Baking: TWD Cream Puff Ring

Sunday night was a busy night in the kitchen for me. I decided to bake two different sweets that night, including a cream puff ring, which is this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection as chosen by Caroline of A Consuming Passion.

Despite its fancy reputation, the choux pastry came together beautifully and easily; it was very exciting to watch it bake and puff up in the oven. I opted to make a chocolate cream filling rather than a peppermint cream filling because I was making the cream puff ring for an office party, and chocolate is usually more popular than peppermint. Plus, I didn't have any heavy cream sitting in the fridge for the peppermint cream. Making the chocolate cream was the only involved part of this recipe, but it wasn't too bad.

The part that did give me a lot of problems was piping the choux pastry in a ring shape. I used a modified ziploc bag instead of a proper pastry bag to do the piping, and the zip part of the apparatus couldn't withstand all of the pushing and squeezing. The choux pastry ended up oozing everywhere, but I was able to save enough of it to make the ring and three little cream puffs on the side.

Even though I had allowed the chocolate cream to chill in the refrigerator for two hours, the cream was still quite thin when I started assembling the cream puff ring. I didn't want the chocolate to drip all over my co-workers' clothes during the office party, so I cut back on the filling. The cream was too thin to pipe and I didn't fancy having another piping fiasco, so I just spooned half of the filling into the ring. The reduction in chocolate cream ended up being a waste because it set up nicely after being in the refrigerator overnight.

The cream puff ring was good, and everyone at work seemed to like it. The cream puff ring didn't look as perfect as the one pictured in the book, but I think its unevenness gives it a rustic charm (at least this is what I've been telling myself). I was really pleased with the choux pastry and will be experimenting with it more in the future. Below is the recipe for the chocolate cream, but the recipe for the choux pastry can be found at Caroline's blog. Don't forget to check out all of the TWD bloggers; you'll be in for a treat!

Chocolate Pastry Cream
Ingredients (adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours)

  • 2 cups reduced fat milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 7 ounces of semisweet and 80% cacao chocolate, melted
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits, room temperature
Boil the milk in a small saucepan. As this heats, whisk the eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium saucepan. After everything is incorporated and thickened, slowly add 1/4 cup of the boiling milk while whisking vigorously. Add the rest of the milk in a continuous stream while whisking constantly. Once everything is mixed, place the pan over a medium heat and completely whisk the mixture (don't forget the edges!) without stopping. Bring to a boil and keep on whisking over a heat source for 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove from heat, and whisk in the melted chocolate. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before whisking in the butter. Once the butter is incorporated, transfer the cream to a bowl. Cover the cream with plastic wrap, making sure to press the plastic to the surface of the cream. Place the bowl into the fridge and allow to chill for sometime (more than 2 hours, preferably overnight). After the cream is set, use as you please, such as filling your very own cream puff ring!

26 comments:

  1. Megan said...

    It looks delicious! Chocolate is always a great addition!

    And, you have the leftover pastry cream as a bonus!  

  2. rainbowbrown said...

    The first times that I made choux pastry and I didn't yet have a pastry bag, I went through the same ziplock fiascos. Oh the memories of goop everywhere! Oy. I love the rustic look you describe.  

  3. Jules Someone said...

    Perfect schmerfect. I bet it tasted great.  

  4. Dianne said...

    I like rustic! Chocolate cream was a fabulous idea!  

  5. LyB said...

    It sounds delicious, I love the idea of the chocolate pastry cream!  

  6. April said...

    It doesn't matter what it looks like as long as it tastes delicious! And yum on the chocolate pastry cream!  

  7. Mara said...

    Mmm that looks yummy...I skipped out this week due to baking overload but I am having fun checking everyone's goodies out!  

  8. Annemarie said...

    Nice job! Rustic = homemade & I LOVE it!  

  9. The Kitchen Vixen said...

    A girl after my own heart. There was no other option for me besides chocolate;)  

  10. Engineer Baker said...

    Leftover pastry cream is never a problem. And with a "rustic" look, you don't have that pesky comment from people saying that you bought it from a store :)  

  11. Rebecca said...

    Dorie's chocolate pastry cream is soooo good. Lucky co-workers!  

  12. steph- whisk/spoon said...

    rustic is very charming! and chocolate pastry cream is delicious!  

  13. Jaime said...

    rustic isn't bad! it's nice to know you can sub milk for the heavy cream in the choc pastry cream recipe - i wonder if skim would work (i'm guessing maybe not?)  

  14. Dolores said...

    Absolutely! Rustic charm! And your co-workers enjoyed it, so it sounds like a ringing success to me.  

  15. Lauren said...

    i used chocolate pastry cream, too. I bet yours got gobbled up! great job!  

  16. Amy said...

    I did the chocolate too! Your ring looks great.  

  17. Liliana said...

    Your ring looks great and I am sure it was delicous. Lucky co-workers!  

  18. Prudy said...

    I didn't even attempt a ring, so I'm impressed! I'm sure your co-workers were too.  

  19. annmartina said...

    I had choux paste running all over too. I ended up working very quickly and kind of patting things back together afterwards. You did a great job. I can't wait to try an all chocolate version.  

  20. BAKE-EN said...

    Good to know your pastry cream worked with low fat milk. I'll try that next time.  

  21. Lisa Thibault said...

    Lovely. It is tough work getting the choux out in a pleasing shape - I think it takes practise. What a lovely dessert for your co-workers. I made a variation on the chocolate pastry cream as well - so nice!  

  22. noskos said...

    Nice and rustic!  

  23. Cecilia said...

    Thanks everyone for your comments. You all are a supportive bunch!

    It is official. The last piece of my cream puff ring was consumed this afternoon in my office's attempt to clear the refrigerator. Everyone liked it, and some even asked for more cream puffs for another date.

    I figured out what I'm going to do with the leftover chocolate cream; stay tuned to find out how I'll use it all up!  

  24. Heather B said...

    yum! I love that you used chocolate cream! I want to try it now!  

  25. Anne said...

    Great job- it looks perfectly delicious with the chocolate cream peeking out! :)  

  26. Big Boys Oven said...

    wow juat amazed me to see how much effort that you had put in to make this bake, well done!