Cream Puff Date Night
OK, I am uber excited about this one! Have you ever seen the movie "The Vow"? It came out a while ago (like a WHILE AGO, I'm gettin old ok? ;) ) with Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum. It's so cute and it's based on a real story. Well this desert idea is based off that movie. With Valentine's Day coming up, this movie holds a special place in my heart cause it was the first chick flick I ever watched with my husband for a date one night at home and he was so upset by it. haha He was so mad at Rachel McAdams character for not wanting her husband. I was dying. lol He isn't a very emotional guy anyways so I won't ever forget it. He still won't watch it to this day.
In the movie they go to a cafe and play Russian Roulette with chocolates on one of their dates. They take turns picking random chocolates and trying them to see if they like them or not. Ring any bells? Well, this is Russian Roulette cream puff style!
After you make your puffs and a few different fillings for them, you'll fill them from the bottom all randomly. Flip them over and top with chocolate, caramel, or powdered sugar and then wallah! You won't know which is which and you just have to try them out. The fillings I made were a banana cream, a pastry cream, a raspberry filling, and a chocolate ganache. Feel free to make ANYTHING you and your family might like. You can use those instant Jello puddings for super easy fillings too that still taste yum!
I literally just started filling them all randomly and mixing matching them. I figured they all kinda went together? haha It was a lot of fun and my family was picking them up out the fridge for the next few days not knowing what they would get. It was always a surprise! Honestly, a lot of fun too.
I also included free printables here so you can really make a game night out of it whether its for just two people our your whole family!
A few notes for making cream puffs:
A cream puff dough is called pate a choux. It's the same dough that's used to make eclairs, just piped in a different shape. It seems more intimidating than it is. It's actually pretty simple so don't let it scare you off.
Room temp ingredients is very important so make sure your eggs are not cold. Allow them to sit out on your counter for a couple hours prior to baking OR place them in a bowl of warm water for 20-30 minutes.
You need a piping bag to pipe out your dough. Just buy some. You can use a #12 round tip if you want or you can just snip off the tip when you're ready to pipe. That's what I do. Use your finger dipped in a little water or egg wash to press down the "tips" of the dough.
Consistency of your dough is key! You add your eggs at the end and you need to test your consistency after each addition. You don't want it too thick or too loose. When you lift your paddle out of the dough it should make a pretty little "V" shape just as shown. That's when you know it's ready to pipe.
You will adjust your oven temp during baking. This is very important and you have to do it. The high oven temp in the initial baking process allows the steam to build and "puff" up your cream puff. Then you lower it to finish the baking process so your dough isn't raw. A perfect puff will be basically hollow inside (as shown); room for all the filling!
Bake until golden brown! Don't under bake. The french don't like under baked dough. ;p
You can fill cream puffs a few different ways. You can cut the tops off, you can fill from the sides or from the bottoms. For this recipe, we are filling from the bottom so you can't tell whats in them easily. Just use a piping tip or a straw to put a hole in the bottom and then use your fillings in piping bags to fill.
They are best kept chilled and especially if you're filling them with any types of creams or puddings. Make sure you keep them refrigerated until you're ready to enjoy.
You can freeze the piped out dough and make ahead!! Then when you're ready to bake; place on a sheet, allow to thaw, and bake!
I hope you have so much fun with this one! You can be as adventurous as you want. And please please tag me if you try it out because I want to know what you think!
Cream Puffs Russian Roulette
PREP TIME: 25 minutes
BAKE TIME: 35-40 minutes
MAKES: around 40 1" piped out cream puffs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons water
7 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (sifted)
4-5 eggs (room temperature)
Mousse/ Whip cream
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line sheet pans with silicon baking mats or parchment paper.
2. In a medium saucepan combine the milk, water, butter, sugar, and salt. Cook on medium heat while stirring together with whisk until fully combined. Bring to a full boil. Turn off the heat.
3. Add the sifted flour to your pan quickly and whisk until thoroughly combined and mixture comes together to form a dough. There should be no lumps here but you must work kind of quickly to avoid it. Remove the whisk and switch to a wooden spoon (or rubber spatula). Turn the heat back on to medium-low. Cook and stir dough for about 1 minute to cook the flour some. You will know when its ready because the dough will start to stick to the bottom of the pan a little and it will make a hissing sound as your stir.
4. Remove from the heat and right away transfer the dough to your mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Do not use a whisk attachment. Turn the mixer on low and start adding your eggs one by one, allowing each one to fully incorporate before adding the next. I usually stop after 4, crack open the 5th egg in a cup and scramble and then add about half of it to get my perfect consistency. But check yours! You might be good after the 4 eggs or you may need the whole extra 5th. You will know when the dough is the right consistency when you lift the paddle attachment and the dough forms a pretty "V" shape (see images above in post). It cant be too loose or too thick.
5. When ready, you'll transfer your dough to a piping bag. You can use a tip if you want in your bag but I don't. I just snip the tip of my bag until I have about 1/4 inch circle opening at the bottom.
6. Pipe out your puffs on your lined baking sheets about 1 inch circles. There will be a little peak at the top where you lift your bag from. You can dip your finger in egg wash or a little water and gently press down the peak.
7. You can now bake OR place your sheets in the freezer and allow your dough to freeze, Once frozen pop off your dough circles and place in a sealed container. You can thaw and bake them now whenever you're ready.
8. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until your puffs have risen nice and tall. Now, lower your oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking for another 20-30 minutes. Keep checking on them and they should be a golden brown color when done.
9. As your pastries are cooling you can make any fillings you'd like. Use a clean piping tip or straw to put a hole in the bottom of your puffs and place your filling in pastry bags to fill up your puffs until stuffed. *see images above* Dip them in a chocolate ganache, warm caramel, or dust with powdered sugar to finish them off.
STORAGE: Store them in the fridge until ready to eat. Especially if your fillings must be kept cold! They will stay fresh up to a week.
GET YOUR FREE PRINTABLES HERE for your perfect date night!