Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cream Puffs

I went to a friend's house last night for Mom's Night Out. I debated all day about what to make as I always do. I never know what to make. I look through all my recipes over and over again. I ask everyone what I should make, but when they suggest something, I usually do not want to make that. My mom suggested that I make cream puffs. At first, I did not think that I had enough time. In my mind, they are time consuming. I would have to make the pastry cream, then the choux paste. Then I would have to fill them. In the end I did decide to make them, and they were delicious. I hope everyone else enjoyed them as much as I did!

As a kid, cream puffs were always a dessert that we wanted but rarely had. My grandma made them occasionally, but not all that often. She baked all the time, and she loved sweets. Sounds a lot like me :) When she made them, she would scoop the insides out before she filled them. My sisters and I loved to eat what she scooped out. It was our favorite part. I don't take the insides out of mine. I just poke a small hole in the side and fill them with a pastry bag. They always seemed to me like they were so hard to make. In reality, they are not very difficult, slightly time consuming maybe, but not difficult. Baking is sort of my escape though. I am always up for a time consuming baking challenge ;)

Pâte à Choux (pronounced pot a shoo), also known as choux or eclair paste is what is used to make cream puffs. It literally means "cabbage paste" due to the fact that cream puffs look like little cabbages. It contains only butter, flour, water, and eggs. No leavening agent is used. Instead, the high moisture content creates steam to cause the pastry to puff during the baking process. It is used to make cream puffs, eclairs, profiteroles, beignets, and a whole slew of other desserts. Once you master this recipe, you can make a countless number of desserts.

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