There’s a reason why cream puffs filled with pastry cream are an absolute pastry classic. Made from choux dough, cream puffs have to be made in a specific technical way, but once you get the hang of it, are really quite simple to whip up. The soft and slightly crispy from the outside shells are filled with a velvety pastry cream that you can also easily make on your own. These are perfect for a special occasion to impress your guests or as a simple and delectable treat for yourself. Here is how to make all of the components for your own decadent cream puffs.
What You Need
For the Cream Puffs:
1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup AP flour
4 large eggs
For the Pastry Cream:
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
What To Do
Making the Cream Puffs:
Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a saucepan, melt the butter into the water and add the salt. Bring the mixture to a boil until the butter has fully melted.
Reduce the heat to low and add all of the flour, stirring thoroughly with a wooden spoon until a smooth ball of dough has formed that is pulling away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the dough to cool down for a few minutes.
In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, start to beat in the eggs one by one into the dough, making sure each one has fully been incorporated before adding the next one.
Once a smooth batter has formed, place it in a pastry bag. Pipe about 1.5 inch mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, leaving enough room in between each mound as they will expand while baking.
Put in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until they have fully puffed up and are golden. Place them on a cooling rack and let them fully cool down.
Making the Pastry Cream:
Ina saucepan, heat up the milk under it gently begins to simmer. Remove it completely from the heat before it begins to boil. In another bowl, mix together the cornstarch, sugar, and egg yolks until completely smooth.
Slowly start to stream in the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, taking care to constantly whisk to make sure the egg doesn’t become curdled.
Once smooth, return the mixture to the saucepan over medium heat, constantly whisking until its consistency has fully thickened. Remove from the heat and add in the butter and vanilla.
Place the finished pastry cream in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, making sure it touches the surface of the cream in order to prevent a film from forming on top. Place in the fridge for at least two hours.
Assembling the Cream Puffs:
Cut the cream puffs in half, horizontally. Pipe pastry cream into the bottom of the cream puffs and then place the top in order to create little cream puff sandwiches. You can finish it off with a dusting of powdered sugar. Enjoy!