It was our friend, Bob’s birthday last week. He’s more like family around here. He comes to all our family things and is always here Christmas Eve and spends the night to see the boys on Christmas morning. We “adopted” him in to our family back when we lived in Arizona (before Kansas) and he just keeps showing up wherever we go. ;) We sometimes call him Uncle Bob.
So I have to admit it--this picture of Bob is from his birthday last year. I stink and didn’t take any people pictures this time. I really feel horrible about that. I was more in the mode of finishing the cream puffs and snapping a few photos before they got eaten up. I’m going to be better about taking more pictures of people and not just food!
At Christmastime, Bob told me he wanted cream puffs for his birthday. Tall order—for a couple reasons. I don’t like making cream puffs and I don’t like eating them. BUT—I always love a challenge and I was up for this one. I don’t mind making things I don’t care to eat, since that means I won’t be tempted by them. I just think the cream puff shells don’t really have a taste and I don’t care for the texture. Then besides that Bob told me he wanted REAL pastry cream, none of this fake pudding stuff (that I really like!). Well, I don’t really like pastry cream either. It’s too eggy.
But I was game for Bob’s birthday “order”. After looking over a few different recipes, I settled on making the cream puffs from the Joy of Baking website. I’ve always been a little intimidated by pate choux. But this went off without a hitch. The recipe, which you can get from the link that I made exactly as written, made 12 regular sized cream puffs and about two dozen mini size ones.
They turned out perfectly hollow inside ready for filling. I ended up making the pastry cream recipe from Joy of Baking as well. I followed it with the directions for using vanilla extract since I don’t have any vanilla beans.
I drizzled some of them with chocolate ganache.
I also filled all of the mini puffs and some of the regular ones with whipped cream. We went to Bob’s apartment and served these to him and a bunch of his neighbors. I was happy with how they turned out and everyone ate them up. I didn’t taste a single one.
At the last “minute” that morning, Taylor and I decided to make a cake also to take for Bob’s birthday. I’m glad we did! I think we would have run out of cream puffs with all the guests and the chocolate cake (though, shhh, it was from a box mix) was well received and eaten up!
Taylor did a great job frosting the cake. I used this Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe from Savory Sweet Life. It was great, I might have tasted a lick or two of the frosting. ;)
Frosting a cake pretty is not my biggest strength, so between Taylor crumb coating it and my smoothing it out, I thought we did a pretty good job!
Check out this fun picture of Taylor on our way to Bob’s place (it’s a 45 minute drive). I turned around and saw he was watching a movie in the car like this--
Kills me. Happy Birthday, Bob, we’re happy to have you around!