Since today is National Cream Puff Day we felt it would be appropriate to share this tasty dessert recipe.
Caramel Topped Chocolate Cream Puffs
- 1 cup water
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
Chocolate Whipped Cream
- 2 cups cold heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup water
Make the cream puffs: Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Combine the water, butter, salt, and granulated sugar in a large saucepan and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. When it boils, immediately take the pan off the heat.
Stirring with a wooden spoon, add all the flour at once and stir hard until all the flour is incorporated, 30 to 60 seconds. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes to evaporate some of the moisture.
Scrape the mixture into a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer). Mix at medium speed. With the mixer running, and adding 1 egg at a time, add 3 of the eggs, stopping after each addition to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix until the dough is smooth and glossy and the eggs are completely incorporated. The dough should be thick, but should fall slowly and steadily from the beaters when you lift them out of the bowl. If the dough is still clinging to the beaters, add another egg, and mix until completely incorporated. Grease and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Using the pastry bag, pipe the dough in bite-size “kisses” (about 1 1/2 inches across) onto a cookie sheets.
Dip your finger in flour and push down the points to smooth out any bumps. Bake 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees F and bake until puffed up and light golden brown, about 25 minutes more. Try not to open the oven door too often during the baking. Let cool on the baking sheet.
To make the chocolate whipped cream, beat the cream in a medium bowl with an electric mixer or a whisk, until it begins to hold a loose peak. Sift the sugar into the cream. Continue beating until the cream holds a firm but still soft peak. Set aside.
Put the chocolate in a clean, medium, microwaveable bowl. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, at half power, at 30 second intervals, until softened and warm. Whisk until smooth and liquid. (Alternatively melt the chocolate in a double boiler.)
Fold about 1/2 cup of the whipped cream into the warm chocolate to lighten it. Add the lightened chocolate mixture back to the remaining whipped cream, folding until completely blended. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
To make the caramel, pour the 1 1/4 cups sugar into the center of a deep saucepan. Carefully pour the water around the sugar, trying not to splash any sugar onto the sides of the pan. Do not stir; gently draw your finger through the center of the sugar to moisten it. Over high heat, bring to a full boil and cook without stirring, swirling the pot occasionally to even out the color, until amber-caramel in color, 10 to 20 minutes. When the mixture is done, remove the pot from the heat, and rest the bottom in the ice bath for 15 seconds to stop the cooking.
Dip the top of each cream puff in the caramel and place it caramel-side down, with the base sticking straight up, on the other greased cookie sheet. The caramel will pool slightly around the puff and will harden and develop a foot. (When you turn the puffs over later, this will be a smooth, flat “lid” for each profiterole.) Let cool until set, at least 10 minutes.
When ready to serve, carefully turn the puffs over and cut each one horizontally in half using a long serrated knife. Fill each with a small scoop of whipped cream. Place the lid on top and serve immediately.