Friday, February 10, 2012

Homemade Cream Puffs and Pastry Cream Recipes

Joy of Baking Cream Puffs and Pastry Cream

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.

Joy of Baking Cream Puffs 2-4-12

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. 

Mini Cream Puffs 2-4-12

  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.

Cream Puffs with Pastry Cream 2-4-12

I drizzled some of them with chocolate ganache.

Cream Puffs w/chocolate drizzzle

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 frosting Bob's birthday cake 2-4-12

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. ;)

Chocolate Cake

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--

Taylor watching a movie in the car 2-4-12

Kills me.  Happy Birthday, Bob, we’re happy to have you around!


Plain Chicken said...

YUM - I love cream puffs. Yours look great!

Paige said...

I didn't know you don't like pastry cream! I confess, I love it. Although Cream puffs are not one of my favorite things--they have to be eaten when they are fresh to be any good.

Anyway I think your cream puffs look excellent. And, it was so nice of you to make something you're not crazy about because you knew it would make someone who is dear to you happy!

Granny Jacque said...

T is so cute, especially in the glasses! He did a good job on Bob's cake! Cream puffs look good to can send me some, please.

Katrina said...

Thanks, Steph!
Paige, I don't mind making things I'm not tempted to eat! But thanks. I think pastry cream is just too eggy to me. Custard is not my favorite either. All the better for my gut anyway. ;)
Mom--next time I see you I'll make you some!

pinkstripes said...

Your cream puffs look great! What a great birthday present! Paul loves custard and would die of happiness if I made them for him.

Lisa Ernst said...

You are a very kind woman to make a dessert like cream puffs even though you don't like them. I don't either, and agree pastry cream is too eggy. After your recent post about the Food Magazine's new chocolate issue I bought a copy -I'm in ecstacy! Saw a recipe for Boston Cream pie and now want to make my own verion with home made pudding and lots of ganache. (The cream puffs reminded me of this.)

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

OMG, these look excellent. I love cream puffs and wish someone would make me some for my birthday. Lucky Bob!

Hannah said...

You have outdone yourself. These are gorgeous! Xox

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Beautiful cream puffs! I'm sure Bob was thrilled. LOL at your cute boy!

Leslie said...

Cream puffs rock and they are so easy to make!!!!!

Unknown said...

I stink at making pastry cream and I don't love eating it, except in cream puffs - yum!! Yours look perfect! Love the shot of your little guy frosting the cake, he did an awesome job :)

Katy ~ said...


Natalie said...

these have been on my to make list forever! yours look great!

Patty said...

I've always wanted to try to make cream puffs myself :) Maybe it's time that I try your recipe! I'll have to come back and let you know how it went...

Unknown said...

great job on the cream puffs :) It's on my list since forever.

That cake looks very well done, great job on the frosting!

Shelby said...

Well, first of all - Bob is one lucky man! :) For two reasons. He gets to spend time with you as family and he got cream puffs for his birthday. I'm not an egg lover, but I LOVE me some cream puffs. Especially with homemade pastry cream