Looking for a delicious treat to start off 2021? Well, look no further! Start off the New Year with these RaspBEARy shortcake custard cream puffs (or choux puffs, to be more fancy)! I naturally wake up super early, so I couldn’t make it all the way to midnight on New Year’s eve. Hence, I decided to bake something that represented me as a person, a sleepy human being on the night of New Year’s.
Although the name is a mouthful, these puffs are actually quite easy to make. There are just 3 components:
- Choux bun
- Whipped cream
Detailed How to Make Choux Pastry
Making choux is probably the most difficult part and definitely takes some practice, but is very easy once you get the hang of it. I have detailed how to make perfect choux in the following directions, so don’t be scared! Flour, eggs, butter and water are all you need to make it.
Choux pastry is very unique in that, for perfect results, the dough has to be cooked first! This unique step results in a really sturdy pastry shell that also has a custard-like texture on the inside. One of the key things I’ve learned from making choux is to use COLD WATER in the beginning. It is also essential to cut the butter into cubes so that it melts faster. Next, add sugar and stir so that it dissolves completely BEFORE the water boils. As soon as everything comes to a boil, immediately remove it from the heat and add all the flour at once (preferably sifted). Mix and turn until there are no lumps and the dough is smooth. This is important if you don’t want cracked shells later!
If you followed these directions, then your dough should
- pull away cleanly from the sides of the pan
- leave a thin film on the bottom of the pan
- have no flour clumps
After your dough has been successfully made, transfer to another bowl and let cool. You don’t want to add the eggs while the dough is too hot as this can cook the eggs and may even make your choux eggy. I like to use my wooden spoon or a whisk to spread the dough out. This increases surface area so the dough cools faster. While waiting for the dough to cool, I suggest whisking the eggs well in a bowl first before adding them to the dough. Whisking them beforehand ensures that you get an even distribution of egg white and yolks being added to the dough at all times.
When incorporating the eggs, your dough may separate and break into chunks like the figure below. THIS IS OKAY. KEEP WHISKING!
You’ll know when the choux pastry is fully done when you get that signature ‘V’ shape. As a guide, when the spoon or whisk is lifted out of the dough, a ‘V‘ should be left hanging from the end of the spoon. This suggests that the mixture is just a bit thicker than the dropping consistency. If you have that, then you’ve now got yourself some beautiful choux pastry dough. Just pipe and bake!
These choux puffs are highly transportable and definitely good for sharing as well. The rich custard and cream, coupled with a soft, airy choux bun, is a wonderful combination.
- Taste: ★★★★★
- Difficulty: ★★★
- Ingredients: ★★★
- Time: 45 min (assembly) + 30 minutes (baking) = ~1.5 hours total
Ingredients (about 7 choux)
- 2 medium eggs
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 cup COLD water
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3/4 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/8 cup (2 tbsp) cornstarch
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- fresh raspberries (optional)
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
Making the pastry
- Preheat oven to 375˚F.
- Beat eggs in a small bowl and set aside.
- Place the butter, sugar, and COLD water in a pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the flour to the pan and incorporate into the butter mixture by stirring very quickly until the dough doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan anymore. Turn off the heat and transfer to another bowl.
- Spread out the dough so it cools faster. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Add half of the beaten eggs slowly into the pan with the dough mixture and stir well with the help of a wooden spoon. Mix well to avoid lumps in the dough—it should be smooth and even. Mix in the remaining egg until smooth and even as well.
- Fill a piping bag, or sturdy ziploc bag with a snipped corner with the dough.
- Gently squeeze out 7 or 8 small mounds of dough onto the pan, depending on your size preference. Wet your fingertips and carefully even out the surface of each little ball.
- Bake the choux pastry for 30 minutes.
- Let pastry cool and then cut the puffs horizontally into halves.
Making the custard and cream
- Reference my custard recipe used in my Salted Egg Yolk Custard Cookies! This makes the perfect custard!
- Whip heavy cream and sugar by hand or with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
- Place a dollop of custard on the bottom of each choux puff and top with whipped cream to your liking. Top with top half of choux puff and enjoy!!