Originating in France, cream puffs are also known as profiterole and choux a la creme. Cream puffs are a French dessert pastry filled with whipped cream, pastry cream, ice cream or custard. They may be served plain or are sometimes decorated with chocolate sauce, caramel sauce or dusted with icing sugar.
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup, 115 g unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 teaspoon plus 1½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 large eggs
- 2 ½ cups heavy cream
- icing sugar (powdered sugar), for dusting
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit 1 large pastry bag <em>(or a plastic freezer bag with 1 cm cut from one bottom corner)</em> with plain 1 cm tip.
- Bring milk, butter, 1 teaspoon sugar, salt, and ½ cup water to a boil in a medium sauce- pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add flour all at once; reduce heat to medium-low. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until a dough forms and pulls away from sides of pan, 1–2 minutes. Continue beating vigorously until a thin dry film forms on bottom and sides of pot, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add 1 egg and stir vigorously with wooden spoon until egg is incorporated and dough looks dry again, about 2 minutes. Repeat with 4 more eggs, adding one at a time and stirring vigorously to incorporate before adding the next. Dough should be smooth, shiny, and thickened.
- Spoon dough into prepared pastry bag; pipe out 6 cm diameter rounds on prepared sheets, leaving 5 cm between rounds. (To make ahead: Freeze the piped dough rounds on the baking sheets, then transfer to resealable plastic bags and freeze for up to 1 month. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spacing apart <em>(do not defrost)</em> before continuing with recipe.)
- Arrange racks in upper and middle thirds of oven and preheat to 230°C. Whisk remaining egg with 2 teaspoon water and brush dough rounds all over with egg wash.
- Transfer baking sheets to oven; turn oven off. After 10 minutes, heat oven to 175°C and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate pans front to back and top to bottom; continue baking until deep golden brown all over, about 10 minutes longer (puffs will deflate if removed from oven before fully baked). Transfer puffs to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Using a serrated knife, gently slice the top quarter off each puff; transfer tops to a plate. With your finger, gently push down the soft film of cooked dough inside each puff.
- Prepare a second pastry bag <em>(or freezer bag)</em> with 1 cm open-star tip. Beat heavy cream and remaining sugar in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Spoon whipped cream into prepared pastry bag. Fill each puff with cream, finishing with a generous ring of cream on top. Dust tops of cream puffs with icing sugar; place atop puffs.
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