Cream Puffs

I like to gorge myself on various reality tv shows. The Real Housewives of NYC and New Jersey, Million Dollar Decorators, Platinum Hit. Anything and everything that Bravo produces gets eaten up like candy. Social Commentary? I think so. The very fact that Watch What Happens Live exists is proof. It is literally a live show recorded after each episode of The Real Housewives hosting Andy Cohen and special guest who pick apart each episode's ridiculous cast of self-important "housewives" or, as I like to call them, Grandma Frankenstein Barbies. See? I can make fun of each and every episode and still proclaim to love it. This is really nothing new for me, as I have been watching 30 Minute Meals for years. Plus, as far as the housewives are concerned, what would the world be without some form of vapid entertainment to get you through the time between History of Western Civilization and Statistics homework.

Lately, though, I have really been trying to up my game (all this wasted time is making me a bit nervous) and watch more fulfilling programs like Masterchef, Martha Bakes, and (my favorite) Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn. It was during one of these Martha Bakes episodes that I learned about pate a choux. A relatively easy Frenchy pastry technique I'm convinved. I refuse to believe that this is simple my view because I am becoming more experienced. After one tv encounter I whipped out a batch from memory in the half an hour before dinner. I'm good...

This dough is actually cooked on the stove. It is then mixed with eggs and piped into tiny creampuff form. It literally is the easiest and most gratifying recipe I've made in a long time. I wouldn't even call this a "tutorial" because that just makes me sound pretentious and important. This is more like a little tiny hint to you to go out into your kitchen and pipe out a hundred little creampuffs and shove them in your face like there's no tomorrow.

Pate A Choux

1 cup water
8 tbl (1 stick) salted butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tsp sugar
1 cup flour
4 eggs at room temp

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium stainless steel saucepan heat together the water, butter, and sugar until boiling. Stirring constantly, add the flour all at once. Continue to stir until the mixture comes together and begins to leave a film on the bottom of the pan, less than one minute. Turn the mixture out into a glass bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Next, begin stirring the mixture and while stirring (to avoid cooking the white) add one egg. Stir it completely into the mixture. Remember that the dough will look completely broken before it comes together. Stir, stir, stir! Repeat with the remaining three eggs, adding the next only when the previous is completely incorporated.

Scoop the mixture into a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip (or no tip at all). Pipe the mixture into 1 inch creampuffs leaving about 1 inch between pastries. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Allow to cool completely before filling.

Lazy Lemon Filling

1 box instant lemon puddig mix
4 cold cups milk
1 cup cold heavy cream
3 tbl sugar
1 tbl vanilla extract

Make the instant pudding according to package directions using the mix and milk. Beat together the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. In a seperate bowl scoop some prepared pudding and stir until smooth. Fold in a bit of the whipped cream until no streaks remain. Add to a pastry bag fitted with a long filler tip, puncture cream puffs slightly, and fill with a bit of the lemon filling. Chill and eat.

Inspired by Martha Bakes (Martha Stewart)

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