Thursday, 10 April 2008

Maple Cream Puffs

So rich and decadent I'm not sure they're even legal.

A lot of people think that cream puffs and eclairs must be difficult to make, but they're not. The pastry is ridiculously easy in fact, and can be filled with all kinds of things besides maple cream. The maple caramel will be the only bit that may be a little tricky; and it will simply be firmer, or softer, according to what degree you have cooked the syrup. Unless you actually burn it, it will always be delicious.

12 to 14 cream puffs
45 minutes - 20 minutes prep time

Maple Cream Puffs
Choux Pastry:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/8th teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons rice flour measured out into a small bowl
2 extra-large eggs

Put the water, butter and salt in a heavy-bottomed pot and bring them to a boil. Dump in all of the rice flour, and stir like mad, until the dough is lump-free and forms a ball. Remove the pot from the stove and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the batter is smooth. Use a 1" disher to scoop the batter out onto the prepared cookie sheet. Be sure to keep them well spaced.

Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, until firm and golden brown. Let them cool before slicing and filling.

Maple Caramel Topping:
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons butter

Put the syrup in a heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a boil and boil steadily for about 2 minutes, until the syrup seems on the edge of caramelizing: there should be a slight change in the aroma, and the bubbles will become quite small. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Let cool for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the puffs horizontally about three-quarters of the way through.

Dip the top of each puff in the caramel. You will need to tilt the pan by the end to ensure good coverage on each puff. Place them back on the parchment paper as each one is done. When they are all covered, if there is any extra caramel, scrape it out and drizzle it over the puffs, with particular attention to any that don't seem to have full coverage.

Maple Cream:
1 cup whipping cream
2 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup

Beat the cream until fairly stiff. Add the maple syrup and continue beating until the cream is quite stiff.

Put one tablespoon or so of cream into the sliced centre of each cream puff. Ideally, they should be served at once, although they will wait for up to an hour. Any longer and the shells are apt to get a bit soggy. If they must be kept, it is best to put them in a cool spot, but not the fridge.


Brilynn said...

Oh how i love anything with maply syrup in it!
I've had mixed success with making cream puffs, I'll have to try again sometime.

Bellini Valli said...

Great way to use some of the maple syrup you probably bought at the Elmira Syrup Festival. I have never attempted to make cream puffs...probably time I got cracking:D