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Friday, February 18, 2011

Julia Child's Cream Puffs!

Or should I say ~Dream~ Puffs! 
I had a French Themed Book Club Party as we are reading Feminine Appeal and thought, what better Femininely French dessert then Cream Puffs? I have made them before as a Daring Baker's Challenge but really wanted to try Julia's recipe. I love how she tells of all the pitfalls beforehand and always has many helpful tips which are much appreciated in preparing something like a Pate A Choux (Cream Puff Pastry) and as usual-- thanks to Julia-- they turned out tres delicieux! 
I think I am now addicted to making Cream Puffs and do plan on trying out some other fillings such as Mascarpone cheese and lemon, Cannoli cream and maybe a Nutella glaze for a topping! Cream Puff Ideas are!!!!!!


 All of these recipes are from Julia Child's Mastering The Art Of French Cooking.

Julia Child's Cream Puff Paste Recipe:
(Pate A Choux)
1 cup water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon sugar
* optional: pinch of nutmeg< 1 cup all purpose flour
4 extra large eggs
Preheat oven to 425 and get a sheet pan lined with parchment. Fit a large pastry bag with the largest tip or you skip the bag and use 2 spoons to form puffs. Or, I used my mini cookie dough scoop.
Heat water, butter, sugar, nutmeg, and salt over medium heat once the butter is melted add flour all at once and beat with a wooden spoon until it comes together and forms a dough.
Now cook stirring constantly over low heat for 2 minutes. The dough will start to coat the bottom of pan. Dump this hot dough into a food processor with a dough hook and add eggs, pulse until eggs are incorporated and mixture is thick. (I added the processor part as Julia did this by hand and it helped out a lot!)
Forming Puffs

Spoon the mixture into the pastry bag. On the sheet pan pipe out 11/2 inch high mounds, makes about 30, and then with a wet finger gently press each swirl down. Or you can use 2 spoons to scoop out  and shape with wet fingers. I used my mini cookie dough scoop and it was the perfect size! Julia also brushed with egg wash but I skipped this part because  I found this made the tops a bit too crispy.
Bake 20 minutes, lightly brown & doubled in size & hollow when tapped, turn off oven.
Immediately make a small slit in the side of each puff to allow steam to escape, this will help them to not collapse!!! Great tip Julia!!!
Return to tuned off oven and leave the door a-jar for 10 minutes.
Cool on rack.

Julia Child's Creme Patissiere Recipe 
1 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
1 tablespoon butter room temp
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
In a large mixer beat the sugar and eggs, 2-3 minutes, until pale yellow and  a ribbon forms.
Beat in the flour.
Heat the milk up to boiling in a thick bottomed pot.
Now add this milk to the egg mixture while beating in a very slow steady stream.
Pour this mixture back into the heavy bottomed pot and set over moderately high heat.
Stir with a whisk , getting at the bottom, and do not worry about it getting lumpy it will smooth out as you beat.
Once boil is reached  beat over low heat for 2-3 minutes, just to cook flour and smooth out.
Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla whisking smooth.
Cover with plastic directly on top of custard and refrigerate for a few hours to thicken and cool. This will keep for 1 week in fridge or may be frozen.
Now you can use this if you want a custard texture or proceed to next recipe for a  lighter fluffier filling. Note: the above creme must still be hot when adding the egg whites so skip the refrigeration part.

Julia Child's Creme Saint Honore Recipe
1 Creme Patissiere recipe (see above)
8 clean and fresh egg whites (Check date for freshness and clean the shells before cracking)
pinch salt
2 tablespoons sugar
Beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form.
Sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the hot custard (Creme Patissiere) then fold in the rest careful not to deflate the egg whites.Chill in the fridge before filling the puffs.
Filling the Cream Puffs
Either squeeze the creme in with a pastry bag through the slit OR Remove tops off puffs and insert filling with a spoon then replace the tops. Either way this will also help fluff them up a bit if they have sunken a little.

~La femme photographe Danielle Minard~


Bevy said...

Love that book - Feminine Appeal and of course! Cream Puffs... what a beautiful and delicious combination.

Brenda Christmas said...

How fun and festive! I think I'm gonna have to crash your next party! ;-)

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Delicious and fun, what could be better? Those shoes are super cute, too :)e

Anonymous said...

Are you sure it's only 3/4 cup of flour for the cream puffs? I just made recipe and it's like a liquid batter? Cooked, they look like sugar cookies? Thanks for any suggestions!

Ann Minard said...

Yes I checked and the recipe does say 1 cup!! So sorry!

Ann Minard said...

Yes I checked and the recipe does say 1 cup!! So sorry!