My niece, who is 12, absolutely LOVES cream puffs… as long as they are filled with chocolate. On her recent visit, she wanted to make some. So her Gramma and I put her to work. You can see the result. Obviously, they were a hit.
Pâté a Choux (Choux Paste)
8 Ounce(wt)s butter, unsalted diced small
1/2 Ounce(wt) salt
1 Pint water
12 Ounce(wt)s flour, pastry
1 Ounce(wt) sugar, white
9 Large egg, whole to measure 1 pint
Boil butter, water, sugar, & salt until all butter is melted. Sift flour and add to boiling mixture. Remove from stove & stir quickly, incorporating all the flour. It should look pasty. Put back onto heat & cook until the mixture moves around pot cleanly (ball like). When mixture is cool, add eggs, one at a time.
If using mixer, mix on speed 1 or 2. After adding 7 eggs, stop. Scrape sides of bowl. The mixture should be shiny & soft without falling in on itself. Fill pastry bag with mixture, but do not over fill. Pipe cream puffs, swans, & eclairs.
Chocolate Pastry Cream
2 Cups Whole Milk
4 Large Egg Yolks
6 Tbls Sugar
3 Tbls Cornstarch, sifted
Pinch of Kosher Salt
1/2 Tbls Vanilla Extract
7 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, melted
2 1/2 Tbls Unsalted Butter, cut into bits, at room temperature
Bring the milk to a boil in small saucepan or in a microwave oven.
Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the sugar, cornstarch, salt until thick and well blended. Whisking without stop, drizzle in about ¼ cup of the hot milk-this will temper, or warm, the yolks-then, still whisking, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly, and thoroughly (make sure to get into the edges of the pan), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil-still whisking-for 1 to 2 minutes, then pull the pan from the heat.
Whisk in the vanilla and melted chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until the butter is fully incorporated and the custard is smooth and silky. Scrape the cream into a bowl. You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the custard to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold or, if you want to cool the custard quickly-put the bowl with the pastry cream into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and stir the custard occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.