When I was a wee young girl, I attended a Magnet elementary school in Brentwood, CA and used to get bussed there. It was a one hour ride in each direction as we zigzagged our way through my beloved City of Angels. I feel like I learned so many back streets and the lay of the land beyond East LA from that bus ride. We used to make a stop in front of Phoenix Bakery in Chinatown, and the owner’s son would get on board the school bus. A handful of times he brought a box of cream puffs to share from his famed bakery. It was then that I was introduced to the delicate pastry.
There are many uses for pâte à choux, from profiteroles to eclairs. I have made many variations over the years but find Cherry Cream Puffs to be my favorite. The light pastry shell filled with slightly sweet whipped cream and fresh cherries, then dipped in a cherry icing….it’s heavenly.
Ingredients for Cherry Cream Puffs:
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 stick salted butter
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 cup flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon water
- 29 fresh cherries (pitted)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
- Add sugar, water, butter, and milk to a sauce pot or dutch oven over a medium flame. Allow butter to melt stirring constantly, then bring mixture to a boil.
- Once mixture is boiling add in flour and mix till combined with a wooden spoon. Once the mixture comes together continue cooking in the pot for an additional 2 minutes or until a thin film starts to form at the bottom of the pot. Remove the pot from flame at once.
- Place the hot dough in a stand-up mixer with the paddle attachment. Run the mixer on medium for about 3 minutes to allow the dough to cool down a little bit. You should see steam come out for the first two minutes, by the third minute it should be cool enough to proceed with the next steps.
- Now that the dough has cooled a little add one egg at a time until it is fully combined, then add the next egg making sure it is fully combined before adding the next egg and so on.
- Make egg wash by whisking egg and water together. Set to the side until ready to use.
Bring out the piping bag:
- Once the pâte à choux is made, place the dough into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch round tip. Then pipe about 1 1/2 inches of dough onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. I squeeze until a pool of dough comes out then I press the round tip back into the dough to avoid a peak at the top when you release (which will burn in the oven). If a peak forms, dip your finger in the egg wash and then pat it down to level with the rest of the dough. Should make 26 puffs more or less. (See my IG story highlights for video instruction).
- Brush each little mound of dough with egg wash using a pastry brush.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from cookie sheet and place on cooling rack to come to room temperature.
Let’s fill and glaze our cream puffs:
- Make the cherry icing by whisking powdered sugar and milk together until smooth, then smash 2 to 3 cherries with a fork to extract cherry juice. Pour the cherry juice into icing and whisk in for color and flavor. Set to the side.
- Once puffs are cooled, take a serrated knife and cut off the top of each puff. Dip the top into the cherry icing then place back on the cooling rack to dry. While tops are drying, place a pitted cherry into the center of each bottom puff.
- Make the whipped cream by place 1 pint of cold heavy whipping cream and sugar into a stand up mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk until stiff peaks form, then place in a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
- Pipe in whipped cream over the cherry, then top with cherry iced puff top.
- Serve immediately or place in fridge till ready to eat.
- ENJOY CHERRY CREAM PUFFS!
And if cherries and cream is your thing… try my Cherry Tres Leches Cake!