Saturday, May 16, 2015

Crackle-Top Cream Puffs

I know I've been posting quite a bit of choux recipes lately, but I think this will be one of the last ones I do for a while. I was on a mission to figure out how to make pastry cream correctly, and I needed to make something using my successful results. Luckily Dorie Greenspan has a lot of different recipes that include pastry cream-filled goodies in Baking Chez Moi. This recipe looked really good in the cook book, and it turned out pretty well when I made it, too! This is pretty much your standard cream puff, but enhanced by a thin crispy layer of a brown sugar crackle on top. It brings a little bit of sweetness and a little bit of a crunch to the table, both of which I can't resist.

I won't post the process photos of making the choux or the pastry cream again. I'll just show the steps of how to make the brown sugar crackle. It's actually pretty simple.

No fancy ingredients required.

Mix the brown sugar, butter, and salt in a food processor first, and then add the flour.

Dorie said to pulse the dough until it formed moist curds. I wasn't really sure what that meant so I stopped when it looked like this before adding my vanilla.

I rolled out the dough and froze it overnight.

Right after I prepared the choux and piped it onto my baking sheets, I took the frozen dough out and cut out small circles using a small biscuit cutter.

 I placed the frozen brown sugar circles on the dough I just piped out.

These looked good enough to pique the interest of this guy.

Into the oven it went, and out came these beauties.

These wouldn't be very good cream puffs if they didn't have cream in them. So in went the pastry cream I made in advance.

These really should be eaten fresh. If you wait too long, the actual cream puff will start getting soggy.

I would make these again. Even though there are three components, two of the three can be made in advance. Actually, the entire thing can be made in advance; you can just freeze the dough right after you put the crackle tops on. That might be a good idea if you just want to pop these in the oven for a quick and fancy breakfast.

Crackle-Top Cream Puffs recipe on page 226 of Baking Chez Moi.

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