Strawberry cream puffs are a great way to use “older” strawberries. The strawberries, cream and chocolate blend together well for a lovely dessert or breakfast treat. I love making cream puffs. They’re pretty easy once you get the hang of it. You can bake the puffs a few days ahead of time and fill them when you’re ready. Cream puffs are a staple in my house for Easter breakfast. We’re Orthodox Christians so we go to a midnight service and then break the Lenten fast with our friends afterwards. It’s usually 2 or 3 in the morning so I generally don’t eat too much. One cream puff and a few other things from the buffet is plenty. My kids wolf these down so I usually make a double batch – one for church and one for home. One Easter a few years ago, I had some raspberries that were just past their prime. They weren’t moldy, just no longer pretty so I thought I’d puree them and add them to the custard filling. The result was amazing. I’ve been experimenting with fruit additions ever since. Raspberries are incredibly expensive here in Phnom Penh so I opted for the slightly less expensive strawberries for this recipe. If you have raspberries or blackberries, you can definitely use them instead. There are some things to watch out for when you make cream puffs. You want bake your puffs until they’re a little crisp on the outside. This helps them hold their shape when they cool and will leave a nice air pocket inside to put the filling in. The filling is the more tricky part. I make a half custard, half whipped cream filling. The custard gives the filling rich flavor. The whipped cream makes it lighter. I also add gelatin to the custard so the filling holds up better. Since you add the whipped cream to the cooled custard, you want the custard to be room temperature (or a little cooler is better) but you don’t want the gelatin to congeal. If you over-cool the custard, use your mixer to beat it until it’s soft again. I’ve included recipes for semi-sweet chocolate ganache (option 1) and white chocolate ganache (option 2). You can top your cream puffs with either or, if you can’t decide, make half batches of each and top half of your Strawberry Cream Puffs with the semi-sweet chocolate and the other half with the white chocolate. You can swirl a little red food coloring or strawberry juice into the white chocolate ganache for some added color. Strawberry Cream Puffs are also perfect for high tea, Mother’s Day brunch or Valentines day.
- 1 Cup water
- ½ Cup unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 Cup all purpose flour
- 4 eggs
Strawberry Cream Filling
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- ½ Cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 Cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (5 ml)
- 1 Cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ Cup pureed strawberries
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Ganache (option 1)
- 1 Cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- ½ Cup heavy cream
White Chocolate Ganache (option 2)
- 2 bars of white chocolate (200 grams total)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a large cookie sheet (or use parchment paper.)
- In 2 quart saucepan over medium heat, heat water, butter and salt till better melts and mixture boils. Remove from heat.
- Add flour all at once. With wooden spoon vigorously stir until mixture leaves sides of the pan and forms a ball. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Using a large cookie scoop (use a small cookie scoop for minis) Drop by rounded tablespoonful onto cookie sheet The drops should be 1.5-2" in diameter. You can smooth out the tops with a moistened finger if you like.
- Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden. Remove to racks to cool.
For the Strawberry Cream filling
- In a 3 qt saucepan mix gelatin, sugar and flour. In a small bowl with wire whisk, beat egg yolks and milk till well mixed. Stir into gelatin mixture. Cook over med-low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until mixture is very thick and coats the spoon well (about 10 minutes). Do not boil.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 45 minutes (do not over chill). Add pureed strawberries to the custard after it cools.
- In a small bowl, beat heavy whipping cream till soft peaks form. Fold into custard mixture.
- Use a bread knife to slice tops off puff pastries (about 1/3 from the top to 1/2). Spoon cream into opening and a little more to fill the top. Place top back on top of your cream.
Prepare your chocolate ganache (option 1 OR option 2).
Melt your chocolate and add heavy cream. Whisk till all is smooth.
Spoon over prepared cream puffs.