Monday, 20 February 2012

Cocoa Cream Puffs

Cream puffs! What else is there to say? Well, CHOCOLATE cream puffs, I should say. Oh baby. Of course; I dreamed up this idea, googled it, and discovered the rest of the world had been there before me. What else is new? Never mind. Plainly an idea who's time has come.  Rich and eggy (and chocolatey), but not too sweet - delicious!

Makes 12 to 24 cream puffs
1 hour prep time, 2 hours time to cool

Cocoa Cream Puffs

 Make the Puffs:
1 cup soft unbleached flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 extra-large eggs

Sift the flour, cocoa and sugar into a small bowl and set aside. Put the water. butter and salt into a large pot and bring to a boil. When the butter has melted, and as the mixture boils steadily, dump in the flour mixture and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon,  until the mixture forms a smooth ball. Remove it from the heat, and let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.

Break the eggs into the pot, and beat them into the dough, one at a time. Make sure each egg is well incorporated before adding the next one.

Spoon the dough out onto the prepared tray, keeping them as well spaced as you can. If they are a bit rough on top, smooth out the dough with the back of a wet spoon, but don't flatten them out - keep them as high as you can.

Bake the puffs for 30 to 35 minutes, until firm. Let cool before glazing and filling.

Make the Custard:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons soft unbleached flour
2 extra-large eggs
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Sift the sugar, salt and flour into the top of a double boiler. Mix well. Beat in the eggs, until the mixture is smooth and lump-free. Stir in the milk.

Turn the heat on under the double boiler. Stir the mixture regularly, until it begins to heat up; at that point it must be stirred constantly until the mixture thickens. Once it is thick, remove it from the stove (and the double boiler.) Add the vanilla and butter, and continue stirring until well blended and smooth. Set aside to cool before filling the cream puffs. Note; while it's not required to use an electric mixer to stir the custard, it does help to ensure a smooth, lump-free custard.

When both the puffs and the custard are cool, cut the puffs in half. (You can leave a "hinge" on one side.) Spoon enough custard into each open puff to fill it, and close the top back over the custard.  

Make the Glaze:
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup icing sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder

Do not make the glaze until the puffs are filled and ready to be glazed. 

Put all the ingredients  into a small pot. Bring rapidly to a boil, stirring constantly. As soon as everything is melted and well blended, remove from the stove. Drizzle some of the glaze over each filled cream puff. Work as quickly as you can; the glaze sets very fast. Spreat it around with the back of the spoon if necessary.

Last year at this time I made Spicy Garlicky Roast Potatoes.

No comments: