Monday, September 26, 2011

French Vanilla Cream Puffs

Twenty-seven cream puffs were shared with co-workers, and it only took about 20 minutes for them to disappear. I do not usually make note of the amount of time it takes people to consume my food but I would definitely call this recipe a success.

Luckily, I stored away these three lone puffs for photographic purposes or else they would have been devoured with the rest...and no, I did not eat them all myself. Although, these cream puffs were so delicious that I easily could have hoarded them away for selfish reasons.

Light and airy pastry shells, filled with a french vanilla custard and topped with a chocolate ganache. They may look and sound a bit difficult but you will be surprised by the ingredients and ease of directions. The only consideration should be to the time-span in which you are looking to serve these little puppies. Due to a short fridge-life, I would serve the cream puffs within 1-2 days of baking.

French Vanilla Cream Puffs
Adapted by Lean Haines

1 c. water
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 c. cold milk
1 (3.4 oz) package instant French Vanilla pudding mix
1 c. whipped topping

8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
3/4 c. cream or whole milk

Pastry Instructions: In a large saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil. Add flour and salt  all at once; stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove pot from heat; let stand for 5 minutes. One at a time, add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Continue mixing till smooth and shiny.  Drop rounded teaspoons, 2" apart,  on prepared baking sheet ( Silpat works wonderfully). Bake at 400 degrees 20-25 minutes  or until golden brown. Immediately, use a toothpick to prick a small whole in the side of each puff or they will deflate. let site to cool for a few minutes before cutting off the tops. Scoop out some of the pastry center before filling with custard.

Filling Instructions: In a mixing bowl, add cold milk to pudding mixture and mix till thickened. Place in the fridge for 5-10 minutes.  Fold in the whipped topping. Place back in fridge for 5 minutes. When custard is ready over-fill the bottom of each puff and top with other half of pastry.

In a small bowl, heat cream in microwave till hot. Add in the chocolate pieces.  Let sit for 1 minute before mixing together. When chocolate and cream are completely blended, pour on top of each cream puff. 

Immediately refrigerate cream puffs for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Eat cold.


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