I’m blogging to you from my new home in rainy Seattle, I’ve got a bigger brand new kitchen yet no time to bake in it! Update: In September, my boyfriend, cat and I packed up my little Honda and drove 800+ miles from San Francisco so I could fulfill my dream of attending University of Washington for graduate school. Sadly I had to leave behind a lot of my cake decorating and baking tools at my parents’ place – trading my tools for textbooks. I’ve survived my first quarter so now hopefully I can do a little bit of catching up during my Winter Break.
Let me kick off this new chapter with Pumpkin Cream Puffs a.k.a. Profiterole a.k.a. Choux a la creme (if you want to get more fancy pants with it). I made these a few weeks ago and brought them to my first Friendsgiving!
Note: while a pretty simple recipe, the whole thing from start to finish will take you a good 5-6 hours so plan accordingly! I ended up rushing late to my dinner.
These little guys are incredibly easy to make and I didn’t believe it until I made them. I applaud the French for keeping it simple.
Ingredients you’ll need:
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup butter (cold is okay)
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
Preheat the over to 400F. In saucepan combine the water, butter, sugar, and salt. Bring it to a gentle boil over medium heat. Once it starts boiling, turn off the heat and immediately add the flour and stir stir stir!
Remove the pan from heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes. I transferred the dough to my stand mixer next, but if you don’t have one-consider the next step a good arm work out! Add the 3 eggs, one at a time, and beat well. The mixture will become considerably more “goop-y”.
The next step is optional. I am a little OCD so I wanted my cream puffs to be smaller and uniform in shape, so I poured all the dough into a makeshift piping bag. You can also just drop tablespoons of dough on to your baking sheet.
Here’s a great little trick I learned awhile ago. If you are not good at estimating how much to pipe like me, then take a small glass or cup and dip the rim of it into some flour and “stamp” rings onto your baking sheet.
Okay okay, I know they do not look particularly appealing right now….
To get rid of those little peaks and to give the puffs a rounded top, dip your finger in water and tap on the peaks.
30-35 minutes later, when they are light golden brown and firm- you’ve got cream puffs!
Transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Now it’s time for Part 2: the filling!
You will need:
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup of canned pumpkin (Although personally I would have used about 1/2 cup- yes, there is a thing as too much pumpkin!)
In a chilled metal mixing bowl beat the whipping cream, sugar and pumpkin spice with an electronic mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.
Fold in canned pumpkin gently. Cover and chill for up to 4 hours.
While you are waiting, you can start slicing up your puffs horizontally with a serrated knife. The puffs are airy and pretty much hollow, but the shell should also be strong enough to not crumble or break in your hands while cutting them.
While the cream filling is ready to go, fill up a piping bag with a wide tip OR a large ziplock bag with about 1/2 inch corner cut off.
This was my favorite part: pipe the cream in as much as you want- some people like to be able to seal the cream in, some people like lots of filling and to have the top shell sit on top of the cream.
The original recipe actually has maple-caramel sauce too, but since I needed to transport these I thought it’d be way too messy and I also think the cream puffs are light and sweet- prefect for a post-fest dessert.
Just for fun, I plated one with warmed Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Caramel Sauce(!) and toasted pecans.
Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving! I’m thankful for friends, food, living in an awesome city like Seattle and my Sweet Therapy readers!