CREAM PUFFS WITH RASPBERRY COULIS
Yield: Approximately 36 puffs
Cream puffs remind me of my childhood. My mom used to make these for her dinner parties and I used to love helping her make them. They seemed so fancy to me, but now I realize how they are pretty easy to make and can be made in advance. When I make cream puffs, I tend to make a double batch and just freeze whatever I don't use as a time saver for the next time. Just reheat and they will be crisp and fresh, perfect for last minute parties. My preference is to fill them with pastry cream, but you can fill them with whipped cream or ice cream to make profiteroles if you don't have time to make the pastry cream. When you make profiteroles, don't forget a drizzle of chocolate.
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup unsalted butter, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs and 1 egg for the glaze
VANILLA PASTRY CREAM:
1 cup milk
3 large egg yolks
1 large egg
¼ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 pints fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
In heavy medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water, salt and butter to a boil. Remove from heat. Add all the flour at once and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together, approximately 1 minute. Return pan back to heat and continue stirring over low heat for 1 minute. Mixture should be shiny and bottom of pan should be lightly coated.
Transfer dough to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix at low speed to allow the mixture to cool slightly. At medium speed, add eggs one at a time. Make sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down sides of the bowl and continue mixing until dough is smooth and shiny.
Fit large pastry bag with either 1-inch round tip or 1M star tip if you want more texture. Keep pastry bag folded backwards and add mixture to the bag till two-thirds full. Twist top of bag to remove air.
Heat oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On each sheet, pipe approximately 1 1/2 - inch mounds. Suggest to apply constant pressure with one hand and use other hand to guide the tip. Gently squeeze the dough in a straight up motion. Keep dough 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Alternatively you can use an ice cream scoop or two spoons to create the mounds. Brush the dough with a egg mixture of beaten egg with 1 tablespoon water. You can also use your fingers by dipping in egg mixture just enough to pat down and smooth the tip of the dough. This will prevent burning.
Bake 20-25 minutes till golden brown. Cool on rack. Serve immediately or they can be put in the refrigerator or freezer for future use. Just reheat at 375°F for 2 minutes, reheat for 5 minutes if frozen.
Suggestion: Even if outside looks golden brown, cut one cream puff oven to ensure center is cooked through. If it is slightly wet and sticky, put cream puffs back in the oven or they will not stay crisp later.
In a medium heavy saucepan, scald the milk. Remove from heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk yolks, egg, sugar and salt. Beat in the cornstarch until completely incorporated.
Slowly pour the egg mixture into the hot milk, whisking to prevent eggs from scrambling. Return mixture to the sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk until mixture comes to a boil and reduce heat, simmer until thickened. Pastry cream should coat the back of a spoon. Stir in butter and vanilla.
Strain the mixture in a fine-mesh strainer into a medium glass or metal bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming on top. Let cool completely and chill until cold.
Heat all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Simmer on low and stir frequently until thickened, approximately 5 minutes.
Using fine mesh strainer, strain raspberries using a rubber spatula to remove seeds. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2-3 days.
Split the puffs in half, horizontally.
Fill puffs with vanilla pastry cream using a pastry bag fitted with a 1M star tip. Or fill with a small spoon.
Pick mint leaves off stem and stack leaves on top of each other. Chiffonade or slice into thin strips.
Drizzle with raspberry coulis. And top with fresh raspberries and mint.