While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.
Sweet stuff: January 2 is National Cream Puff Day.
What do cream puffs, profiteroles and beignets have in common? They’re all made from the same type of dough – pâte à choux. Unlike beignets, which are fried, cream puffs are baked. This French confection doesn’t contain a leavening agent. Instead they puff up from steam that’s created when they bake.
Pâte à choux is not your typical dough, it’s not made in a mixer, it’s made over heat. The ingredients, eggs, flour, water and sugar and combined in a pot over a burner. When they come out of the oven, the little balls of puffiness are ‘popped’ so that some of the steam collected inside can escape. This prevents them from collapsing in on themselves.
Then comes the fillings. Cream puffs and their relatives, churros and éclairs, are typically filled with whipped cream, pastry cream and in some cases ice cream. Cream puffs are cut in half with the filling sandwiched in between. And, while éclairs are mostly covered in chocolate, cream puffs might only have powdered sugar dusted over them.
Once you get the technique down, cream puffs are easy to make and a great dessert or treat. They can also be made with savory fillings and if you’ve got a fryer you could make churros too.
This is the best cream puff recipe there is. Just see the blog comments if you have any doubt!
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Dang, those look good! Best cream puff I ever had was at Buca di Beppo many years ago on New Years Eve...served in a whole tray with pistachio and I think a chocolate sauce...sadly I just looked at their website and it's not listed.
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