Monday, January 31, 2011

Cream puffs with homemade dark chocolate pudding

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Choux Pastry: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (205 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Choux Pastry:

1 cup (70 grams) all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon  granulated white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup (120 ml) water

4 large eggs

Egg Wash Glaze:

1 large egg

1/8 teaspoon salt

Whipped Cream:

1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar


Powdered (Confectioners or icing) sugar

In a bowl sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Set aside. 

Place the butter and water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and, with a wooden spoon or spatula, quickly add the flour mixture. Return to heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball (about a minute or two). Transfer the dough to your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, and beat on low speed a minute or two to release the steam from the dough. Once the dough is lukewarm start adding the eggs one at a time and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick paste. Spoon or pipe 12 mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, spacing them a couple of inches apart.  Beat together the egg and salt for the glaze. With a pastry brush, gently brush the glaze on the tops of the dough. 

Bake 25 minutes or until the shells are a nice amber color and when split, are dry inside.  A few minutes before the cream puffs are finished baking, poke a small hole in each to let air escape. Turn the oven off and, with the oven door slightly ajar, let the shells dry out for a further 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

For whipped cream:  In a large mixing bowl place the whipping cream, vanilla extract, and sugar and stir to combine. Cover and chill the bowl and whisk in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When chilled, whip the mixture until soft peaks form. 

To Assemble:  Split the pastry shells in half and fill (or pipe) with whipped cream. Place the top half of the pastry shell on the whipped cream and dust with powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar.

Makes 12 cream puffs.

Dark chocolate pudding:

4 cups 1% low-fat milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch Processed)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a small bowl, blend 1/2 cup of milk with the cornstarch. Combine the cocoa and salt in a small heavy saucepan. And slowly whisk in the remaining 3-1/2 cups of milk, the chocolate and the sugar Heat over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted Whisk in the cornstarch mixture.3Cook, stirring frequently, over very low heat until very thick and just beginning to boil, about 10 minutes Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.4Let cool, stirring occasionally until the custard is just warm.5Pour the pudding into small 1/2 c bowls.6Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set.7You can make this up to 3 days in advance.

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