Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Peppermint Cream Puff Ring

When I first saw this selection I was a little intimidated, I’d never even thought about making cream puffs before. But I read the directions and decided I could do it. Because we have limited fridge space this week I decided to not make the ring but just individual cream puffs, easier to store and manage. I followed the direction on making the dough, and the puffs came out perfectly. I baked them just as directed and I had no problems with wet insides. I didn’t have a true pastry bag so I used some plastic icing bags and tips I already had to pipe out the dough and the filling. After I piped out the puffs I dipped my finger in a little bit of water and smoothed the top of the puffs a little bit, I discovered that little trick from a website that I now cannot find.

For the filling I split the recipe in half. Half of the cream I made into peppermint cream filling as directed by the recipe, using Kentucky Colonel mint from my garden. I was very minty, I’m not sure exactly how many leaves I used but probably around 20? For the other half of the cream I used a vanilla bean for flavor, I just love seeing the little flecks of vanilla in white cream. I made it just as I had with the peppermint cream, bringing it to a boil and refrigerating, the only exception being that I didn’t have to strain it because there were no leaves. I didn’t see crème fraiche at my normal grocery store and at that point I was too lazy to drive to the specialty grocery so I just sour cream. Both creams turned out nicely, but I will say even though I love peppermint I preferred the vanilla bean cream over the peppermint cream.

When it was time to open the puffs I used a small serrated knife, however most of the puffs opened with just a gentle pull. The chocolate topping was a little thicker than I liked so I added more heavy cream and another ounce of chocolate to make it easier to pour over the puffs. I topped them off with sliced toasted almonds and a sprig of my mint.

The cream puffs were good, not earth-shattering, but still delicious. In the future I’ll probably use the vanilla bean cream and maybe try making the chocolate pastry cream too. Probably the biggest thing to come out of this week’s dish was that I’m not scared of making cream puffs/éclairs now. I *know* I can do it and I’m not intimated anymore.

13 comments:

ostwestwind said...

Congrats, now you can do choux pastry and fill the puffs with whatever you want. I always think that the dough is only a medium for the filling of your choice!

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

Engineer Baker said...

It's nice to get over that hump, isn't it? Now on to the variations!

Natashya said...

How cute! I like the little puffs. I agree that the mint was not my fave flavour, the vanilla bean filling sounds divine.

Prudy said...

Yours look perfect, absolutely perfect. Beautiful!

Jacque said...

They're adorable! That's what's cool about TWD, trying new things (and mastering them).

Great job!

Jules Someone said...

Glad you got over the pastry hump. Those look gorgeous!

Anne said...

Those look great! Way to go trying different flavors. TWD is great for trying new things. Yours look absolutely beautiful!

Dianne said...

I like the idea of vanilla bean cream! Your puffs look fabulous!

Susie Homemaker said...

Awesome! Way to get over your fears and succeed like a champ! That's what's so great about TWD - making us at least TRY something new! I'm so glad it worked out for you...

Mara said...

they look amazing! i am a fan of the portion control puff eating...love the garnish!

LyB said...

They look beautiful! It's nice to know that if you want éclairs, now you can make them without a hitch!

Mary Ann said...

they look so good and the 2 different creams sound divine!

Jaime said...

that plate looks so delicious! great job and kudos for conquering the choux pastry :)