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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Plain Cream Puffs

MAR 15, 2006

Filled with savory concoctions, cream puffs make excellent conveyances for hors d'oeuvres. Cut across the middle and fill each half for bite-size hors d'oeuvres or snip off the cap and turn the puff into an appetizer or mini-sandwich.

Be creative about the fillings. You can use larb gai (a Thai chicken salad), seviche, tuna or salmon tartare, shrimp salad and crab remoulade. Note that there may be some uncooked dough in the puffs; it helps keep filled puffs from getting soggy by absorbing some of the moisture of the fillings.


1 batch Basic Cream Puff Dough (see related recipe)

Basic Cream Puff Dough (Pâte à Choux)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Have ready a large baking sheet lined with a silicone liner or parchment paper.

The dough can be dolloped into heaping mounds on the baking sheet by using a tablespoon or a soup spoon. The better method for plain puffs is to fashion a pastry bag from a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag by snipping off 1/2 inch to 1 inch from one of the corners. Pipe the puffs onto the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Leaving the puffs in the oven, turn off the oven and let the puffs dry for 10 to 15 minutes.Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream puff baking tips:

· Use a gallon-size resealable plastic bag with a corner snipped off (1/2 inch to 1 inch, depending on desired puff size) as a disposable pastry bag.

· There is a lot of debate over how to pipe puffs onto baking sheets. Some people spiral the dough, but piping the dough as if collapsing a figure 8 onto itself seems to give the puffs more "lift."

· Bake cream puffs about an inch apart on ungreased baking sheets lined with a silicone liner such as Silpat (preferably) or parchment paper. If using parchment, secure it with dabs of dough to keep the paper from rising when the puffs are piped onto the pan.

· Bake puffs in a hot oven -- 425 degrees. For plain (to be filled) puffs, leave them in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes with the oven off after they are baked. That achieves extra crispness and keeps the amount of uncooked dough inside to a minimum.

· Be careful not to underbake. Plain puffs should move easily around the baking sheet and feel light. If they feel heavy, let them bake a few minutes longer.

· Cream puffs soften when exposed to the air. If made ahead, they can be crisped in a hot oven for a couple of minutes.

· For do-ahead preparations, you'll get better results by reheating baked puffs than by baking dough that has been refrigerated. Baked cream puffs may be frozen, but freezing diminishes their flavor.

Adapted from chef and former restaurateur David Hagedorn.

Tested by Marcia Kramer

Nutritional Facts
Calories per piece: 45
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 3g 5%
Saturated Fat: 2g 10%
Cholesterol: 31mg 10%
Sodium: 8mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates: 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 1g

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