Cream Puffs

cream puffs recipe from
We had a housewarming this weekend. My own? No. Sadly we're not ready for that yet. We warmed my boyfriend's new condo...that he bought four months after me...that I'm decidedly not at all bitter about having been "warmed" first....which I bet you do not believe....and you'd be somewhat right. I'm a tad jealous. I'd love to fill my house with friends instead of contractors. *Sigh*

The party itself was fun. Fifty friends of my boyfriend and his sister came to eat, drink, laugh, and break in the new place. The one person I invited didn't show up to warm the kitchen cabinet I was granted. (The kitchen is cold to you, Butchie. C-O-L-D. No cream puffs for you!).....actually, few cream puffs for anyone. Brandon scooped up the tray, walked off and....well... I'm not actually sure any made it into a guest's mouth......

As one of the people who did get a cream puff, I can vouch, they turned out pretty well. If you've never made choux before you should try it. I find choux pastry to be a simple 'go to'  recipe you can take from start to finish in half an hour that looks far more complicated and impressive than it truly is. Not to mention all the yummy things you can do with it! Don't believe me? All of these recipes are choux pastry:

Cheddar Dill Gougères
Gougère Soup Bowls
I've been having lots of fun with choux. In a few days I'll even have another choux recipe to post: rosemary parmesan gougères! and maybe another after that because now that I'm looking at these lovely foods I might need more.....and since I'll be at butchie's tonight maybe we will warm her kitchen with some eclairs. That should happen. That should always happen.

For the first -ime cream puff maker: take your time. If you have the time to make everything all at once I'd like to know your secret for time management. Please teach a seminar. I made the choux on one day, the pastry cream the next, and the assembly was on the third day...right before the party....I was a wee bit frantic but even then, for me it was easier to find half an hour or so each day, than two hours all together. I bet you know the feeling.

Without further ado, I present:

Cream Puffs

for the choux:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup skim milk
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
Large pinch of kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

for the pastry cream: 
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt, preferably kosher
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons  unsalted butter

for the chocolate glaze:
1 cup semisweet chocoalte chips
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the choux: 

Preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit. Line two heavy baking sheets with parchment paper. (If you're pans are too light, stack them. This will reduce the chance of scorching on the bottom of the puff).

In a small saucepan, bring the water, milk, butter, and salt to a boil. Add the flour and stir until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and dries out a bit. Roughly two minutes.

Turn the dough out into a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly between each one.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag with a half inch tip (or a disposable bag with the tip cut off) and pipe tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets at least two inches apart.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.

The puffs can be frozen or refrigerated. To reheat, cook in an 350 degree oven for at least five minutes, or until piping hot and crisped.

To make the pastry cream: 

Pour the milk, vanilla, and salt into a heavy sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat and scald, bringing it to a near boiling point. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a stand mixer add the cornstarch and sugar. Whisk to combine.

Add the eggs to the sugar and cornstarch and whisk until smooth.

When the milk is ready, gently and slowly while the stand mixer is whisking, pour the heated milk down the side of the bowl into the egg mixture.

Pour the mixture back into the warm pot and continue to cook over a medium heat until the custard is thick, just about to boil and coats the back of a spoon.

Remove from heat and pass through a fine mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool for ten minutes stirring occasionally.

Cut the butter into four pieces and whisk into the pastry cream a piece at a time until smooth.

Cover the cream with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap onto the top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for up to five days.


Put pastry cream into a pastry bag with a sharp end that will be able to pierce through the top of a choux pastry puff. I used a disposable plastic pastry bag. 

Pierce into top of each pastry puff with the tip of the pastry bag and squeeze bag, thus filling the puff with pastry cream. You should see the puff slighly expand as it becomes full. 

Place filled puffs aside on a tray and continue to fill each pastry puff. 

Once all puffs are finished, place tray of puffs into the freezer. This allows the cream to freeze slightly so that it will not leak into the chocolate glaze while dipping. 

Make the chocolate glaze:

In a bowl combine chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each time until smooth. Do not overcook.

Dip the top of each cream puff in the chocolate glaze, covering the hole made for the cream filling. Place right side up on a tray. Return trays of dipped puffs to the freezer for the chocolate to set. 

Serve immediately, or allow to freeze on a cookie sheet and then transfer to a suitable container. (I'd tell you how long they keep in the freezer, but they all are eaten within a day!)