I love cream puffs. Fluffy, airy choux pastry filled with sweet, smooth cream – what’s there not to love? I used to get cream puffs from Beard Papa quite often but nowadays I get them from Chateraise since it’s more accessible and also cheaper. I have been wanting to try making my own cream puffs but since I’m not really adept at baking, I’ve been a little hesitant. Two days ago I finally tried my hand at making cream puffs, and overall the taste is pretty good, but there is room for improvement.
Do take a look at my tips below so that you can get best results! I know it looks like there’s a lot of things to take note of, but they aren’t too difficult!
Some important things to take note of:
[Step 4 of recipe] Ensure that the flour mixture is dry enough before adding eggs in. Cook the flour mixture until a thin film of residue forms on the bottom of the pot.
[Step 4 of recipe] Allow pastry to cool before adding eggs in. If pastry is too hot, it may cook the eggs, thus giving your cream puffs an eggy taste.
[Step 5 of recipe] The size of eggs used can make a big difference to the pastry. If possible, try to use 55g eggs. If using smaller or bigger eggs, you may need to adjust the amount used. To check if the pastry is of the correct consistency, cut through the pastry using a spatula and check if it closes back up slowly. If it does, it is of the right consistency. If not, add a little more egg mixture and combine.
[Step 7 of recipe] Avoid opening the oven door in between baking to prevent cream puffs from collapsing. It is very important to bake the cream puffs until they are light, airy and hollow so that they will not become soggy and collapse. Your cream puffs may turn brown at the 15 minute mark but you will still need to bake them for longer.
[Step 11 of recipe] Avoid pouring hot milk into egg mixture all at one go, as the heat may cause the eggs to cook and cause the resultant cream to taste eggy and not be smooth. Make sure to add the milk into the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream.
[Step 13 of recipe] Ensure pastry cream is cool before adding whipped cream in, otherwise the resultant cream may split or become grainy.
[Step 14 of recipe] Avoid overwhipping the cream as it will turn grainy once overwhipped. Whisk the cream until it form medium peaks (if you pull out the whisk from the cream, the cream should form a peak that bends over.
For video recipe, please view my insta story (@_kitchenmisadventures)!
This recipe makes around 12 big cream puffs (or 24 small cream puffs). If you prefer smaller cream puffs, be sure to pipe smaller rounds before baking!
CHOUX PASTRY (Pâte à Choux)
- 62.50 g butter diced
- 62.50 ml milk
- 62.50 ml water
- ½ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 75 g flour
- 2-3 eggs 55g each
CREAM FILLING (Diplomat Cream)
- 200 ml milk
- 40 g sugar divided into 2
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg 55g
- 1.50 tsp flour
- 1.50 tsp cornstarch
- 20 g butter diced
- 150 ml whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 190°C. Line baking trays with baking paper or silicone mats.
- Add milk, water, sugar, salt and butter into a saucepot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Turn off the heat then add in flour and combine well using a spatula.
- Using low heat, cook the flour mixture for a few minutes to dry out the mixture. Once you see that the bottom of the pot is covered in a thin film of residue, transfer the pastry to a mixing bowl.
- Add eggs into the mixing bowl, one at a time, and combine well with the spatula. Ensure that each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. To check if the pastry is of the correct consistency, cut through the pastry using the spatula and check if it closes back up slowly. If it does, it is ready. If not, add a little more egg mixture and combine.
- Transfer pastry to a piping bag and pipe 6-8cm rounds on the baking paper/silicone mat. If you prefer to make smaller cream puffs, pipe 3-4cm rounds instead. Using a moist finger or a fork, flatten any pointed peaks to ensure even baking.
- Bake pastry at 190°C for around 20-30 minutes (depending on size of cream puffs) until browned. Avoid opening the oven in between to prevent cream puffs from collapsing. The resultant cream puffs should feel light and be hollow inside. Transfer cream puffs to a wire rack to cool completely before filling with cream. If not using cream puffs immediately, you can store them in the freezer.
CREAM FILLING (Diplomat Cream)
- Diplomat cream is a combination of pastry cream and whipped cream.
- Add milk, half of the sugar, vanilla extract to a saucepot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once milk has boiled, turn off the heat.
- Meanwhile, whisk eggs and remaining half of the sugar in a mixing bowl for 1-2 minutes until well combined. Add flour and cornstarch and whisk until well combined.
- Slowly pour milk into the egg mixture and whisk continuously until well mixed.
- Return saucepot to the stove and bring to a boil over medium heat. The mixture will start to thicken, continue cooking and whisking until it starts to loosen.
- Turn off the heat, then add butter into pot and whisk well-combined. Transfer pastry cream to a bowl and cover with cling wrap. Allow pastry cream to cool in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Once pastry cream is cool, you can start making the whipped cream. In a mixing bowl (best if it's cold), add whipping cream and whisk until it forms medium peaks. Be careful not to overwhip the cream otherwise it will become grainy.
- Loosen pastry cream first by stirring it. Then fold whipped cream into pastry cream gently in 3-4 batches. Combine until smooth.
- Using a knife, make a small 'x' cut on the underside of the cream puffs.
- Transfer diplomat cream to a piping bag, then pipe cream into cream puffs. Allow cream puffs to chill in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes before eating.