Happy National Cream Puff Day.
I wish I could say I had my first taste of choix pastry in a little shop in Paris, but no; it was in the hospital. I was recovering from an illness and they brought me a tray with a Rich’s brand Chocolate Eclair. I was about 11 and it was the best and most exotic pastry I’d had in my life (granted, I was very hungry at the time). When I left the hospital I sought out the frozen eclairs and later, the cream puffs. Somewhere along the way, I learned how to make them myself and played around with different types of fillings. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten all the recipes. What I do know is I like really light and creamy fillings as opposed to the heavy custard type. I also like them filled with ice cream and served with homemade fudge sauce. One of my favorite Italian restaurants here in Austin, La Traviata, makes the best!
If you’d like to make your own cream puffs today, seeing that it’s National Cream Puff Day and all, here’s a link to a cream puff pastry recipe that sounds pretty good. The recipe is made with bread flour and a few extra egg whites…..it sounds interesting.
And then there’s this one from allrecipes.com. I’ve made it before and the pastry is very good. So is the filling, but it calls for instant pudding mix and I always imagine pastry chefs somewhere laughing at me when I use it. Then I feel bad about myself and don’t make eclairs for a while.
But I think I’m ready to make another batch. I’ll let you know later.
On another note, today I’m in the midst of making the Mark Bittman NYT No-Knead Bread — the famous one that was all the rage about a year ago. I managed to avoid it for a long time, but my friend Karen mentioned she made it with lemon and rosemary and that did. I had to try it, so I made the dough yesterday.