderful.

Laura
White Spray Paint
TOHOT.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Melissa, thank you! I'm so glad you and your baking friend are going to make these. If there's anything in my directions that's unclear (or left out entirely), let me know.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Marilyn. I'm sure you'll make gorgeous cream puffs! Thanks so much for the Pins and shares.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, thanks for getting it into the right column!

Bernideen said...

Dear Jean:
I have made cream puffs as I always served them for events at my store. The one thing I learned is never to double the batch - always make a second batch separate (only for serving lots of folks of course). Yours look delicious and your recipes are always wonderful!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Laura, thank you! I adored my grandmothers (one English, one Southern), so they get mentioned quite a bit here on the blog.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Bernideen. And that's good to know about the double batch. I don't ever need to make more than one batch, but my mother used to "cook big" and, now that you mention it, she never doubled the recipe either. Hmm ... I hadn't thought of that. Thanks for the tip!

Margaret-whiteangel said...

How delightful to see the photos of the 'puffs' being made and made.
I used to make these years ago, and eat them too - just delicious.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Margaret. Every once in a while I take the time to take photos of the steps. Glad you noticed!

Angie Schneider said...

We love puffs, but haven't had one since I was trying to cut down the carbs and calorie...now you have me crave one for the breakfast!

Charulie said...

Thank you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Angie. I'll have to figure the calorie count on these!

Cathleen said...

I have always wanted to try making cream puffs! And you make them look so easy, I really have no excuse! Yours look amazing.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

That's the spirit, Cathleen! Just do it! Let me know how it goes, okay?

Mildred said...

Oh, how I would love to taste one (or two or three) of these! No matter how much weight I gain, my arms are still skinny so I had to laugh when you said "your skinny stirring arm!" Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Mildred. And just so everyone knows, my stirring arm is no longer especially skinny!

McGuffy Ann Morris said...

Oh, my. These look delightful!
Annie from ~McGuffy's Reader~

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Annie! I have some of the pastry shells in the freezer, so it'll be a snap to put a "fancy" dessert on the table on short notice!

Marilyn Lesniak said...

Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe at the #RecipeSharingParty! I hope to see you next week. Pinned and Yummed. Please visit #OverTheMoon on Sunday or #ThursdayFavoriteThingsfor more sharing fun! Don't forget to comment your link #'s so I can be sure to visit.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sweet Marilyn, thank you sooo much! I really appreciate your social media shares.

Marilyn Lesniak said...

Congratulations! Your post was my feature pick from my Commenters at #ThursdayFavoriteThings this week. Visit me on Wednesday evening and to see your feature! I invite you to leave more links to be shared and commented upon.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Marilyn, thank you! I'll be sure to check it out Wednesday evening! Have a wonderful weekend.

handmade by amalia said...

One of my favorites, though my grandmother never made them :-) Your china takes them to the next level, Marilyn.
Amalia
xo

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Amalia! I come from a long line of china collecting women, so I have quite a bit of variety.

Lea Ann (Cooking on the Ranch) said...

I can see why those were never forgotten. I can't imagine making cream puffs. Your china is beautiful and so perfect for this treat. Thanks for sharing.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lea Ann, thank you so much! It's fun making things like that, but I need to concentrate on some main dishes!

Sue/the view from great island said...

I made eclairs ONCE and i was surprised at how easy it was --- these look bakery window perfect!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sue. I *love* that -- "bakery window perfect"!

Swathi Iyer said...

Looks perfect, love pate choux as I can fill them with sweet or savory , then for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning tweeting and featuring on this week's blog hop

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Swathi, thank you! You make such amazing food, I feel honored to be featured on your blog!

Sippity Sup said...

Very elegant puffs! GREG

Margie said...

Yum! I haven't had cream puffs in ages! I'm also loving your purple chintz snack set.

Thank you for the visits, Jean. Grimsby is a small town located 30 minutes east of Niagara Falls and the U.S. border. Hope you get to stop by next time you're travelling through the Niagara region.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Greg!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Margie, I would love to!

Stephanie said...

Hello sweet friend! How are you? It's been way too long since I have visited your lovely blog...forgive me.

Your cream puffs look divine and I know they taste just as good as they look :) I love making cream puffs and I must confess it's been a while since I have made any...maybe I should change that.

Have a wonderful week! Hugs to you!

Richard Sheppard said...

Oh yum, Jean! It's you that never fails to impress. Once again you've posted a recipe that I'll positively have to make. Best part is that it's easy! My go to, never fails to impress, easy-peasy to make dessert has always been crepes.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Stephanie, I understand. Life gets hectic from time to time, despite our best efforts to keep it simple and serene! :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Aaaww! Thank you, Richard. And thanks for reminding me about crepes. I haven't made them in a very long time. Not sure I even have a good crepe pan these days (it really has been a very long time!).

Debbie said...

Oh those look amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Debbie, thanks so much!

Organized Island said...

Your cream puffs look divine! I have never made these - love your recipe!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Organized! I hope you'll try it out and let me know how it went!

janet said...

I love your recipe! ^^ It looks nice and delicious!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Janet! It's fun to make, too!

April J Harris said...

Your Cream Puffs are beautiful, Jean! Thank you for sharing them with us at Hearth and Soul, and especially for your tutorial which makes them look very do-able. I've always been intimidated by cream puffs but not anymore. I can't wait to give your recipe a try. Sharing on the Hearth and Soul Facebook page :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

April, thank you! When you try it, you are going to be amazed -- you'll be saying, I can't believe how easy this is!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

I haven't made cream puffs in probably twenty years! This would be fun and different to make for dessert this weekend. Thanks for such a great recipe!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Oh, BRnLC, do make them! And be sure to come back and tell me how they turned out!

Tony Grant said...

They look great Jean.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Tony! Wish I had one right now.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Jean you are delightfully decadent! I love cream puffs....and of course try to stay away from them. But if I make them and share them....well...I think that just might work. They're just so easy to pop into your mouth...one after another!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sue, I love that -- "delightfully decadent!" Yes, I must share them because, as you say, they're just soooo easy to po into your mouth!

Bernideen said...

Dear Jean:
Cream Puffs were always a favorite at my store tea events. I think they are perfect and yours look wonderful! Thanks for sharing, linking and inspiring.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank *you*, Bernideen!

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