Cream puffs are one of my favourite desserts and are actually so much easier to make than many people think. The choux pastry comes together relatively quickly and is a wonderful blank canvas for all sorts of versions, both sweet and savoury. Here, I’ve mixed some passion fruit curd into whipped cream for a bright variation on the cream puff. Though it might seem there are a lot of steps you can actually make everything in advance and just assemble the puffs when you need to serve them, making them (dinner) party friendly!
30 minPrep Time
45 minCook Time
1 hr, 15 Total Time
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 whole large egg
- 1/3 cup (75 g) granulated sugar
- Fruit pulp from 3 passionfruit, approx. 6 tbsp (90mL)
- 1/2 stick or 1/4 cup (57 g) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small cubes
- 1 cup (250 mL) water
- 1 stick or 1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4-6 small pieces
- a pinch of salt
- 1 cup (160g) all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) whipping (35%) cream
- 1 cup (250 mL) of passion fruit curd
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) icing sugar
- 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp (15-22 mL) water
- yellow food colouring (optional)
- Whisk egg, egg yolk, sugar and passion fruit pulp in a heavy saucepan until well blended and smooth. Continue to whisk constantly over medium heat for approximately 7 minutes, until the curd is thick and will coat the back of a wooden spoon.
- Remove saucepan from the heat and whisk in 1/4 cup butter, one chunk (~1 tbsp) at a time.
- Once all the butter is combined, strain the mixture through a metal sieve into a jug or bowl to remove the passion fruit seeds.
- Cover with plastic wrap (making sure one layer of wrap touches the surface of the curd and another seals the bowl or jug tight and bring to room temperature.
- When the curd is at room temperature, refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 375˚F (180˚C).
- Prepare two baking trays lined with parchment paper.
- Bring the water, butter and salt to a boil in a heavy pot.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add 1 cup flour at once to the pot.
- Stir the dough vigorously with a wooden spoon - it will come together fairly quickly, but keep stirring over the low heat until it forms a smooth, shiny ball of dough. Altogether you will cook this flour mixture for about 2 minutes. There will be a slight crust on the bottom of the pan.
- Place the dough in a clean glass or metal bowl and use a wooden spoon to break up the mixture a little to release the steam. Keep doing this for a couple of minutes so the dough loses some of its heat.
- Add one egg and, using a wooden spoon, stir even more vigorously than before - don't worry, your dough will separate and look like it's ruined but have faith and continue to stir until it comes together again into a smooth shiny dough. Add the second egg and mix until the dough has come together again.
- Continue until all four eggs are mixed in.
- Scrape the dough into a piping bag fitted with a plain tip. Pipe 1 1/2 inch or about 4 cm in diametre “Hershey Kiss” shapes onto the lined baking sheets from above, leaving about 4 cm in between each puff.
- Your puffs will have peaks on top - use your finger dipped in water to smooth these over.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, checking on the puffs halfway through the cook time to turn the trays from front to back to ensure even baking.
- Remove from the oven and transfer the puffs to a cooling rack.
- Remove curd from fridge and whisk to loosen slightly.
- Whip the cream using a clean whisk by hand or a mixer until you get stiff peaks, then add to the curd and fold in until incorporated.
- Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a plain tip. (Alternatively, you can spoon this into the puffs as well.) Set cream aside.
- Once you are ready to fill and top the puffs, make glaze by combining icing sugar, colour (if using) and water (you may not need all the water) until you have a thick liquid that is smooth and glossy.
- Cut the puffs in half with a serrated knife.
- Spoon or pipe the cream into the bottom of each puff.
- Dip the top half of each puff in the glaze, shaking off the excess and place on top of the cream-filled bottom.
- Serve immediately.
*Choux pastry recipe inspired by and adapted from Dorie Greenspan.
This recipe was developed by Mardi Michels, a full-time teacher of French (and cooking) at an independent boys’ school in Toronto. She writes about her culinary adventures, near and far, at eat. live. travel. write. teaches cooking classes around Toronto focusing on French food and operates a vacation rental property in South West France.