First, I started with the cream, as it takes a long time to cool down.
- 500ml of milk
- 1 pkg of vanilla sugar (= 1 tsp of vanilla extract)
- 2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 100g sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- 50g of flour
- Pinch of salt
- In a saucepan, bring to a soft boil the milk, vanilla sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Stir constantly to avoid burned milk on the bottom.
- In the meantime, in a large bowl, combine the sugar, the egg yolks and the egg and mix them with a wooden spoon until it becomes a light yellow.
- Add the flour and mix.
- Add the boiling milk a little at a time. Keep mixing.
- Put everything back in the saucepan and put it back on the stove on low, stirring constantly, until it thickens.
- Pour the cream in a bowl and let it cool. You can cover with saran wrap touching the cream to prevent a skin forming on the surface of the cream. Refrigerate when cooled to room temperature.
- “until it thickens” is pretty vague, at least for me. How thick does it have to be? As I was waiting for the cream to get closer to a pudding consistency (still stirring), lumps began forming. Before the whole thing turned into a big lump, I transferred it to the bowl and used a whisk on the cream, which got rid of all the lumps. So, keep an eye on this. I guess practice makes perfect... this was the second attempt at pastry cream (see last week’s post) and it was much better than the first!!!!
- 80g butter
- 125g flour
- 250ml water
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp of sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven at 390 degrees.
- In a saucepan, heat the butter, water, sugar and salt.
- When everything is melted, add the flour all at once.
- Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until the dough does not stick to the pan or the spoon anymore.
- Remove from the stove and add the eggs one at a time, mixing completely between each.
- On a cookie sheet, put some parchment paper and make little mounts of dough with spoons (12 large or 18 small puffs).
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. To verify the puffs are ready, they need to “resist” the pressure of a spoon or your finger.
- When adding the eggs, it looks and feels like the mixture is not going to integrate them, just keep mixing!!
- For the mounts of dough, the recipe mentioned using a pastry bag or spoons. I went with the pastry bag BUT I would recommend using spoons for a more uniform shape. It is important to know that 1) Whatever shape your mount has is pretty much the shape of your finished puff; and 2) whatever size your mount has is pretty much the size of your final puff.
- Also, if using the pastry bag, to remove little tips on top, brush with some milk and tap it down a bit.
- Traditionally, to put the cream inside the puff, you use a pastry bag and through the bottom of the puff, you add the cream.
- Other people recommend to cut the puff and fill it with cream.
- The pastry bag makes it very easy EXCEPT the cream oozes out of the puffs. So I’d recommend to do it from the top or the side. Also, it is very hard to know when enough is enough. It was funny to feel the puffs expend when filling them though...
TASTE – Fantastic! It is so good, I don't know how long they are going to last!
I just need to practice shaping the puffs differently...