Tuesdays with Dorie: Peppermint Cream Puff Ring

June 17, 2008 at 4:16 am | Posted in groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 67 Comments

peppermint cream puff ring

When I saw that Caroline of A Consuming Passion had chosen Dorie’s Peppermint Cream Puff Ring for TWD, my fist thought was that it reminded me of Christmas, but that’s actually quite right for the weather over here.  I even had a bunch of mint in the fridge that I was looking to finish off (why is that stuff so hard to use up?)–perfect! 

Have I ever told you that I love making pâte à choux, the base for cream puffs, eclairs, profiteroles and the like?  This wasn’t always the case though.  In culinary school, we had to use all these crazy tests to tell if we had added the “proper” amount of egg to the dough.  And for baking–turn the oven up, then down, then off.  Argh!  Then I went to work in a restaurant and it was like, “just use four eggs and bake them at 375° till they’re done.”  Freed of all that egg ambiguity and temperature trickery, choux became really fun and easy!

Dorie calls for the choux paste to be piped out in the shape of a large ring that is later cut in half and filled, similar to a Paris-Brest.  Partly because several other TWDers had their choux rings deflate on them, but mostly because a big ring sounded a bit too much for our small household, I decided to pipe individual cream puffs instead.  For these cream puffs, I made a half recipe of choux, using two whole eggs.  (One tip that Dorie doesn’t mention is to paddle the cooked paste in the mixer for a minute to cool it off a bit before adding the eggs one by one.  It should still be warm, but it is good to let some of the steam out before the eggs go in.)  This yielded about 24 two-bite puffs (using a 1/2-inch tip to pipe about 1 1/2-inch mounds). 

 peppermint cream puff ring

I baked off nine right away and put the rest in the freezer to bake later.  Since I was already switching up the shape of Dorie’s choux, I decided to proceed with her baking instructions rather than my one-temperature method.  I baked my puffs for 15 minutes at 425°, then about 10 more at 375°.  While I was at it, after they were fully baked, I used a pairing knife to put a small slit in the side of each baked puff, and further dried them out in the turned-off oven, which I cracked open with a wooden spoon, for about 30 minutes.  This baking process was much less painful than I remembered it in school (but then again, most things are).

The cooled puffs (or ring) were sliced in half and filled with a mint-infused whipped cream. A little sour cream or crème fraîche folded in gave it a bit of tang, but it would have been just as tasty without.   Capped off with dark chocolate glaze and toasted almonds, these were perfect little bites.  And just for Dorie, I presented my puffs in the form of a (rather dodgy-looking) “ring!”

peppermint cream puff ring

Thanks Caroline!  As always, the recipe’s in Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, but this time she also has a version of it here on Epicurious.   And don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

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  1. Because of the time difference, when I’m running late I’m often reading your post while my version’s in the oven… or in weeks like this one, before I’ve started!

    Thanks for the tip on the eggs… I’ll definitely employ that.

    Your cream puffs look great!

  2. This is BEAUTIFUL and as full as I am from lunch, I want a huge serving! Fabulous job!

  3. Your puffs looks great! I did individual ones too, but I love how you still presented yours in a ring.

  4. Adorable! I think I am going the puff or mini eclair route myself. The kids like to have their own desserts.

  5. Beautiful Steph!

  6. looking fab as always Stephanie!

  7. Gorgeous! I love that they’re in a ring.

  8. These puffs look incredible! Great job as always!

  9. I wish I’d thought to make them like this!
    Beautiful! :)

  10. Snazzy – good to know that choux is relatively forgiving. Like laminated doughs, this type of thing always scared me :)

  11. Your puffs look delicious! Hopefully mine will turn out as nice–they’re still in the oven. =)

  12. i love your puffs! :) wonderful photos as always, and i think i will try your 375 method next time… less of a hassle ;)

  13. I made individual puffs too- great tips about further drying them out by opening them and letting them sit in the oven. I agree with you though making choux is really fun.

  14. Gorgeous puffs! I used to think that pate a choux was this finicky delicate recipe until I took a baking class…and just as with your restaurant experience, my instructor de-mystified the recipe and made it really straighforward and easy. Curious to hear if you thought the two temperature approach was better than baking at one temp?

  15. Linda–Thanks! You know, I have this memory of the two-temp method being such a pain in the bum, but in reality it was probably just cuz in school there were about 5 people sharing an oven and going in and out all the time. At home, however, it was a breeze. The advantage it probably has over the one-temp method is faster baking time, but they bake up nicely at just 375 as well. I should have tested the one-temp method with these puffs too for direct comparison within the recipe…next time!

  16. As usual Stephanie… everything that you make looks amazing and I’m sure, tastes just the same!
    Boy… I wish it were Christmas everyday! LOL

  17. Lovely job on these. This particular recipe makes me realize I do not know how to work with this kind of dough! I will have to use some of your tips next time!

  18. WOW! Steph, you’re amazing! That is soooo perfect! I love how your chocolate glistens!

  19. These are just gorgeous! I want to come to your house!

  20. Those are too cute. Nice job on the ring adaptation.

  21. Puffiest puffs that ever puffed! Great job! :)
    Clara @ I♥food4thought

  22. Those look so fabulous Steph…I am in awe!!! I sat this one out this week…I just didn’t have the time to play around with something I was totally unfamiliar with (never made pastry before!). I did remake the PB Torte for Father’s Day so that’s kinda like TWD. hehe.

  23. Great looking individual cream puffs. That’s what I usually do. In German they are called “wind bags” ;-)

  24. Love your puffs! :) I but the min whipped cream tasted fabulous!

  25. The creams puffs are very cute. Great presentation and pictures!

  26. Your Cream Puff “Ring” is gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. Very ingenious presentation. Next time I will also do the 30 mins. in the oven thing once they are baked.

  27. Beautiful and I learned so much from your post!

  28. Looks awesome! Smart to just make individuals and then put them in a ring. Clever as always…:)

  29. Steph, I love it how shiny your coating is. And the puffs are flawless!

  30. How cute are these? Very nice job. Thanks for sharing all your ideas…always helpful!

  31. Really cute! The ring shape looks perfect like that! :)

  32. so cute! Your photography is just gorgeous!

    Thanks for the tips for next time! I will definitely refer back to them!

  33. I love the individual puffs! Gorgeous!

  34. Yours look so good, nice & round and perfectly filled!

  35. Those look so beautiful! I love the “ring” of puffs. Great job!

  36. Oh you always have such lovely posts!

  37. Your cream puffs look perfect & I love the addition of the hazelnuts!

  38. Beautiful – so glad they’re not in my house – I would have finished them all by now and would have to call a contractor to widen my doors.

  39. Oh they look wonderful! As soon as I read that you made cream puffs with the dough I was all over that idea;) Thanks for the inspiration!

  40. Your “ring” looks beautiful, and does remind me of Christmas. I think I like your “recipe” instructions for 375F until done better than the fussiness of ovens up, then down, then off.

  41. Very pretty photos! I love the nut garnish.

  42. WOW – this is fantastic! Great job! I wish I could take a BIG bite right now.

  43. I love your little puffs! They look so delicious! I didn’t let my choux cool once I put it in the mixer, I’ll have to do that next time.

  44. beautiful job! i love how you placed them into a ring shape ;)

  45. Your puffs look great!

  46. Wow! Fantastic job as usual. Beautiful photos too. Everything looks so yummy!

  47. Thanks for the egg and temp trick. Beautiful work.

  48. Your puffs are fantastic Steph! My ring was a complete flop, but my little puffs did turn out somewhat. I will probably make this again one day, but not as a ring!

  49. Gorgeous! Love the ‘ring’ nothing dodgy about it! Hx

  50. Great close up photos.

  51. just gorgeous!! :)

  52. Oh my gosh – these are gorgeous. Fantabulous job!

  53. Beautiful, as always. I love how you’ve placed them in a ring. And thanks for the tips about cooling that mixture before adding the eggs.

  54. Your pastries look wonderful! Very cool to place them in a ring!

  55. Beautiful as always! You never disappoint me!

  56. They turned out perfect! I love making choux also. Yours are making me hungry, hungry!

  57. Once again, I love your photos and your blog! You do such good work.

  58. This is heaven in a bite-size puffy cloud!!!!!! I love mint, so I always run out – salad dressings, marinades, salads etc…..don’t get me started on mint _LOVE THE STUFF!!!!

  59. cute and tasty, just what I like;-)

  60. Oh, is that adorable or what?!! Wow, you’re making me want puffs all over again. Great job!

  61. these look absolutely fantastic. :)

  62. Beautiful as usual, and thanks for the tips :)

  63. They look great. Professional:-)
    X M

  64. just awesome!

  65. Your cream puff ring doesn’t look dodgy at all, it looks gorgeous! My attempt at the cream failed completely, but I was proud that I actually made pâte à choux. I look forward to giving it another go!

  66. Absolutely gorgeous!

  67. wow oh wow. these look delish. i am a cream puff fanatic and i was so sad when i heard these were the choice after i decided not to do TWD anymore!! yours look fantastic, i could have prolly eaten the whole ring! and i passed along a sweet little “yummy blog award” to you :)


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