What is it about Cream Puffs that define decadent dessert? They’re pillowy, creamy, soft and heavenly sweet. They’re probably served by angels in heaven, they’re seriously that good. But all cream puffs aren’t created equal. Chef Francis is a stickler when it comes to baking them, ensuring the pastry texture is just right and removed from the oven not a second too early or too late.
A little puff history
The history of cream puffs dates all the way back to the 16th century, when French cooks created the first version of this sweet treat. The original cream puff was made with choux pastry, which is a light dough made from butter, flour, and eggs. The pastry was filled with a sweet cream and then baked until golden brown. The choux pastry was popularized by French cookbook author François Pierre de La Varenne in the 1600s.
Cream puffs were a hit in France, and their popularity spread to other European countries. By the 19th century, they had made their way to the United States. The first published recipe for cream puffs in the United States appeared in an 1851 cookbook called “The American Housewife” by Sarah Josepha Hale. The recipe called for a mixture of eggs, butter, sugar, flour, and milk to make the choux pastry. The recipe also included instructions for making the cream filling with milk, sugar, and vanilla.
As cream puffs became more popular, different recipes and variations were created. Some recipes called for adding ingredients like cocoa powder or almond extract to the dough and using different types of cream fillings. By the 20th century, cream puffs were being made with flavored custards, mousses, and whipped cream, and they were being topped with all sorts of delicious toppings like chocolate, nuts, and fruit.
Cream puffs have become a classic dessert around the world, and they are a popular treat at bakeries, restaurants, and cafés. From their humble beginnings centuries ago, they have grown to become a beloved dessert enjoyed by people of all ages.
A light, airy type of pastry
Choux pastry is a light, airy type of pastry dough used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes. It is made from a mixture of butter, water, flour and eggs. The dough is cooked briefly on the stovetop before being piped into desired shapes and baked in the oven.
Choux pastry is the base of many classic desserts such as éclairs, cream puffs, profiteroles and gougères. Choux pastry dough is a unique type of pastry dough in that it expands rather than shrinking in the oven. This is because of the combination of butter, water and eggs, which produce steam during baking. This steam helps the pastry puff up, creating the light and airy texture it is known for. Choux pastry dough can be flavored with ingredients such as vanilla extract, lemon zest, or grated cheese. The process of making choux pastry is relatively simple, but it does require some patience and practice.
First, the butter, water and flour are combined in a saucepan and cooked over medium heat until the mixture comes together and forms a ball. This ball is then cooled before eggs are added one at a time and mixed until the dough is smooth and glossy. The dough is then piped into desired shapes and baked. Choux pastry is a versatile dough that can be used to make a variety of both sweet and savoury dishes.
Sweet dishes such as éclairs and cream puffs are filled with a sweet custard or cream and topped with chocolate or icing. Savoury dishes such as gougères and cheese puffs are filled with cheese and herbs or a savoury mousse. Choux pastry can also be used to make appetizers such as cheese sticks, or even savoury cakes. Choux pastry is a delicious and versatile dough that can be used to make a variety of sweet and savoury dishes. With a little patience and practice, anyone can make beautiful and delicious choux pastry creations.
Pâte à choux (recipe)
The recipe is simple and only requires a few ingredients. To begin, you will need butter, water, salt, and flour.
In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the water, salt, and flour. Stir continuously until the mixture forms a dough. After it cools, knead the dough until it is smooth and pliable.
Next, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a spoon or pastry bag, scoop the dough onto the parchment paper in small mounds.
Bake for about 18 minutes or until the choux pastry puffs up and turns golden brown. Once it is finished baking, let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
You can fill the choux pastry with a variety of sweet or savory fillings. For sweet fillings, you can use whipped cream, custard, pudding, or jam. For savory fillings, you can use cheese, vegetables, or meat.
Once the choux pastry is filled, you can top it with glaze, buttercream, or a sprinkle of sugar.
All about Chantilly Cream
Crème Chantilly, also known as Cream Chantilly, is a light and fluffy French cream dessert. This delicious treat is made from a combination of heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract, which are all whipped together until they form a soft, airy texture. It is usually served as a topping on a variety of desserts, such as cakes, pies, tarts, and trifles.
Crème Chantilly can also be used to pipe decorations on cakes and cupcakes or as a filling for profiteroles. The cream is also a popular accompaniment to other desserts such as ice cream or fruit. The cream’s light and airy texture, combined with its delicate and sweet flavor, make this a favorite among dessert lovers.
Crème Chantilly is a delightful and delightful addition to any dessert.