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Profiteroles [Part 2/3] – Baking

Part 2 – Making Choux Pastry for profiteroles (cream puffs)!  This is actually one of the easiest, quickest things to make.  It requires a little arm power, especially if you’re making a lot of it.  But it’s not hard, and wow– so good!  This buttery pastry is first cooked, then mixed with eggs, and then the dough is piped (or spooned) into little mounds on a baking sheet.  From there, it goes into a HOT oven where the heat just… Somehow… Magically makes it puff up, hollow out, and look & taste awesome.

Here’s how you do it:

Choux Pastry
Ingredients:
1/4 c. butter
2/3 c. water
scant 1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 eggs

  In a medium heavy bottom saucepan, heat the butter and water until the butter is melted and mixture comes to a boil.  Remove from heat, add the flour, and beat until the mixture leaves the sides of the saucepan.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined.

Tip:  Make sure to beat well after each egg, and quickly:  You don’t want the egg to start cooking in the hot mixture before it’s mixed in!

Set the pastry dough aside, and prepare a large pastry bag with a large round tip.  I am using tip #808.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Spoon the filling into the bag and pipe the dough into walnut-sized rounds on an ungreased baking sheet.

Once that is done, I often find that the dough forms little Hershey’s Kisses-like peaks; I like to wet my fingertips with a bit of water and press those down, like so…

Place the pan in the oven, close the door, and reduce the heat to 400 degrees F.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.

When the pastry comes out of the oven, using the sharp tip of small knife, poke little holes in the side to let the steam escape.  This keeps the pastry a little more crisp.
Once the puffs are cool, prepare a piping bag for the Pastry Cream, fitted with a small tip (any shape, and the size doesn’t matter too much– I like to use a star tip #16 or #18 for this).  Pipe a bit of filling into the puffs through the hole you made when they came out of the oven.

And that’s it!  That’s how to make profiteroles!  You can eat them plain, dip them in chocolate, dip them in caramel, or you can stay tuned for my croquembouche tutorial and make ’em fancy.

These are best eaten on the day they are made.

Enjoy!  Back soon.

–Naomi

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