Cherry Cream Puffs

Added on by Caroline Zhang.

When I was in grade school, my dad used to buy these tubs of cream puffs from Sam's Club, which I would eat them for breakfast. I always ate them frozen (like eating cream puffs for breakfast wasn't bad enough), which gave the filling the consistency of ice cream. I may or may not have been aware of the fact that this was not how they're supposed to be served; but when we defrosted them, they inevitably became wet and soggy and I wasn't that into them.

Well, today I present the freshly baked version of those puffs, with a fun summery twist. The choux pastry is light and buttery, a perfect compliment to the cool creamy cherry pastry cream inside. These guys are cute, flavorful, and not soggy at all.

I should confess that these profiteroles were also supposed to be an ego-booster. I had botched another batch of macarons (yes, I'm still at it), and wanted to make something cute and fun. And I sure am glad those macarons didn't turn out right, because these puffs are amazing.

Speaking of cute and fun, I got this recipe from Raiza of Dulce Delight. She bakes all these stunning desserts and does really great and fun how-to videos of everything she makes.

Pâte à choux may seem intimidating when you're making it for the first time (if only because of the weird French accents), but it's actually surprisingly easy. You have to cook the dough twice, first on the stove-top and then in the oven. (I tried to skip the first step once...yeah, don't do that.)

And the filling. I could eat this filling with a spoon, it's so good. Sweet, fruity, creamy but not too heavy...and it definitely doesn't need to be frozen to taste good.

Make these, you guys. Even if you really like frozen cream puffs. Even if your macarons turn out perfect each time.

Enjoy!

Caroline

P.S. I'm joining the Aspiring Bakers #34 Choux Party hosted by Jasline of Foodie Baker! Check it out (:


Cherry Cream Puffs

Click here for the printer-friendly recipe
Yields 50 - 60 cream puffs
Adapted from Dulce Delight

Ingredients
Pâte à choux
1 ¼ cup water
½ cup butter
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 to 5 eggs

Cherry Cream Filling
2 cups cherries, pitted  (raspberry or strawberries could be used as well)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 ¼ cup heavy cream, divided
1 cup whole milk
½ cup sugar
4 egg yolks
¼ cup cornstarch

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
½ cup cherries, pitted

Directions
For the choux:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the water, butter, and salt in a pot. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts. Take the pot off the stove.

Add flour and stir the mixture vigorously until it comes together in a thick dough. Place the pot back on the stove over medium heat and cook it for another minute or so, stirring constantly, in order to dry out the dough.

Take the pot off the heat, and whisk the dough for a minute or two.

Whisking constantly, add 4 eggs one by one, mixing well after each one. The mixture should be smooth and shiny; if you scoop some batter out of the bowl, it should fall back into the bowl in a thick ribbon. If it is too thick, beat in the 5th egg.

Pour the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a ¼-inch round tip. Pipe 1-inch circles onto the baking sheets. Wet your fingertip and flatten the peaks of the choux you just piped.

Bake the choux for 30 minutes at 400 degrees F until they are a light brown, then lower the temperature to 300 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes with the oven door cracked. Let the choux cool while making the filling.

For the cherry cream filling
Pulse the cherries and lemon juice in a food processor and strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or fine mesh sieve. Discard the pulp or reserve for another use.

Place the cherry juice, ½ cup heavy cream, and whole milk in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until it is just simmering.

In another bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar until the yolks are pale and fluffy. Whisk in the corn starch.

Temper the egg yolks: slowly pour about ¾ cup of the cherry and cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly the whole time. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and allow the mixture to boil for about 3 minutes, whisking constantly the whole time.

Take the cream off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate for at least an hour.

Once the pastry cream is cool, whisk the remaining ¾ cup of heavy cream until it forms hard peaks. Fold the cherry mixture into the whipped cream.

For the Cherry Glaze
With a fork, press the cherries through a fine mesh sieve until it yields about 2 tablespoons of juice. Mix the juice with the powdered sugar.

Assembly
Using a chopstick or a small pastry tip, make a small hole in each profiterole.

Spoon the cherry cream filling into a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip, about ⅛-inch in diameter. Pipe the cream into the profiteroles.

Dip the top of the profiteroles into the cherry glaze.

Enjoy! These puffs are best served the day they are made