Hot Fudge Cream Puffs!

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Two things come to mind when I hear the words cream puff.  First, is the amazing dessert I had during the holidays growing up.  Second, was my wedding dress.  Being 5’1 and wearing a HUGE tulle ballgown dress that literally swallowed me up…well I just always say I looked like a cream puff!

Anyways, ahhhh the beloved cream puff.  Growing up in my native Michigan…I feel like there were TONS of restaurants that offered a Sanders Hot Fudge Cream Puff on their menu.  In Nashville, I have yet to find one.  But that’s ok! Because I just learned how to make them myself and they are just as good, if not BETTER then a restaurant.  Sanders Hot Fudge is locally made in Detroit and is by far the best fudge you will ever have in your life.  I have to have it on a cream puff!   It’s amazing.  I have a jar on hand at all times.

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I could eat it with a spoon straight out of the jar.  Get some goooooood fudge.  Don’t buy Smuckers or Hershey’s or anything you can get on the self at Kroger.  It’s wrong.  Just don’t.  This is what separates something from being good to being great!!  There’s a time and a place for cheapie fudge, and it’s NOT on a cream puff!

This past Easter weekend I had the pleasure of hosting some of my family in town from Detroit. My two Aunts Norina and Maria (as well as my dad) were all born in Alcamo, Sicily and moved to the states many years ago.  I grew up traveling there in the summer.  It’s an amazing place.  What’s even more amazing is the food.  You haven’t lived until you gone to Sicily and had pizza.  There is no comparison.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve been back and I’m afraid too to be honest because I think I would gain 25 pounds.  Not to mention the thought of putting my 2 and 4 year old boys on a plane for a 24 hour travel day sounds like a total NIGHTMARE.  I do plan to go back soon though!

My aunts are like machines.  THEY DON’T STOP!  I was up for 5 minutes on Friday morning and my aunt said to me, “Get up let’s maka tha creama puffa!” I’m like, you’ve got to be kidding me.  In one day they cleaned out my whole fridge and freezer, stocked it with sicilian cookies-banana bread (just what I need), sundried tomatoes straight from sicily.  Folded all my laundry.  Took all of my produce that I had in bags, washed it all and put it in ziplock bags.  I mean they really DON’T STOP.  I so appreciate having them around.

They’ve always made amazing cream puffs.  They don’t put hot fudge on them…BUT I DO!  We decided to make them for Easter and of course I documented every second.  They always seemed so intimidating to me and I was shocked by how easy they actually are to make!  After a little googling, I discovered that this is actually a pretty common cream puff recipe.  I thought that they had something really special on their hands here here. Haha!  Nope.  Found pretty much the same thing on Martha Stewart’s website.  I’m attaching her video demonstration because it’s really helpful.  And because I’m not into the whole videotaping myself thing….yet at least.  That would require me to look presentable when I cook and right now, that ain’t gonna happen!  So you can watch Martha.  Or whoever this dude is in the video!  Cream Puff Video Demo

Ok here we go!

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Put 1 stick of salted butter in a medium sauce pan with 1 cup of water.  Bring it to a boil.  Once the butter is melted and everything is boiling, add 1 cup of all purpose flour and start to stir very fast.
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Stir, stir, stir! A ball of dough will soon begin to form.
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The dough is starting to take shape.  Almost done!
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Now you are ready to remove it.  There will be a film on the bottom of the pan!
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Spread the dough on a bottom of a bowl to cool off.  Wait about 5 or 6 minutes and then add eggs.
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Add the eggs one at a time with a hand mixer over low speed.  Mix until combined and fluffy.
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Ready!!!
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Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Using a spoon (or a pastry bag) drop about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of mixture onto sheet.
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Just like so!
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Makes around 31 or so!  Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes.  My oven took an hour.  Watch them, you want them nice and golden on top.
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This is what they will look like when finished.
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Mmmmm light and airy balls of goodness!

 

CREAM PUFF SHELLS

1 CUP WATER

1 STICK SALTED BUTTER

1 CUP ALL PURPOSE FLOUR

4 EGGS

1 TSP. SUGAR (OPTIONAL)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine butter, sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and quickly stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until a film forms on the bottom of the pan.
Remove from heat and transfer contents to a bowl to cool slightly, about 5  minutes. Add 4 eggs, one at a time with an electric mixer to incorporate egg after each addition.

Grab a spoon a drop out about 1 1/2 TBS. of dough onto the paper.  OR you can use a pastry bag like Martha and transfer the dough to a large pastry bag fitted with a 5/8-inch plain tip. Pipe 1-1/2-inch rounds onto each prepared pan. Gently smooth the pointed peaks with a moistened finger, rounding tops to ensure even rising. Bake until puffs rise and are golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. (My oven took 1 hour) Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Puffs can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.  Do not cover them…THEY WILL GET SOGGY!


Now, let’s get to the filling! 

This is a basic lemon cream.  Almost like a custard.  You don’t have to add the lemon if you don’t want to!  I love it.  Or, you don’t have to make the cream at all.  Just do a little scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of hot fudge.  Mmmmm.  Whatever floats your boat.  This is super easy.

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In a medium saucepan combine 2/3 cup of corn starch and 1 cup of sugar.  Stir to combine.  Then SLOWLY add 3 1/2 cups of whole milk, a 1/2 cup at a time while stirring continuously to remove any clumps.  
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Once everything is nice and smooth, add 1 tsp of vanilla and the zest of one lemon.  Stir to combine.  
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Take the remaining 1/2 cup of milk and add 3 egg YOLKS to it.  Whisk well to combine and then pour it into the the pan.  Whisk, whisk!
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Cook over medium heat and stir CONSTANTLY.  Within 10 minutes it will thicken up.  
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Almost done!
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When it’s ready it will look like this!
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Pour cream filling into a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Make sure to touch the plastic to the cream and press down.  Otherwise a film will form over the cream and it will harden.  Refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours until chilled. 
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When it’s cooled, break it up with a knife. 
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Then use an electric mixer and mix on low until smooth and fluffy.  
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Mmmm it’s ready!!!  Time to start filling.  
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Slice the puffs in half and spoon some cream inside!
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#heaveninyourmouth
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Done and done!  
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Drizzle on some hot fudge and enjoy!

 

LEMON CREAM FILLING

RECIPE:

4 CUPS OF WHOLE MILK (divided)

2/3 CUP OF CORN STARCH

1 CUP SUGAR

1 TSP VANILLA

1 LEMON ZESTED

3 EGG YOLKS

Combine corn starch and sugar in a medium saucepan.  Stir to combine.  Then slowly whisk in 3 1/2 cups of milk, 1/2 cup at a time until all of the lumps are gone.  When smooth, add the zest of one lemon to the pan along with 1 tsp of vanilla, set aside.

Whisk together 3 egg yolks and combine with the remaining 1/2 cup of milk.  Stir into the pain with other ingredients.  Place pan on the stove and cook over medium heat while stirring constantly.  Cream will start to thicken up in about 10 minutes.

Cover with plastic wrap.  Make sure to push the plastic down onto the cream so no air gets in.  Refrigerate overnight or at least 4-6 hours.

When cooled, break up with a knife. Then use an electric mixer and mix on low until soft and fluffy.

 

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