Cinnamon Vanilla Cream Puff Recipe

Sunday, May 22, 2016

For the last few weeks I've been completely obsessed with learning how to make the perfect cream puff. I made them for breakfast, I made them for family dinner, I took them to potluck. There were far too many creampuffs in my house for far too long, but finally, I'm happy to announce that I've come up with my own version of this beloved classic that I think anyone could rock. 
Of course the first thing you have to make when it comes to cream puffs is pate a choux dough. This finicky dough is what inspired me in the first place, as I oly decided to make it after watching a episode of a children's baking show where they all were challenged to make a savory and sweet verion of this french pastry. 

"If those kids can make something that delicious so can I!" I thought to myself, so I did, with baby girl's help (of course!) 

The dough is bit more complicated than a normal dough as you start it in a saucepan on the stove. You melt together one stick of butter and one cup water, once it starts simmering you stir in your cup of flour. This creates a rue which you fold four beaten eggs, and a teaspoon salt into. This is the recipe I used for the dough, although I did use a different temperature and time to bake so only the ingredients are the same.

Since I was using a ziplock with a hole cut in a corner to pipe out my pate a choux dough it was somewhat hard to be accurate with size, but the longer I practice the better I got. 

You want your dough to be as even as possible since when your Puffs puff they have about the same amount of room for filling in each one. Obviously no one is perfect, and they all eat the same, but I find attention to details like this most enjoyable when it comes to cooking!

As you can see my first batch turned out a bit crap. They were soggy and eggy inside, and barely puffed up enough to fit the filling in. So sad, but I didn't let my failure stop me from making four more batches, after all I had to perfect the cream puffs so I could post about them right??

Luckily I finally found what worked with my last couple batches! They puffed up so nicely and consistently, in the end all I needed were much higher temperatures and a longer baking time. It was totally worth the tummy ache I got from eating all the mess ups in the long wrong, because now I know what I'm doing!

The spirals of dough I created with my ghetto "pastry bag" ended up baking so beautifully, After being filled with cinnamon and vanilla home-made whipped cream I dusted my little baby with powdered sugar, YUM!

Here is a inside view of the cream puff. It makes me hungry just looking at it, I'll admit I ate about three since I started editing and writing this post yesterday. They are just SO tempting, and actually keep quite well in the fridge. Perfect for making ahead of time. 

The actual recipe is as follows…
For pastry:
4 eggs
1 cup water
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
1 Tsp salt

For whipped cream:
Half a pint of heavy whipping cream 
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tsp cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Make your dough by melting together your cup of water and stick of butter in a saucepan on med/high heat. When it starts simmering stir in your flour with a rubber scrapper, don't stop stirring no matter what you do! Mix until you've formed a big ball of light blond dough. Next transfer this into four eggs that you've already beaten, don't stop stirring here either!! 

This is probably the most important part. I like to mix my salt in at this point also, it takes about two or three mintes to fully mix the dough with the eggs, since the original mixture from your saucepan is still hot when you put it in the eggs, it ends up cooking them as you stir. It will look like a big mess for the first minute, but have faith! Soon you'll see your batter smoothing out and turning a lovely yellow. 

Transfer your batter to a pastry bag (if your fancy) or a Ziplock with a small hole cut in one corner. about 1/4 inch big. You can pipe your batter out in a spiral or simply a dollop, whatever way feels most natural and is easiest for you to be consistent with. At the end of the day consistency is the most important element of baking as you want everything you're making to turn out equally well. 

Bake puffs at 435 degrees F until they are dark brown and puffed up at least three times their original size. I don't time them since I found every time I did they flopped, but I'd say it's somewhere around 25 minutes. Keep peaking at them, quickly if you don't have a oven window like I do since a drop in heat will screw up the baking process. If you have a oven with a window and a light you've got it made.

Make the whipped cream while the puffs are baking. Put all of the ingredients into your blender and use a whisk attachment to beat on high until stiff peaks form. Let your puffs cool quite a while before you fill them.  Again I used the ghetto pastry bag method and cut off the end of a ziplock, poking the end into each cream puff through a whole I made with my finger. Fill until you feel the puff expand a little bit, you want to try and get every crevice of the enterior if you can.

Is it just me or is food blogging a little on the naughty side? I feel like every description I write about how delicate and delicious my puffs were is a little bit dirty, or maybe that's just my mind!! What do you guys think of the recipe? I hope you try it and find out just how easy it is to make, don't let the dough intimidate you!!! It's much easier than I expected it to be when I first started. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

Mama B