Chocolate Cream Puffs are my Grandpas favorite thing in the whole world. They have a delicious homemade creamy custard in the center that I fold whipped cream into so it makes it light and heavenly. He has always loved cream filling the most though. In my family we joke about how he would eat anything if it had cream on it. And he’s passed it on to his children and grandchildren. It just isn’t dessert if it doesn’t have cream on it. And chocolate, dessert needs chocolate too.
Homemade Cream Puffs are a labor of love. You have to make the shells, the filling, the ganache, then fill and dip them. It’s kind of an all day project. But they are so worth it when they are finished.
We love everything about these Cream Puffs. They are delicious. Here is the recipe. Stay with me, it’s kind of long.
Pate Choux/ Cream Puff Shells
Makes 12 big shells or 20ish small ones, depending on what scoop you use.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup AP flour
- 4 large eggs
- pinch of salt
Bring water, milk, and butter to a boil, add salt and pour in the flour. Take the pan off the heat and stir your little heart out. The dough will pull away from the sides of the pan and form into a big ball. Keep stirring and add the eggs one at a time until a creamy batter forms. Scoop into a pastry bag, or if you are feeling lazy, use a medium size cookie scoop. You can set the batter pretty close together on the parchment paper lined pan because they raise up not spread out. Usually an 1 1/2- 2 inches apart.
Bake at 400 degrees for at least 30 minutes. Less if you made mini puffs. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN IN THE FIRST 20 MINUTES. Pate choux is leavened by steam. The steam escapes the oven when you open it. So trust me, just don’t open it. You will know they are done when they are on the darker side of golden. It’s more like a caramel color. Pull them out of the oven and cool to room temperature.
- 2 cups milk
- 2 oz sugar #1
- 1.5 oz egg yolks
- 2 oz whole eggs
- 1.25 oz corn starch
- 2 oz sugar #2
- 2 tbls butter
- 1 tbls vanilla extract
Bring milk and sugar #1 to a boil. While that is heating sift together cornstarch and sugar #2 together. To the cornstarch mixture add the egg yolks and whole eggs. Whisk together. When the milk boils slowly add a little bit into the egg mixture. This is called tempering. You don’t want to add the milk too quickly of it will scramble the eggs. Once you’ve added a little milk to the eggs you can pour the rest in. Whisk together, then strain back into the same pan you used to boil your milk. Keep the heat at medium and keep whisking. The cornstarch will almost immediately start to thicken. Keep stirring. You want the mixture to boil/bubble for at least a minute so it cooks out that gritty cornstarch feeling. After it’s boiled for a minute take it off the heat and add the vanilla. Wait a couple minutes before you stir in the butter. Pour into a bowl and press the plastic wrap right on top of the custard. You don’t a skin to form, gross. Refrigerate.
Whip 1 cup of cream to stiff peaks. Stir your cold pastry cream to soften it a little bit and fold into the cream.
- 5 oz cream
- 7.5 oz chocolate chips. We like semi sweet, but you could do half and half milk to semi. You decide.
Bring the cream to almost a boil, then pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute of two then whisk together. It’s important to use a whisk to stir it together. If you don’t, sometimes the ganache separates into a greasy mess.
Finally the Assembly
Cut the puff in half, or poke a hole into the side of the puff and squeeze in the filling with a pastry bag. Then dip in the warm ganache. Leave them alone for a little while in the fridge to set up the ganache. Or just eat one right now. Either way is fine. See what I mean about a labor of love? I wasn’t kidding.
Photos by Cassidy Tuttle Photography