Chou à la Crème

This year, instead of a cake for my husbands birthday, I thought he might like creampuffs or eclairs instead.

I didn’t photograph along the way, because I was working my butt off, but here are the recipes, a few pointers and the final results.

Cream Puffs

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Additional confectioners’ sugar
  1. In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter and salt to a boil over medium heat. Add flour all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny. 
  2. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls 3 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Combine milk and egg yolk; brush over puffs. Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Immediately cut a slit in each for steam to escape; cool. 

notes: I had to make these twice.  The first time I tried to make them larger and under-baked them and they collapsed.  The failed results were delicious with butter and were more like individual Yorkshire Puddings.  I piped  the second batch using a large zipper bag and a large star and baked them for 35 minutes and they came out perfectly.

IMG_0272.jpgNext I made the…

Creme Patissiere

(recipe from Shiran @ prettysimplesweet.com)

Ingredients
  • 3 large (60g) egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons (65g) granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons (15g) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons (15g) cornstarch
  • 1¼ cups (300 ml) whole milk
  • ½ vanilla bean, split and seeded, or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar just until pale yellow and creamy, then whisk in cornstarch and flour. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat milk, vanilla pod, and vanilla seeds on medium heat just to a boil. Remove from heat and remove vanilla bean. Gradually pour the hot milk into the egg mixture while simultaneously whisking constantly until smooth.
  3. Transfer mixture back into saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly and vigorously so that the eggs won’t curdle, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium heatproof bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding to prevent it from creating a ‘skin’. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled.
  4. Creme patissiere can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days. It does not freeze well. Whisk before using to get rid of any lumps.

 

After the Creme Pat was fully chilled I folded 3/4s of it in the whipped cream, filled and topped with fresh raspberries and hot fudge.

 

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until almost stiff.  Fold in most of the creme patisserie.

I used Ree Drummonds , but don’t.  It was yummy, but not for this recipe. You can look up the recipe.

 

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Cooking and the art of getting thin – we shall see.

Hello,

 

I know it has been quite a while since I have written anything and this is mainly because I had given up cooking for eating crap food.  I don’t mean just crap food but really just not putting the effort into feeding myself or my family food that is worth eating.

In an attempt to regain my waist line and live a few years longer; I have embarked on a “medically supervised” diet.  Along with this I realized that I may not be setting my kids up for the best nutritional future and that ultimately my general dislike of most healthy vegetables would not be the best example for them.

After a painful discussion with the boys we determined that the vegetable that we would start with would be cauliflower.  Just the white variety thank you, I think those baby purple ones are a bit creepy and relate blue and purple food with sweets.  My mother once made my dad a blue veal stew sometime before I was born:  people don’t like blue savory food in my opinion.  I believe the exception to this would be blue corn chips but even that seems off to me.

I just wanted to check in and let you know that I would be posting one or two posts a week, hopefully more healthy options and will try to include some product reviews and so on.

If I happen to have any readers left, I apologize for my extended absence.  I’ve missed this aspect of my life terribly so.

Coming soon:  Low carb yet extremely delicious pizza, Tom Yum Soup, and Heavenly Chocolate Chia Pudding ( Including a review by at least one of the kids)

Talk to you soon,

 

Jeffrey

ok, I am horrible

Has it really been since February that I posted something?  Who d I think I am, Mrs Patmore from Downton Abbey?  Only appearing in the winter and then only giving the tiniest bit of satisfaction?  I know this is an excuse but it is SO hot here and we don’t have central AC.  I’m just making excuses again.  

 

The thing is I did bake something.  Chai cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting. The were delicious but again….

I’m sorry.  I’ll bebetter this time.

 

Jeffrey

Kitchen Divorce, sort of.

SO my kitchen and I are not divorced, just separated. It is so hot in San Diego and frankly…I like a healthy dose of “Do Nothing” in the summer. Now I am sure I should be making Summer Berry tarts and the like but my kitchen is almost the same size as my bathroom, an obvious design flaw.

I will make something this weekend. Promise.

Also, to assuage my guilt….have YOU ever had to young boys in summer camp.  Exhausting.  We lived at Sonic this summer.

XO

Jeffrey

The Happiest Cookie On Earth.

It’s a small world afterall, it’s a small world afterall, it’s a small world afterall it’s a small small world.  It’s a world of laughter a world of cookies…. Are you in the Disney mood yet?  Me either.  I think the happiest place on earth is my bed or my kitchen; not “the park”.

Although Disneyland is not my most favorite place their cookies are my favorite. For those of you not in the know, Disneyland has the worlds best chocolate chip cookie; Minnie’s Bake Shop Chocolate Chip Supreme Cookies.

The cookies you get at Disneyland are like magically cooked mounds of cookie dough that stop somewhere between cookie and cookie dough.  I really do think that they must use some magic because although these are close, they are not exact.  

Why the Disney cookie you ask?  Well, my husband took our youngest son to Disneyland this weekend and I decided that these would be a great thing to make with our oldest son.  We had a great time making them.  

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All the goodies you need.  You can add nuts if you want.  We did not want.

 

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We chopped a giant Hershey bar because we couldn’t find chocolate chunks.

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Butter at room temperature, waiting to be demolished.

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Butter makes it better

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Cream the brown sugar and butter together

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Add in the powdered sugar.  Don’t get confused, you must use powdered sugar, not granulated.

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Add in all the delicious chocolate.  Do this after everything else.  No cheating.  

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Already looking delicious.

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I’m ready for my close up.  Resist eating the dough.  Resistance is futile.  But really…raw egg.

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These are 1/4 cup balls of dough that have been in a ziplock bag in the fridge for 35 minutes.  Chilling the dough balls prevents spreading.  I know this sounds bad but there is no other way to explain it.

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We have arrived!  Behold King of the Cookies.

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We have the Olympic Spirit.

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Drool

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We doubled the recipe and they came out perfectly.  No complaints, zero, nada, zilch.

 

Ingredients:
*makes 1 dozen cookies 😉

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup powdered sugar (this is NOT a typo, it IS powdered sugar, NOT granulated sugar)
1 egg
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2  2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Add-ins:

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks
3/4 cup Wilton Candy Melts (light cocoa wafers), roughly chopped
3/4 cup toffee bits (optional)
1 cup chopped pecans or almonds (optional)
Anything else you may want like: M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces, butterscotch chips, etc.

Directions:

Place softened butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl. Cream with an electric mixer on high. Add the egg, water and vanilla. Mix well. Add in flour, salt and baking soda. Mix well to incorporate, stopping once to scrape sides of bowl then mix again. Add in chocolate and nuts then mix just enough to distribute throughout dough.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a standard-size ice cream scoop, place heaping scoops of dough onto cookie sheets. Give them plenty of room, you can probably fit about 5 per sheet.

Place the baking sheets of dough directly into your freezer. Let them chill for 15-20 minutes until firm. This will firm up the butter in the dough and prevent excessive spreading. Remember, we want the cookies to be thick mounds, not flat discs. Remove from freezer and place into hot (400 degree) oven. Set timer for 2 minutes.Blasting the dough at the high temperature will create a crisp outer shell while keeping the inside moist. 

After 4 minutes, lower heat to 350 degrees and bake cookies for an additional 15 minutes until light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes on pans. Slide the cookies onto cooling racks and let cool completely, at least 15 minutes. Okay, now dig in!