Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins
The best cream puffs bake into perfect hollow balls ideal for filling with custard or whipped cream. The dough should be the consistency of thick mayonnaise. If it is too thick, add another egg yolk to achieve the correct consistency. If you like, substitute pastry cream for the chocolate cream, and/or drizzle chocolate sauce over the puffs just before serving
For the Pastry Puffs
- 1 cup water
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 5 eggs
For the Chocolate Cream or Pastry Cream
- 13 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- Preheat an oven to 400 degrees.
- Butter and flour a large baking sheet.
- FOR THE PASTRY PUFFS:.
- In a saucepan, combine the water, butter, salt and the 1/2 teaspoon sugar and bring to a boil.
- As soon as it boils, remove the pan from the heat and add the flour all at once.
- Using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, briskly beat in the flour.
- Place the saucepan over high heat and continue beating briskly for 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat again and scrape the contents of the pan into a large bowl.
- Add 4 of the eggs, one at a time, beating vigorously after each addition until smooth.
- Place the dough in a pastry (piping) bag with a 1/2-inch plain tip.
- Pipe mounds about 2 inches in diameter and 3 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheet.
- You should have 16-20 mounds in all.
- In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg until well blended.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly brush each mound with the egg.
- Bake until the puffs are golden brown, about 30 minutes.
- Transfer the puffs to a rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- When the puffs are cool, slice off the top one-third of each puff.
- Set the bottoms and tops aside.
- FOR THE CHOCOLATE CREAM:.
- Place the chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over (not touching) barely simmering water in a pan.
- Stir just until the chocolate melts.
- then remove from the heat.
- Pour the cream into a bowl.
- Using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat until soft peaks form.
- Add the 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form, about 20 seconds.
- Pour all of the melted chocolate into the whipped cream as quickly as possible, and continue to mix on high speed until evenly combined, about 1 minute.
- Place the chocolate cream in a clean pastry (piping) bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip.
- Pipe the cream into the bottoms of the cooled puffs so a little bit of the cream is exposed between the crusts.
- Replace the tops on the filled bottoms and serve immediately.