Sunday, April 17, 2011

The art of doing nothing but a cream puff...

Really this post should be called the week of no blogging...
or The art of being entirely disengaged...

I just haven't been "feeling it" the past few days. Its all the tree pollen floating around, its cryptonite... all I can seem to accomplish is a simple click of the mouse to blog surf and minimal facebook updates... but enough about me.

How have YOU been?

Anything new in your corner of this little interweb?

The one thing that I have been doing, besides whining to the chef and swallowing antihistamines, is playing around with some sweet new recipes...

From new RI techniques {that's Royal Icing to you novices} that have seriously changed my life...

To the single BEST Swiss Meringue Butter cream in the universe...
It has been decided that all my birthday cakes from now on will be covered in sweet ruffles...

Ruffle Cake How To Here


Oh and a very tall, very yummy, Cookies and Cream Cake for a couple of my favorite people...



yummy right? ;)


And for this Sunday Dinner, I decided we should keep the "sweet" vibe we had going all week and I had the chef make my all time favorite treat! Hope you like!

ITALIAN CREAM PUFFS





Pate a Choux...

Ingredients:
1 cup water
3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon sugar plus 1/8 teaspoon salt (for sweet)
1 teaspoon salt (for savory)
5 3/4 ounces flour
1 cup eggs, about 4 large eggs and 2 whites

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Boil water, butter, and salt or sugar. Add flour and remove from heat. Work mixture together and return to heat. Continue working the mixture until all flour is incorporated and dough forms a ball. Transfer mixture into bowl of a standing mixer and let cool for 3 or 4 minutes. With mixer on stir or lowest speed add eggs, 1 at a time, making sure the first egg is completely incorporated before continuing. Once all eggs have been added and the mixture is smooth put dough into piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe immediately into golfball-size shapes, 2 inches apart onto parchment lined sheet pans. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown. Once they are removed from the oven pierce with a paring knife immediately to release steam...

Pastry Cream

Ingredients

1 tablespoon almond paste {you can also use any other flavorings you want... I really like Vanilla Orange myself! ;)}
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch salt
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter

Directions

In a nonreactive saucepan {AKA Stainless Steel}, combine the almond paste, 1 cup half-and-half and sugar. Whisk to dissolve. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks, cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup half-and-half. Whisk well. Remove the milk from the heat and add some of the hot liquid to the egg mixture and mix well. Add the egg mixture back to the simmering milk and place over the heat. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Pour into a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pastry cream. Cool completely. Can be used either at room temperature or chilled.

Chocolate Ganache:

Ingredients

2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces

Directions

Heat the cream until it just comes to a simmer. Remove from the heat. Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Allow to sit for about 10 to 15 seconds. Then, whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Mixture should be a little thick, but still pourable.


We normally make them as single cream puffs, but it was decided last night as we were both getting ready to snuggle into bed that we would skip the time consuming filling of each puff and topping with the ganache we would layer everything and make a cake instead! Just as yummy with less the mess! :)


Have a SWEET week!

Be Good to each other!
TAWNY

1 comment:

Sherry said...

I remember when you brought these to work. DIVINE!!! But any recipe that long will never get made around here. Oh. You know I never bake. Which makes me love it all the more when others do.