I admit it. I’ve been cheating on you. My attention to you has not been undivided and, every now and then, I’ve been throwing fluff your way. I’m sorry about that, but I promise to do better.
I’ve been thinking about the direction I’d like to take you in the new year. Calm down, calm down, I don’t know what that direction is YET. I will let you know. Soon. In the meantime, have a puff, won’t ya?
I had been thinking about trying my hand at making Boston Cream Pie. When I read the ingredients I thought, there’s no reason I can’t apply this to cream puffs! So I did. Don’t be afraid of the puffs, be one with the puffs. They ARE easy to make, they REALLY are. You just need to get them in the oven pretty fast and no opening the oven while they bake. mmmkay?
These are your basic cream puffs or eclairs made better by a creme patisserie (pastry cream) filling and the addition of Nutella. You should make and cool the cream first. The hubby and I have been going through them, our spare tires are proof of it. Hope you like ’em too.
Boston Cream Puffs
Yields 12 medium puffs
1 cup water
1/2 cp butter (1 stick)
Pinch of salt
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
Preheat oven to 400. In a saucepan mix the butter and salt with the water, bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat. Quickly add all of the flour and mix it in with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball.
Here’s a little trick I picked up from my mom’s pastry cook: transfer the dough to your mixer’s bowl. Now add the eggs one at a time and beat, making sure each egg is completely mixed in before you add the next. You can also do this in the saucepan, but there’s a greater chance the eggs may cook in the process.
Prepare your baking sheet by covering it with parchment paper. I used a pastry bag to pipe them on to the sheet; I piped about 1/3 of a cup for each puff. You can also do this with a spoon, same results. Make sure you drop them about 1 inch apart from each other. Try to do this part as quickly as possible.
Once you’ve got them all on the baking sheet, put them in the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes. I baked this batch for about 30 minutes, the size of them will determine how long to leave them in.
2 cps milk
1/2 vanilla bean
3 egg yolks
1/3 cp sugar
1/3 cp flour
1 tbsp bourbon or other liquor
1/2 tsp vanilla
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk with the vanilla bean; you don’t want it to boil, but you will see small bubbles around the edges.
Using your mixer, whip the egg yolks with the sugar until it stretches like ribbon when you raise it with the spoon, then add the flour. Bring the mixer’s speed to low and slowly pour the boiling milk into the mixture, being careful not to drop the vanilla pod.
Once you have incorporated all of the milk, put the mixture back into the pot you used to heat the milk and cook over medium high heat, stirring continuously. This process will take about 20-30 minutes, once it thickens, remove it from the heat. Set aside to cool.
Now, put it all together.
After the puffs have cooled, use a small serrated knife and slit the tops. You can remove them completely if you’re going to use a spoon to fill them, or just partially if you will use a pastry bag.
First, pipe/drop some Nutella, about 2 tsps at the bottom of each puff, then fill with the cream. Replace the tops, sprinkle with powder sugar or a dollop of Nutella. Keep cool and serve.