Valentine’s Day Dessert: Cream Puffs with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Recipe
If ever there was a holiday to splurge on a delicious dessert, it is Valentine’s Day. Cream Puffs, although they may seem daunting, are extremely easy to make. If you are feeling a bit indulgent, drizzle melted chocolate over the shells before dusting with powdered sugar.
Cream Puff Shells
Makes 20 – 25 Puffs
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2.In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.
3.Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Centers should be dry.
4.When the shells are cool, either split and fill them with the pudding mixture, or use a pastry bag to pipe the pudding into the shells.
Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream
Makes 3 cups
2 cups milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
6 egg yolks
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pinch salt
1.Place the milk, half the sugar and the vanilla bean in a saucepan over medium heat.
2.Combine the egg yolks and the remaining sugar in a bowl and whisk until light in color. Add in the flour and the salt, mix to combine.
3.When the milk just begins to boil, remove from heat and remove vanilla bean. Very slowly dribble the hot milk into the yolk mixture, stirring all the time. When about half of the milk has been added, place all of the yolk mixture into the saucepan over medium heat. Using a spatula or a whisk, mix the pastry cream as it heats, making sure to reach all of the corners of the pan when you stir. Bring the mixture to a boil. Let boil for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. The mixture will be thick.
4.Remove from heat and add the butter. Strain if you wish for a smoother cream. Place into a bowl and cover directly with plastic wrap to stop a skin from forming on the cream. Chill and use within a few days.
Recipe Adapted from Allrecipes.com
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