It really has been an eternity since I last made cream puffs. I decided they would be something nice to take as a plate for my daughters preschool Christmas party, and as always, it was the perfect excuse to try them again. The reason I haven't made them much is that I always remember the method as being particularly effortful, not my kind of baking! However, I discovered this recipe in The Best of Alison Holst, a much used cookbook of mine. It avoids all the beating needed and uses the food processor and it honestly couldn't be easier! I will absolutely be making them again this way! Once cooked, I simply drizzled them with dark and white chocolate and filled them with cream and a slice of strawberry. I doubled this recipe and it made approximately 48 medium sized puffs.Cream Puffs (Alison Holst)
1/2 c water
1/2 c flour
2 large eggs
Put the water into a medium sized saucepan, with the butter (cut into cubes so it melts faster). Measure the flour carefully without packing or pressing it into the measuring cup. Beat eggs together so that you can pour them into the processor spout. Get all these things ready and make sure the oven is heated to 200C before you start beating and mixing. Bring the water to the boil with the butter. Don't let it boil too long as you don't want it to evaporate, just make sure the butter is properly melted. Tip all the flour in at once and stir briskly with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball which leaves the sides of the pot. As soon as this ball is formed, take the pot off the heat. Tip this mix into the food processor (use the metal blade). Put the top on the machine and put processor onto high while pouring egg slowly through the feed tube. You should add as much egg as possible without making it too liquid. It should be smooth and a soft dropping consistency.
Drop the mixture onto a baking paper lined tray in small spoonfuls or use a large piping bag with a wide nozzle to pipe onto tray.
Bake at 200c for 30 - 40 minutes, depending on what size you make them. If the puffs brown too much after rising, lower the heat to 190C. They should be quite hard and firm, if you take them out too early they will not be cooked inside and are more likely to collapse. If you are keeping them, they should be stored in an airtight container (they will keep for a week like this, unfilled).
Ice the tops with chocolate icing (or your choice of icing) and fill with whipped cream.
Glen wasn't able to make it to the Christmas party so we made sure he had his own special one!