Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cream Puffs

I decided that I had now mastered Pastry Cream, that I was going to make some cream puffs.  Well wouldn't you know it yesterday was an interesting day for me.  Making these isn't hard, just very labor intensive.  Lots of steps making some Tart Dough, Pate A Choux and Pastry Cream.  I enjoyed making each step - and I did it twice.  Yes - epic fail!  And funnily enough I had something go wrong each time I made them.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Let's start at the beginning......

I make the Tart Dough first since that needs to chill the longest.  Easy enough and shortly after I started it's in the fridge.  Once it's chilled enough, I start on the Pate A Choux.  This was fun.  And super easy.  So once it's all ready into the pastry bag it goes and I pipe away a lot of small circles.

so cute
Into the freezer they go.  After 30 minutes, I cut out the Tart Dough and put a smaller disc on top of each puff. 

Back into the freezer they go.  Then time to bake.  They bake nicely and before I know it they are done......but once they have been out of the oven for a while, I noticed something - they've deflated.  :(  Totally not a puff at all.

sad looking puffs
My first thought was that once I fill them with cream they will be fine.  I make the pastry cream, half regular and half chocolate and let it set in the fridge.  Then hours later, I fill each puff.  This didn't go so well.  It ended up a giant mess of the puffs not filling with cream and holes being punched through all of them.  I tossed them into a tupperware container......these will be eaten - just by my sisters and myself.  I take a break and decide that I will make these again - especially since I still have enough pastry cream to fill another batch of puffs. 

A couple of hours later I decide to start again.  I make some new Tart Dough, go run some errands, come back and start on a new Pate A Choux.  This time when I pipe the puffs I had noticed in the cookbook that she had built them up as she piped - no where did it mention this in the directions -that you need to start in the center and work out and then up - that was my mistake with the first batch and why they didn't puff up right.  So away I went piping little discs.  Into the freezer again and then time to roll out the Tart Dough.  Cut tons of discs and place on top of each disc and into the freezer.  Something was wrong with the Tart Dough - it didn't come together right and was crumbly.  I was hoping that it would bake ok.   After a short stint in the freezer - time to bake.  They puffed up great!!  I was so happy.  But the tart dough discs didn't crumble like they did in the first batch, instead they stayed in the shape of a disc on top.  :(  I didn't really care at this point, I was going to fill these bad boys. 

I already had the remaining pastry creams in plastic ziplock bags so I decided that if I just cut a tip on one of the corners and stuck one of the tips from my pastry bag in there it would work.  It worked great for the vanilla puffs.

some got a little over filled
When I got to the chocolate - all hell broke loose.  I did the same thing with the bag and inserted the pastry bag tip no problem and started to fill.  Then, all of the sudden, I punctured the bag with my pinky finger because I couldn't tell how hard I was squeezing with it and was digging my nail into the bag.  Awesome.  I transfered everything to another plastic bag and started to fill again.  And then I did it again.  Way to go pinky finger.  At this point I have chocolate pastry cream all over my hands, all over the kitchen counter and I'm fighting back tears trying not to have a breakdown.  Heays was in the kitchen with me and was trying to calm me down.  I had 5 puffs left!  I just wanted to fill the damn things!  Into my pastry gun they go and I finish filling them all. 

I'm showing you the good half
before I broke the bags and chocolate
got everywhere
Frustrated, I threw everything into the sink and washed my hands and arms up (yes - it was all over my arms too from reaching into the plastic bag to get the pastry bag tip).  I needed a drink.

Let me tell you - that beer was delicious.  I might of had more than one too.  I put all the cream puffs in tins and stuck them in the fridge and went to work on cleaning up the disaster area that is better known as my kitchen sink and countertop.  I sat down and watched the Patriots football game, had some beer and some flat cream puffs. 

My sisters are loving the flat cream puffs - if I had it my way I would throw them out - every time I open the fridge they taunt me, showing my failure.  I can't wait until they are all gone.  But I am delivering the good ones today.  And I am going to make these again - and damnit they will be perfect!!

No comments:

Post a Comment