Saturday, December 12, 2009
Cream Puff Pyramid
There is something about stacking pastry on top of each other that just makes my mouth water. I guess that is why I have always been fascinated by wedding cakes. If there is so much pastry that you have to stack it....mmmmmmm. I am there!!!!!
At Christmas time we have trees of all kinds in honor of the season. So why not make a pastry pyramid? It is made with dozens of cream puffs filled with, of course, sweetened whipped cream. Drizzled with honey and stacked on top of each other and then chocolate syrup poured over the top. How decadent can you get? If you don't want to do the chocolate syrup you can dust it with powdered sugar. Either way it is a scrumptious dessert and it will impress your guests.
This recipe makes 1 dozen puffs. You will have to do this at least three times depending on the size of the pastry tower you want
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
9 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large saucepan, bring the milk, water, 1 stick of the butter, and the salt to a boil over high heat. Add the flour and remove from the heat.
Stir until the dough forms a shiny mass.
Using a mixer, beat the dough at low speed for 2 to 3 minutes, just until slightly cooled.
Increase the speed to medium and beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions; be sure to scrape down the saucepan.
Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch plain tip.
Pipe twelve 1 1/2 inch mounds onto each sheet. Using a moistened finger, round the tops of the dough.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until the puffs are golden, shifting the sheets halfway through.
Poke a 1/4-inch-deep hole into the top of each puff and return them to the oven. Turn off the oven, leave the door ajar and let the puffs cool and dry out for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, using a mixer, beat 1 1/2 cups of the cream with the confectioners’ sugar until firm. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Cut off the top third of each puff and scoop out the soft dough in the center. Spoon the cream into the puffs, replace the tops, chill for 10 minutes.
In a small saucepan, bring the remaining 3/4 cup of heavy cream just to a boil. Remove from the heat.
Add the chocolate and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and let stand just until the chocolate is melted. Whisk until smooth.
Plate on a beautiful Holiday platter, making the base, drizzle some honey over the puffs.
Place another layer set inside the first, drizzle with honey, start the third and so on and so on.
Drizzle some of the chocolate sauce over the puffs and serve, passing the remaining sauce on the side.
Or dust with powdered sugar.
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