Prep 3 hrs 55 mins
Cook 1 hr 50 mins
Cream Puff Paste (Pate A Choux)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 1⁄2 cup sweet unsalted butter, cut up in pieces
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg, beaten with a drop or two of water to make an egg wash
- Put water, butter or salt in a large heavy saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat (butter should be completely melted) and add the flour all in one fell swoop.
- Mix as quickly as possible with a sturdy wooden spoon.
- This mixture is known as a "panade".
- Return the saucepan to the stove over the lowest possible heat. Continue to stir with the wooden spoon while the panade dries out. This will take about 5 minutes, and a thin crust will form on the bottom of the pan.
- This is supposed to happen, so don't worry about it, and don't try to scrape it up and incorporate it into the dough, or you will have plaster chips in your pastries.
- The dough should be soft, but when you pinch it between thumb and forefinger it should not stick to your hand.
- Dump the panade into a bowl, and let it cool for at least 5 minutes.
- Then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- The mixture should be smooth and creamy looking before you add the next egg.
- After all 4 eggs have been beaten in, the dough will be shiny and satiny yellow, thick and heavy.
- Butter and flour a cookie sheet. Fill a pastry bag with the dough.
- If you don't have a pastry bag, you can use a tablespoon to drop dollops of dough onto the cookie sheet for eclairs and/or cream puffs, but you really must have a pastry bag in order to make a cream puff ring.
- For cream puffs, Squeeze out balls about the size of ping pong or golf balls.
- For eclairs, squeeze out oblongs at 3 to 4 inches long.
- If you are using the recipe given above, you should end up with 14 to 16 pastries.
- Don't succumb to the temptation to make fewer and larger ones, for they won't cook properly if you do.
- Brush the tops of the pastries with beaten egg, using the bristles of the brush to gently push down and flatten out the little curlicues left by the pastry bag as you lifted it off.
- Finally, drag the tines of a dinner fork down the length of each eclair.
- The resulting stripes will make for a more attractive and professional looking product. For a cream puff ring, first mark a 10" circle on the surface of the buttered and floured cookie sheet. Then, using a pastry gab, squeeze out a 1" wide "halo" of cream puff paste right on top of the circle you've outlined.
- Squeeze another 1" wide ring of dough adjacent to - and touching - the first. Squeeze a third ring directly over the "crack" between the other two.
- Brush the whole thing with beaten egg, and sprinkle a handful of thinly sliced almonds all over the top of the ring.
- Let the cream puffs, eclairs, or cream puff ring sit and "dry" for no less than 15 and no more than 25 minutes before baking.
- The oven should be preheated to 375F for cream puffs and/or eclairs, and to 400F for a cream puff ring.
- Bake the former at 375F for about 30 minutes, or until they have puffed up nicely and turned golden brown.
- Bake the latter at 400F for about 45 minutes, or until it is well puffed and golden brown.
- Then, turn the oven off, open the door, and leave it halfway open for an hour.
- If it won't stay ajar by itself, prop it open by wedging something in there. This is to allow steam to escape and to let the pastries cool slowly and "dry" as they cool so that they won't collapse or become soft and soggy.
- After an hour has passed, remove the pastries from the oven.
- They are now ready to be filled.
- To fill individual pastries: Cut cream puffs and eclairs in half (from side to side, not from top to bottom). Fill with whatever filling you desire. Replace lids.
- Glaze with icing or pour sauce on top.
- Serve. It is wise not to fill pastries to far in advance of the serving time. The closer the preparation time is to the serving time, the smaller the likelihood that the pastries will begin to soften or get soggy.
- To fill a cream ring: Use a slicing knife with a long serrated blade to cut the top off a cream puff ring.
- Fill the bottom with praline cream (or coffee cream, or chocolate cream) filling.
- Fill a pastry bag with sweetened whipped cream.
- use a nozzle with a zigzag edge (like pinking shears) to squeeze out a layer of fancy puff-balls of whipped cream all over the layer of praline cream filling.
- Finally, replace the lid and dust the top with 10X powdered confectioners' sugar.
- Keep the cream puff ring in a cool dry place until serving time. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - * Exported from MasterCook * PRALINE FILLING Recipe By : Homemade Good News (Vol 3 No 3) Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:00 Categories : Pastries Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method -------- ------------ -------------------------------- 1 cup 10X powdered confectioners' sugar 1/2 cup almonds Make the vanilla custard cream.
- Place the sugar and nuts in a heavy saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon.
- It will take a while for the sugar to melt because there is no water or other liquid in the pot. Keep on stirring! As soon as the sugar melts, it will turn into caramel.
- Immediately remove from heat and pour the caramel onto an oiled marble slab (if you have one) or onto an oiled cookie sheet (if you don't). Allow it to cool.
- When the candy has cooled, it will be hard and brittle. Break it into pieces, place the pieces in your blender or food processor, and grind them up into powder.
- Fold the praline powder into the vanilla custard cream.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - NOTES : This is for Cream Puff Ring * Exported from MasterCook * CHOCOLATE ICING Recipe By : Homemade Good News (Vol 3 No 3) Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:00 Categories : Frostings, Fillings, & Icings Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method -------- ------------ -------------------------------- 3 ounces bitter (unsweetened) chocolate 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate 3/4 cup cream (heavy cream is best, but is so hard to come by that unless you have your own dairy you will probably have to use whipping cream) enough water to thin icing to desired consistency (1 or 2 Tbsp) Melt the chocolate in the cream over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Bring to a boil.
- cool to lukewarm.
- Add water as desired.
- Spoon over eclair or cream puffs.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - NOTES : This is a glaze for eclairs or sauce for cream puffs.
- If you pour the icing while it is still hot, it will run off the surface of the eclairs or cream puffs instead of sticking.
- It should be warm when you pour it. For a sweeter icing, increase the amount of semi-sweet chocolate and decrease the amount of bitter chocolate. Kim C.
Just what I was looking for, and thanks for the very exac and detailed instructions