Every year on January 2nd, we celebrate that delicious little profiterole, the cream puff! These light and airy desserts are filled with whipped creams, pastry creams, or custards. But the very best are those you make fresh and fill immediately after cooling! Crisp on the outside, only slightly chewy and hollow in the middle, the Pate a Choux dough can be made in advance and portioned out and frozen. Thaw only what you plan to use the next day, overnight, and then pipe your pastry shapes. Or you can pipe the shapes in advance and freeze them to pull out and pop on a sheet pan ready to thaw and bake.
Cream puffs are generally filled, but the filling can be sweet or savory, your choice. Traditionally, the puffs were filled with pastry cream or custard, but today whipped creams and even ice creams are the norm! Keep the fillings classic with just a hint of Vanilla Bean Paste, or modernize them with trendy flavors by stirring in just a few drops of your favorite LorAnn Oils.
Pate a choux pastries are simple to make and used to form a variety of shapes for classical plated desserts. But our favorite pastry shape is the simple cream puff. Served singly or piled into little towers (croquembouche) with a bit of caramel glue, these little guys have been delighting us at least since the 1600's.