Cream Puffs (Bigne')
Special Tools needed: Handheld mixer, pastry bag with round tip & plastic wrap.
1 cbutter (2 sticks) plus butter for greasing baking sheet
1 tsppure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cflour
6 largeeggs, room temperature
3 Tbspheavy cream
·grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsppure vanilla extract
3 Tbsphalf and half
2 ozsemi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cconfectioners sugar, sifted
How to Make Cream Puffs (Bigne')
- CREAM PUFFS:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium saucepan, heat the water with the butter, vanilla, sugar and salt.
When the butter has melted, beat in the flour and baking soda.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating with a handheld mixer after each addition
- Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Using 2 spoons or a pastry bag fitted with a round tip, squeeze the mixture out onto the tray in small 1 1/2 to 2 inch balls, leaving 2 to 3 inches of space between each.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before filling.
- PASTRY CREAM:
While the cream puffs bake, prepare the filling.
In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and lemon zest to a slow simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly.
DO NOT boil.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and egg with the sugar and add the vanilla and flour.
Beat vigorously for 1 minute.
- Add a ladle of the hot milk (about 1/3 cup) to the bowl, mix, and then add the contents of the bowl to the milk in the saucepan.
Place over low heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture boils and thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.
Cook another minute and remove from heat.
- Transfer the Pastry Cream to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap (to prevent a skin from forming on the top), and allow to cool.
- When the Pastry Cream is cooled, in a small mixing bowl whip the heavy cream until it has soft peaks.
Fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream.
Using a pastry bag fitted with a round tip, poke a hole in the side of each cream puff and gently squeeze the pastry bag until the puff is filled.
NOTE: You can also slice each cream puff in half, spoon the filling into the top and bottom halves and sandwich the halves back together.
- CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
To make the glaze, place the half-and-half and chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 20 seconds at a time, until the mixture just begins to steam.
Whisk together thoroughly, add the confectioners sugar, and whisk until completely smooth.
Dip the tops of the filled cream puffs in the chocolate glaze and transfer to a wire rack until the glaze has set completely.