Not required but nice to have:
NOTE: Make three batches of this cream puff recipe to provide an ample supply to build an impressive croquembouche. Freeze extra cream puffs for profiteroles with ice cream and chocolate sauce, or fill with guacamole or crab salad for hors d’oeuvres
Makes 30-35 small cream puffs
1 stick butter
1 c. water
1/2 t. salt
1 c. flour
Preheat oven to 425º. Butter and flour a baking sheet.
Bring the water, butter and salt to a boil in a sauce pan. Remove when it comes to a boil, remove from heat. Putting it on a dishtowel on the counter works well — the towel protects the surface and makes a nonslip base for the stirring that comes next.
Dump the cup of flour into the butter/water mixture. Use wooden spoon to stir until it forms a smooth elastic dough that pulls clean from the side of the pot. Crack one egg right on top of the dough and stir well until it’s incorporated. Repeat with the remaining eggs, one at a time.
While the dough is still warm, use a pastry bag to pipe out small chestnut sized balls. One batch of dough will make 30-35 balls. Wet a finger tip with water and pat down each ball to smooth out any spikes or tails or odd bits.
Place the baking sheet into the pre-heated oven, bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 375º and bake 15 minutes more.
Try not to open the oven during baking.
Remove the tray from the oven, the golf-ball sized puffs will will be golden brown. Let cool a minute or two, then with a serrated knife make a small slice into the side of each puff to let steam escape.
Transfer puffs to a rack and let cool completely.
Repeat to make 75 puffs or more.
4 sour lemon drops hard candies
2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. confectioners’ sugar
1/2 t. almond extract
4 oz. mascarpone cheese
Put the sour lemon drops in a heavy Ziploc bag. Push out all the air, seal. Place the bag on a flat surface and use the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin to pulverize the candy. Do a thorough job — if any shards are too large they will clog the pastry bag when you fill the cream puffs. You can sift the pulverized candy through a strainer to eliminate troublesome pieces.
The the cream in a stand mixer until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat ’til stiff. With beater on low, beat in the mascarpone and pulverized candy just until mixed.
FILL THE CREAM PUFFS
Using a pastry bag with a medium sized plain round tip, slip the tip into the opening of each cream puff (where you made the slice in the side) and squirt in a tablespoon or so of filling. Do not overfill; no cream should show when the puffs are filled.
2 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
Place the sugar and water into a heavy sauce pot. Bring to a boil, watching the pot and stirring when needed to prevent the sugar from scorching. When the mixture comes to a boil gently stir and watch carefully. When the bubbling white sugar liquid starts to color remove from the heat.
Dip the bottom of the pan into very cold water to stop the cooking. Proceed immediately to building the croquembouche/
You may make a pyramid from the filled cream puffs on their own, or use a conical form for taller, more dramatic results.
Dip the bottoms of the fillet cream puffs in the hot caramel and arrange in a circle on your serving plate. Continue to dip in caramel and stack them up, with the tops of the puffs facing outward. When you stacked them as high as possible, use a fork to drizzle strands of caramel down the sides of the croquembouche.
Decorate with candied flours, silver or gold drageées, or other pretty little things.
Pluck the crackly caramel cream puffs off the tower to serve. Using fingers is okay.Print This Post