January 23, 2012

HB Cooks: Raspberry Cream Puffs with Dark Chocolate Drizzle

I love going to dinner parties and bringing dessert.  So of course every time I do I am looking for a new dessert to try, and most of the time I would prefer not to spend my entire day in the kitchen.  For my most recent gathering I made a dessert that brought back some wonderful childhood memories in only a few hours.  My great aunt was always celebrated in our family for her amazing cream puff-making skills (of course this was well before cream puffs were a trendy treat to make or eat! @BeardPapasNY).  I remember the puffs being super light and fluffy, and filled with a smooth and delicious vanilla custard.  Unfortunately I never got a chance to get that recipe from my aunt, so I set the bar pretty high for choosing another one.  I ended up finding a unique recipe on the Food Network website that uses a non-traditional raspberry cream filling for miniature puffs.  I then added my own decadent twist, a dark chocolate drizzle. Below are some tips for making some great puffs! 

There are a few aspects of this recipe that increase its difficulty just a bit, but don't be scared away, just be prepared!: 

  • You are supposed to use an electric mixer with a paddle attachment.  I just used a regular hand mixer on low which worked.  
  • A pastry bag is also recommended for piping out the puff batter.  However, you can always use a zip lock bag and cut off the tip if you don’t have a pastry bag.
  • Draining raspberry seeds can be complicated without a sieve.  I tried to use a cheese cloth, and then a strainer with a paper towel in it. Basically I made a mess, but the cream still turned out well, and you could barely notice the extra seeds.  
  • These cream puffs do burn easily, so keep them on the top oven shelf and keep an eye on them. I burned my first batch and had to cut off the bottoms to make improvised cream puff-top sandwiches.

Dark Chocolate Drizzle- You can really play around with this recipe to find a chocolate sauce that you love- that' s part of the fun!
  • 1 ounce of dark chocolate (about 1/4 of a 3.5-4 oz. bar ), chopped
  • About ¼ cup half-and-half
  • ½ tsp. sugar
Heat half-and-half and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat.  Whisk in chocolate until it melts. Add more sugar to taste.  Drizzle over filled cream puffs while sauce is warm and sprinkle confectioners' sugar as a finishing touch. 

Happy baking!

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