Prep Time: 30 Min
Cook Time: 25 Min
Ready In: 55 Min
We have a great privately owned bakery near where I live, and my family enjoys stopping by every so often for a taste of one pastry this bakery has become locally famous for: their eclairs. These suckers are huge–about ten inches long–and about four inches across. They’re also fairly expensive at 5 bucks a pop. And of course, it bothers me a bit that I don’t actually know what’s in them, nor how they’re made–except that an employee once told me that they use ammonia to make them rise.
Now I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer that ammonia be nowhere near the food I’m eating. I like to know exactly what’s in my food, and to feel confident that it’s made in the healthiest environment possible. (And, I like to save money when I can.) So I decided to come up with a recipe for cream puffs–the baby cousin of the eclair. So here’s the result:
Ingredients for Easy Cream Puffs
- 2 (3.5-3.9 ounce) packages instant chocolate pudding mix
- 1/3 cup powdered cocoa (pure, not with sugar added)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 1.5 cup heavy cream
- 1.5 cup fat-free milk
- 1/2 cup (1 full stick) real butter
- 1 cup spring water
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs — I use Eggland’s Best for their excellent taste and nutrition
White Chocolate Glaze
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 ounces Ghiradelli White Chocolate
- 2 teaspoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions for White Chocolate Glaze
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt Ghiridelli chocolate–about 40 seconds. If chocolate is not yet melted, heat at additional 5 second intervals. (Chocolate should be melted to just the temperature that allows it to be stirred with a spoon. Do not overheat, as the texture will change.)
- Remove bowl from microwave. Stir in confectioners sugar, milk, and vanilla; combine well. (Icing should be drizzling consistency. If it’s too stiff, additional milk may be added, a few drops at a time, until desired consistency is reached.)
Directions for Preparing Cream Puffs
- In a large bowl, combine chocolate instant pudding mix, cocoa, cream, milk, and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large pot, bring water and butter to a boil; remove from heat.
- Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl.
- Allow flour ball to cool to lukewarm prior to next step.
- Using a hand mixer, beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
- Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Puffs should be golden brown.
- When puffs done, DO NOT remove immediately. Instead, turn off heat and crack oven door; allow to sit for one hour before removing. (This will help to keep them from flattening out as they cool.)
- When the shells are cool, either split and fill them with the pudding mixture, or use a pastry bag to insert pudding into shells.
- Drizzle White Chocolate Glaze. Sprinkle with a bit of plain cocoa, if desired.
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