There I was minding my own business, catching up with all the latest news Facebook had to offer when a notification came in from the wonder that is Sorted Food and my life changed forever! (we’ve touched on my leanings towards hyperbole haven’t we?)
It was a recipe for Crispy Cream Puffs and as a complete and utter choux pastry addict I knew I had to give them a whirl.
Fortunately (or unfortunately if you’re my waistline) I had everything I needed at home already apart from the coffee liquor. Did this stop me? Of course not. I just opted for my usual mix of 2tsp instant coffee mixed in 1tbsp hot water instead.
Now the Sorted Food guys have been doing this a while and so you can find wonderfully illustrated instructions here, but you can also find their instructions here along with the addition of my amateur ramblings below.
Crispy Cream Puffs
90 g plain flour
90 g light brown sugar
75 g butter
250 ml water
100 g butter
1 pinch of salt
125 g plain flour
250 g Ready-made custard
200 ml double cream
1 shot of coffee liqueur (or the mix I mentioned above)
– Beat the butter and sugar together, then stir in the flour. Roll the resulting dough between 2 sheets of baking paper as thin as possible. Place into the freezer to chill (I used the fridge and it was fine)
– Heat the water, butter and salt in a saucepan so that the butter melts and the water just comes to a simmer. Dump in the flour and beat quickly with a spoon over the heat until the mixture comes together, turns pretty smooth as a single blob and comes away from the sides of the pan.
– Transfer to a mixing bowl and whisk to cool slightly. Crack one egg in at a time, making sure the last is fully incorporated before adding more. Spoon the whole mixture into a piping bag
– Preheat an oven to 200ºC. Pipe blobs about 3 cm across onto a baking paper lined baking tray, leaving space between each one. Cut discs a fraction smaller than the blobs from your frozen sheet of dough and sit one on top of each piped blob (I took a photo of this stage simply because I thought it looked recipe book-esque and a bit fancy, not because it was tricky to understand in any way shape or form) Bake for 15-20 minutes on the bottom shelf until puffed and golden
– Whip the cream to soft peaks, then fold through the custard and coffee liqueur (or any other favouring you fancy such as my coffee mixture ) Bung that into a piping bag and chill in the freezer whilst your choux buns bake and cool (do not skip this step or else you end up in a big creamy mess when you try and fill your buns, or at least I did)
– Poke a hole in the base of the cream puffs with a small sharp knife, then pipe the chilled coffee cream in to fill the cavity. Chill again in the freezer for 20-30 before serving (again I have to confess to avoiding this final freeze because my Dad and sister had come round and we wanted to eat them. Other than my sister getting squirted on the nose by cream when she bit in to one we suffered no ill effects by failing to do the final freeze)