Now this is what I call a breakfast sandwich.
I’ve been all responsible and adult-like and eating oatmeal (covered in equal parts peanut butter + nutella) lately.
So…these were second breakfast.
Look at how cute they are!!
I just had to. Resistance would have been futile.
The strawberries around here have looked extra vibrant lately, and while I considered just Keeping It Simple (Silly) and
shoving them into my mouth with reckless abandon before even leaving the store going the classic biscuit shortcake route…I never pass up an opportunity to make fancy French pastries at inappropriate hours of the night(/morning). It’s kind of my thing.
Thankfully, for all our sake’s (but mostly the.boy’s), pate a choux is kind of like the entry level pastry in the world of French desserts. There are no steps that require exact precision, having it turn out does not depend on the water content in the surrounding air, and you don’t have to sacrifice your first born child to any gods before making it. So….YAY!!!
It’s also really fun to say ten times fast. Or ten times slow. Or just…at all.
I’ve made a few pate a choux recipes in my day, and honestly this one is my favorite. It’s from the Flour Bakery Cookbook and unlike other recipes I’ve tried, it doesn’t call for any gratuitous steps or weirdo ingredients and the puffs turn out perfectly cooked every time instead of soggy/moist in the center. The pastry cream filling is also from that book and it’s really a perfect blend of rich custard and light fresh whipped cream – decadent while still feeling light and fresh, which is hard to do. The puffs and cream would be great together on their own, but I think the strawberries really add a great sweet tart bite that is otherwise missing.
Plus, it’s just the season. And we should live it up while we can.
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup + 1 tbsp all purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 tbsp cake flour
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 lb strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
- Heat the oven to 400F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- To make the pate a choux, in a medium saucepan, heat the butter, sugar, salt, and water over medium heat just until the butter melts, not letting the mixture come to a boil. Pour in the flour all at once and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to get stiff and leaves a film on the bottom of the pan, about 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed for 1 minute, releasing some of the heat and steam. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and beat to break up the yolks. With the mixer still running, slowly add in the eggs. When all of them have been added, increase the speed to medium and beat for 20 seconds, or until glossy and shiny.
- Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1-inch round tip. Pipe out balls about 1½ inches in diameter onto the prepared baking sheets. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 325F and continue to bake for another 30 minutes or until entirely brown. Let cool completely.
- To make the Tropez cream, put the milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Scald the milk.
- While the milk is heating, stir together the sugar, cake flour, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolk until well combined. Add the flour mixture to the eggs and whisk until combined, thick, and pasty.
- Remove the milk from the heat and slowly add it to the egg-flour mixture, whisking constantly. Return to the pan over medium heat and whisk continuously and vigorously until thickened, about 4-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl. Stir in the vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it against the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours.
- Before you are ready to fill the cream puffs, whip the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled custard until well combined.
- Split the cream puffs in half and fill the bottom halves with the pastry cream. Top with the strawberries and the top half of the puffs.
More strawberry delights:
From Around the Web:
Strawberries and Cream French Toast Bake from A Kitchen Addiction
Buttermilk Ice Cream with Strawberries from Joy the Baker
Roasted Strawberries over Honey Whipped Ricotta from Spoon Fork Bacon
Strawberry Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Macerated Strawberries and Basil from Blogging Over Thyme
Pavlovas with Strawberries and Balsamic from Baking A Moment