Originating from France, cream puffs have been embraced and loved in Korea, especially among young people. Cream puffs are a sweet treat that is selling like hotcakes in stores, and these delightful little pastries have won over even the most discerning palates. Do you know how to make cream puffs? Let’s discover the authentic French cream puff recipe with Piinves!
Ingredients for making cream puffs
Ingredients for Cream Puff Dough
- Unsalted butter: 60 grams
- All-purpose flour: 650 grams
- Eggs: 2
Ingredients for Cream Filling
- Eggs: 2
- Cornstarch: 20 grams
- Unsalted butter: 10 grams
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Cream Puff Dough
Pour 120ml of water into a saucepan, place it on medium heat. Add unsalted butter, half a tablespoon of sugar, and half a tablespoon of salt. Stir continuously to prevent the mixture from sticking to the pan. Keep stirring until the butter melts completely, and the mixture comes to a boil. Even after turning off the heat, keep stirring for a few more moments.
Add the pre-sifted all-purpose flour to the saucepan while stirring continuously. Pour it in gradually and use a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients until the mixture forms a smooth, cohesive dough. Now, turn the heat back on to medium and cook the dough while stirring until it becomes smooth, elastic, and no longer sticks to the sides of the saucepan. Turn off the heat and continue stirring for a few more minutes to allow the dough to cool slightly.
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Crack 2 eggs into a bowl, retaining only the yolks, and beat them until smooth. Add half of the beaten eggs to the dough and mix until it becomes thick again. Then, add the remaining half of the beaten eggs and continue to mix until the dough is smooth and shiny.
Note: Adjust the amount of eggs to match the dough; you want to create a mixture that is thick yet workable. When scooping up the dough, it should fall in clumps.
Preheat the oven to 220°C a few minutes before baking to ensure it’s hot and ready. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease it with a cold stick of butter, then apply a layer of dough and tilt it to remove excess dough.
Use a spoon to scoop out even portions of the dough (filling it once each time) or use a piping bag for more precise shapes. Place them evenly on the baking sheet and then put it in the oven.
Set the temperature to 220°C and bake for 10 – 15 minutes. During the baking process, keep an eye on the color of the puffs. Once they turn a beautiful golden shade, reduce the temperature to 180°C and continue baking for another 10 – 15 minutes until the puffs are fully cooked.
Once the cream puffs are done baking, remove them from the tray and allow them to cool.
Now, you can proceed with making the cream filling for the cream puffs.
After Step 4 – baking the puff pastry shells, let’s take advantage of the waiting time to make the cream filling.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites, then beat the yolks until they become creamy.
Sift cornstarch directly into the egg bowl, add 40 grams of sugar, and stir well.
Pour fresh milk into a small saucepan and heat it over medium heat until it starts to boil. Remove it from the heat and slowly pour it into the egg-starch mixture while continuously stirring with a chopstick until well combined.
Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan, turn on low heat, and stir continuously. Cook until it thickens slightly and then turn off the heat. Continue stirring for a while to let it thicken further.
Add unsalted butter, a pinch of salt, and vanilla extract to the mixture, and stir until well combined.
Completing the Cream Puffs
Once both the puff pastry shells and the cream filling have cooled completely, it’s time to fill the puffs. Use a sharp knife to make a small incision on the side of each puff and fill them with the cream. Alternatively, you can use a pastry bag to inject the filling for a neater appearance.
Important Tips for Making Cream Puffs
Making cream puffs is relatively easy, but there are some small details to keep in mind
- When combining the egg and flour mixture, avoid adding eggs while the dough is still hot, as it may cook the eggs prematurely.
- When mixing the dough, adjust it to a consistency that is elastic, easy to drop from a spoon, but not dry.
- Always keep the oven closed during the baking process.
- If you have leftover cream filling, you can store it in the refrigerator. It’s excellent for making delicious sweet bread fillings.
Additional Tips for Successful Cream Puffs
Cream puffs need to be baked at the right temperature and for the right amount of time to puff up and cook evenly. Insufficient or excessive heat can result in less-than-desirable outcomes. Therefore, keep the following tips in mind while baking:
- To make the puff pastry shells crispier, reduce the oven temperature to around 150°C and bake for an additional 5 – 7 minutes.
- To make the puff pastry shells softer, remove them from the oven a bit earlier.
- If the interior of the puffs is still moist, reduce the heat and bake for a few more minutes, similar to making them crispier. The goal is to dry out the interior.
- If the pastry shells deflate, it’s because they are too soft. Leave them in the oven for a few more minutes to make them firmer.
- You can refrigerate the pastry shells and make the cream filling later when you have time.
Cream Puffs’ Origin
Cream puffs, known as “Choux à la crème,” originate from France. The first cream puff was created in the early 1500s by the innovative pastry chef Pantarelli.
During this time, cream puffs were made from simple ingredients like flour, eggs, fresh milk, and butter. It wasn’t until around 200 years later that the cream filling was introduced inside the pastry shells. At that point, they were referred to as “choux.”
Cream puffs have become incredibly popular in France, serving as a delightful dessert enjoyed by people of all ages. Nowadays, cream puffs have made their way to many countries around the world and are embraced by people everywhere.