1.29.2014

Chocolate-Filled Cream Puffs with Strawberry Sauce


Uh-oh. I'm bringing out the strawberries and chocolate. You know what that means....Single Awareness day is coming up! Also known as Corporate Money Making Scheme Day, but more commonly known as Valentine's Day :)


Whatever you call it, it's really more and less an excuse to stuff your face with chocolate, so I'm helping you do that. But the reaaaal reason I'm bringing out the strawberries and chocolate today is because these two ingredients were in the mystery box of ingredients that the awesome Allie picked out for us in this month's edition of Mystery Dish! Perfect timing, wouldn't you say?


She also picked out champagne, oranges, beets, filet mignon, lobster, heavy cream, rosewater, and rice. Maybe someday I'll be able to look at the list of Mystery Dish ingredients and want to make an actual meal rather than dessert. But right now, the dessert ideas just keep coming to me! And I haven't heard any complaints yet, so I think I'm good :)


So, let's talk about what I initially wanted to make. My brilliant idea in the beginning was to create a strawberry-flavored cream puff and fill it with chocolate pastry cream. I hadn't seen anything like it online, even after searching, and now I know why. It's not possible! Or maybe it is possible and nobody has figured it out yet. But I tried using ground up freeze-dried strawberries in the cream puff batter, and it failed. They didn't puff up right, and the flavor was off.


Strawberry, I think, is a hard flavor to achieve in many things. Just a few weeks ago, I saw a bakery owner on Bakery Boss (my new favorite show) who couldn't get her strawberry cupcakes right. Buddy, of course, helped her with this problem, and I remember he used fresh pureed strawberries in the batter. But I didn't want to use them in the cream puff batter because I was worried they would affect the consistency. Anyways, maybe one day I'll attempt to make strawberry-flavored cream puffs again. Maybe I could even get Buddy to help me (DREAM BIG!). But for now, I'll be enjoying these gorgeous classic cream puffs with a chocolate filling and a strawberry sauce on top.


I had to incorporate the strawberry in there somehow, so I did it in a drizzling sauce. I actually think I like it better this way, because the strawberry flavor is more defined. Also, you could add more or less sauce depending on your taste. Or your spouse's taste. Because these would obviously be awesome for you to make for him/her on said mushy-gushy holiday.  The cream can be made a day ahead and the cream puffs take no time at all to whip up.

But if you really don't have any time to spare, you can always order some good old chocolate-dipped strawberries from Shari's Berries! They're the best!

Chocolate-Filled Cream Puffs with Strawberry Sauce

Yield: 25 cream puffs
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Ingredients:

For the cream puffs:
1 cup water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs (should amount to 1 cup)

For the chocolate pastry cream:
2 cups whole milk
6 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 and 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 large egg yolks
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
pinch of vanilla powder (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

For the strawberry sauce:
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
sugar, to taste

Directions:
Prepare pastry cream first to allow time for it to chill. In a medium-sized saucepan, add milk and 3 tablespoons sugar and heat until simmering. In a medium-sized bowl, add remaining sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks and whisk together until combined.

Gradually pour half of the heated milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking swiftly until incorporated and smooth. Return this mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring continously, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips, butter, and vanilla. Whisk together until chocolate chips are completely melted. Transfer to a heatproof bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In another medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, add water, butter, and salt. Bring to a boil, then pour in flour and stir continously with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to allow it to cool down slightly. With food processor on, add eggs one at a time through the chute, mixing until thoroughly incorporated. The mixture should have the consistency of a thick custard.

Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large decorating tip. Pipe circular mounds of dough about 2 inches in diameter and 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. (Alternatively, you can cut off the corner of a Ziploc bag and use it to squeeze out mounds of dough).

Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Transfer cream puffs to a wire rack to cool completely.

In the meantime, prepare strawberry sauce. In a blender or food processor, add strawberries. Blend or process until strawberries are completely pureed. Add sugar to taste and blend to incorporate.

When cream puffs are completely cooled, slice them in half and fill with pastry cream. Dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with strawberry sauce. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving.

Check out what the rest of the Mystery Dish Gals came up with this month! 

 


1. Carmelitas by Pass the Cocoa 
2. Strawberry Champagne Cupcake Trifles by The Dessert Chronicles 
5. Chocolate Strawberry Pudding by See Hubby Cook 
8. Whole Wheat Orange Scones with Vanilla Cream Glaze by The Well Floured Kitchen 
10. Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes by Yummy Healthy Easy 
Bring your favorite chocolate dessert to Roxana’s home baking #chocolateparty and win amazing prizes from Imperial Sugar®, Gold Medal Flour®, Safest Choice™ Pasteurized Eggs and KitchenAid®
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