remember that quart of lemon cream i made but which didn’t work so well sandwiched in between two tea cookies? well . . . i decided to get out my piping bags and stuff it into some pâte à choux (or choux dough) puffs. it’s still ooey and gooey once you bite into it, but it does stay quite a better in its enclosed cream puff receptacle.
some science 1st: while some doughs get their rise from the action of yeast fermentation or baking powder, choux dough rises from steam. the water content of the dough is quite high, and as it bakes away, the water in the dough steams out, causing the dough rise into light airy puffs. (this also means that one should stand to the side upon opening the oven; otherwise, you’ll be greeted with a rather hot squirt of steam).
Lemon Cream Stuffed Puffs
(makes about 60-70 cream puffs; adapted from the french culinary institute)
|Eggs||6-7 large ones|
|Egg wash||1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp of milk|
|Lemon Cream||2 recipes|
- Place water, butter, salt and sugar in a medium size saucepan. Turn onto medium heat and bring to boil. All ingredients should be dissolved.
- Then, pour in flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. A paste should begin to form. It is ready when the paste starts to peel away from the pan and leaves a thin film behind on the bottom and sides.
- Transfer the paste to the bowl of your standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Beat on medium speed for about 10 minutes to allow the temperature of the paste to drop. Steam should emit from the bowl.
- Slowly, add in eggs one at a time. You may not need all the eggs. The dough is ready when a line drawn in the dough will hold for a few seconds before folding back on itself.
- The dough can be allowed to rest overnight or piped immediately
7. Fit your piping bag with a small to medium sized tip. ( i used a #3), and transfer dough to piping bag. Yes, I’ve read that it’s possible to spoon the dough into mounds as well, but have never tried it.
8. Pipe dough into 1.5 inch diameter mounds. The trick to piping the dough is to keep the piping tip fixed and allow the dough to form round mounds around the tip. Resist the urge to pipe in a spiraled motion.
9. Brush light with egg wash and bake. Bake as follows: turn oven onto 500ºF. Turn off oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then turn oven back onto 350ºF and bake for 20 minutes. If you don’t have a convection oven, just bake at 350ºF until golden brown. Resist the urge to open the oven in between to sneak a peak.
11. Then fit another piping bag with a #1 plain tip, and pipe the puff with lemon cream. (You will need two recipes of the lemon cream to fill the puffs completely, or you can whip up something else to stuff the puffs with)
12. I store mine in the freezer, and bring them to just under room temperature when ready to serve.