I had never made a cream puff, but then again, I had never made a [insert odd flavor combination] before I made [insert my given quirky title of baked good]. For some reason, as the launch of this very blog at The Waffle Shop approached, I had cream puffs on my mind… dream puffs you might say! There is a first time for everything, and this was my first time making cream puffs. It quickly became my first time eating a lot of mini cream puffs in one sitting!
As promised, the details…
For the Cream Puff Dough
12 Tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) organic, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 cup water
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons organic evaporated cane juice sugar
4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 c whole wheat pastry flour
8 large eggs (local/free-range)
2 T butter, melted
Sugar in the raw*
Pure cocoa powder*
*I keep a bowl of this ingredient mixture on hand, so the exact ratio escapes my mind. Trust your taste and instincts.
For the Cream Filling
4 cups chilled heavy cream (local)
2 cups homemade nutella
For the Puffs
Preheat oven to 400°F
Whisk together the sugar, cocoa and flower in a bowl.
Cook the butter, water and salt in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring from time to time with the wooden spoon so the butter melts evenly. When the butter has melted, increase the heat and bring to a boil.
Immediately remove from heat and stir in the flour mixture all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together.
Return the pan to the stove top, on low heat, continuing to stir for about 1 minute to dry out the dough and develop the gluten.
Scrape the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer.
Turn the mixer on low-medium and add the eggs, one at a time, allowing each egg to be absorbed before adding the next. The batter should be smooth.
Scrap the dough into a pastry bag. Pipe out 1-inch coils about 2-inches apart, making sure that the bottom is completely filled in.
Dip your fingers in water and lightly press down the peaks.
Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown all over.
Reduce heat to 350° and continue to bake for 10 minutes.
Insert a sharp knife into the side of each puff to allow steam to escape and continue baking for 10 more minutes. They should be very dry and crisp.
Cool completely on a rack.
For the Cinnamon Sugar
Once cooled, slice each puff in half and if necessary, hollow them out.
Dip each top into the melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.
For the Cream Filling & Cinnamon Sugar Garnish:
In a chilled bowl, whip the cream until it begins to thicken.
Add the homemade Nutella and continue to whip until well combined. Transfer to a pastry bag.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Slice each cream puff in two, and pipe the cream onto the bottom half, making sure to pipe a little extra into each one. Return the top half to the puff.
Use a pastry brush to slather the melted butter on the cream puff tops.
Sprinkle the cinn-sugar-cocoa mixture over the cream puffs.
Try to avoid eating tooooo many cream puffs, but don’t necessarily stop at one.
Pack up the puffs and head to The Waffle Shop (or a friend’s house or a family event…something that will help prevent eating the entire tray of cream puffs solo style).
Launch a blog!