Friday, August 28, 2009

Strawberry-filled Cream Puffs

There was a teacher I had in school, Mrs. Cluff. She was great. She would buy our class Ben and Jerry's and we would sit around a table with her and the mooching art teacher and pass around a pint. She would let me keep a loaf of bread, peanut butter and jam in the corner of her classroom so I could make PB and Js during school. She also cared. She cared about my grades and my success. She cared about me and my life. I almost felt like she knew more about the boys in my life than my own mother. Luckily, she had a good relationship with my mother and wasn't afraid to tattle on me when I cut her class too much. My mom hated when I cut class too much.

Mrs. Cluff had a recipe for cream puffs. And they were divine, especially filled with chocolate. I wish I had that recipe, but I don't. I wish I could say this recipe is hers, but it isn't. This is from Joy of Baking and it's almost as good as Mrs. Cluff's. For mine, I filled them with strawberries and whipped cream. They were light, crisp and sweet. Perfect for enjoying the last bit of summer. For way more info on how to make cream puffs, click here. Joy of Baking goes really in depth on how to do a cream puff.

For the cream puffs:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup water
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Set oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Set aside.

Place the butter and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and with a wooden spoon or spatula, quickly add the flour mixture. Return to heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball (about a minute or two). Remove pan from heat and with a hand mixer, beat on low speed for 1-2 minutes to release the steam from the dough. Once the dough is lukewarm, start adding the lightly beaten eggs and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick paste. Spoon 6 mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, spacing them a couple of inches apart.

Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for a further 30 to 40 minutes or until the shells are lightly browned and when split, are dry inside. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

For filling:
1 cup small diced strawberries (it took about 16 strawberries for me)
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp powdered sugar

Combine strawberries and sugar in a small bowl and let sit while cream puffs bake.

In a medium bowl, add the heavy cream and powdered sugar. With a hand mixer, mix until thickened, about 3 minutes.

Split cream puffs in half and fill with a spoonful of whipped cream and a spoonful of strawberries.


Frieda said...

What a cool teacher! You said she filled them with chocolate...was it chocolate cream? I would love the chocolate part of the recipe...

Erin, Nick and Merrick said...

I hope my students feel the same way about me later in their lives!!

Sarah said...

Mmm. Sounds delicious. I was just talking to my husband about the most influential teachers we have had. I like to hear what makes a good teacher - i hope my kids are lucky enough to have a Mrs. Cluff

Ryan and Tammy said...

Man I loved her. That was my favorite class ever!!!! Even at 7 in the morning. She let us make breakfast all the time.

Snooky doodle said...

oh these look delicious!

oneordinaryday said...

What a great looking dessert!

mixingbowlkids said...

If only all teachers could be like that. We make cream puffs and stuff them with vanilla ice cream and drizzle them with chocolate sauce. So, so delicious! What a lovely blog by the way...I really like it.

lisamichele said...

Loved the story about Mrs. Cluff and her incredible cream puffs, I think most of us have a teacher we remember fondly. I had one who used to make the most amazing meringue cookies, and to this day, I have no idea what she put in them to make them taste the way they did, since meringues are just basic egg whites and sugar.

That said, your strawberry cream puffs look decadent and beautiful, and undoubtedly taste delicious! 'Almost as good' always trumps 'not as good' :)