As Christmas celebrations are behind us, I could not wait to get back to baking. Because the thing is, during the holidays, everywhere you go you get to taste a new cookie, pastry, cake or square prepared by family members or friends. So lets just say as much as I like baking, I allow myself a break during this time of year to appreciate what others have made in their kitchen.
So, since I was a lazy baker for the last week, I decided to try something completely new for me, something challenging that I have never made before but found absolutely amazing: Cream Puff.
Doing the pastry cream was not the hard part – I had made it in the past. However, I had to make two batches since my first one became very hard and stiff after being refrigerated. I overcooked it. The second one was nice and thick – a charm to work with.
The dough is another story.
I found many recipes online, all very similar, if not identical. You will understand that I got very confused when I realized not only had my dough not risen in the oven, but it was as hard as a rock.
Luckily for me, I had ordered two new pastry books last week so I took the next morning to try to understand what I had done wrong.
Turns out I had the wrong kind of flour and had put my egg in the dough when it was too hot, so I sort of cooked the eggs before I even piped the dough into the shape of the puff.
So to help you out I have detailed the steps and given you the recipe I found in the book On Baking, a wonderful addition to my baking book collection.
This pastry cream is very popular. I found this recipe on numerous websites and in books and it is fairly easy to do.
You will need:
2/3 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of flour
2 cups of warm milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
In a saucepan, mix the flour with the sugar.
Add one egg at a time, whisking between each addition.
Put the saucepan on the stove and gradually warm the mix, gradually adding the warm milk.
Bring to a boil and whisk for about 1 and a half minutes.
Transfer the cream into a bowl and beat in the vanilla.
Refrigerate for about 2 hours.
The puff dough
You will need:
120 ml of milk
120 ml of water
A pinch of salt
105 grams of unsalted butter
150ml of bread flour
About 5 eggs
In a saucepan, bring the milk, water, salt, and butter to a full boil. Make sure the butter is correctly blended with the milk and the water.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and beat in the flour.
Once the flour is fully incorporated, bring the saucepan to the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough looks almost dry and pull away from the sides.
Transfer the dough in a mixing bowl, and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
Beat one egg at a time, until you get a smooth dough. The dough should not be sticky but instead you should look for a creamy texture.
Put the dough in a pasty bag and pipe some puff shapes.
Bake at 400F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F for about 30 minutes.
Cool completely, then fill the puff with pastry cream and enjoy!