Cream puffs are easy to make and beloved by all.
Recipe: Cream Puffs
A Special Occasion Calls For A Cream Puff
San Francisco chocolatier Michael Recchiuti began his professional life as a pastry chef. He first made these cream puffs at the Frog Commissary Restaurant and Bakery in Philadelphia, his home town. The recipe is lends itself to countless variations of filling and garnishes—strawberries and chocolate hearts for Valentine’s Day, pastel-colored ice creams for Easter, white ice cream, red fruit sauce and blueberries for Independence Day, candy-cane ice cream for Christmas, and so forth.
Consider drizzling top-quality dessert sauces on the plate or over the cream puffs. Michael sells his Burnt Caramel and Extra-Bitter Chocolate Sauces at Recchiuti.com; fruit sauces and custard sauces are also popular complements. You can peruse our Dessert Sauces & Toppings section for other ideas.
Yield: 10-12 cream puffs
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 ounces unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature (plus one egg for glazing, whisked)
- Whipped cream or ice cream for filling
- Cocoa powder for finishing
- Optional sauce or topping
- Optional garnish (berries, mint leaves, etc.)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line the bottom of two 12"x18" sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Put the water, salt and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the flour gradually, stirring continuously until a ball forms and comes away from the sides of the saucepan. Remove from heat.
- Put the flour mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. NOTE: Do not use the whisk attachment; you do not want to incorporate air. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute to allow the steam to evaporate from the mixture.
- Reduce the speed to low. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. The mixture should appear smooth and shiny.
- Using a lightly oiled tablespoon to scoop, place the cream puff batter on the prepared sheet pans, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Brush the tops with the additional whisked egg to glaze.
- Bake on the middle shelves of the oven for 10 minutes. Rotate the pans 180 degrees and reduce heat to 325°F. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until the cream puffs are a deep, golden brown. Let cool completely on the pans on wire racks.
- When cooled completely, horizontally slice the cream puffs and fill with fresh whipped cream or ice cream in whatever flavors you wish. If vanilla ice cream, dust with cocoa powder to finish. For other flavors, you can create your recipe by using other “dusts”—vanilla powder, fruit powders, etc.