They actually are as good as they look. No, they’re better.
This blog entry is supposed to be about paper towels – and how I’ve finally trained myself to do almost entirely without them and some of the other consumer items I’ve always thought of as necessities.
But then I made these cream puffs this morning and my careful blog schedule got pushed aside. And anyway, what would you rather read about on a Friday afternoon – paper towels or cream puffs?
I’m not even particularly a cream puff lover. I’ve never made pastry cream before – or pâte à choux. I’ll bake nearly anything – even if you have to roll it out 30 times, like croissant dough. But it you have to boil it – I’m intimidated. I’ve attempted Gougeres– the French cheese puffs that are a savory version of pâte à choux, and really never been that thrilled with the results.
But when I saw the pictures of these puffs on the Craving Chronicles last month – pictures that actually do these pastries justice, and read Theresa’s reassuring introduction to the recipe, I knew I’d have to try it. She made building a cream puff sound easy.
Every step of the recipe worked perfectly. Making these puffs is simpler than many a layer cake – and the end result is oh so much more impressive. The champagne cream is totally the show stopper. I made the cream yesterday and eventually had to hide it in the back of the fridge to keep from eating it all, so there would be some left to fill the puffs. And I think this pastry cream might actually be salvation of my failed pineapple pie.
I made one tiny change to the puff formula- I used whole wheat pastry flour, since that’s what I had. The pâte à choux came together perfectly anyway.
Try them – they’ll make your weekend. And many thanks to Theresa, for making mine.