Earl grey Choux a la Creme
Submitted by Kazz Regelman
About the cook: My 14 year old daughter, Phoebe, loves to cook, and she and I have been creating recipes together while sheltering in place. This is one of our favorite new creations for a dessert that feels exotic but is still simple to make. To be honest, I think Phoebe may be surpassing me in skill and sometimes now she's the one teaching me, but it's a great way to spend time together!
About the dish: I lived in Paris for a long time, and my kids were raised there, so this french dessert is a little taste of home. My girls and I have always loved afternoon tea, and we still love small little finger treats you can eat with a delicious cup of tea in the afternoon. This dessert was a way to combine the idea of tea, high tea desserts, and our home in Paris.
National Origin: French
Estimated Time: 1 to 2 Hours
The choux paste:
1 cup sifted all purpose flour
½ cup water
½ cup whole milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs at room temperature
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
5-6 Earl Grey tea bags (do not throw away tea bags after use∗)
2 or 3 or 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar (the amount depends on the perfect sweetness level for you!
Dust powdered sugar over the puffs OR
Dark chocolate drizzle
Positioning a rack in the lower third of the oven, preheat to 400°F
In a small bowl measure the sifted flour and set aside.
In a large saucepan combine the water, whole milk, butter, and salt. Bring the mixture to a full boil over medium heat. Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Continue to cook and stir the mixture for about 1 minute to eliminate excess moisture. The butter may leak out of the mixture a bit, which is fine; this only means that the moisture is evaporating. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When it is cold, beat in the eggs 1 at a time with a wooden spoon, or on low speed with a mixture. Make sure that the egg is fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth before adding the next egg. Beat the dough until it is very smooth and shiny. The choux paste can be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 hours. When the paste is cold you do not need to bring it to room temperature before shaping.
Scoop the paste into a pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch plain tip. Shape the paste into smooth round shapes (roughly 30 puffs) on 2 non-stick baking sheets, or baking sheets with cooking mats on them. Make sure that the puffs are placed at least 2 inches apart.
Bake the puffs for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake 20 to 25 minutes more or until golden brown and very firm to the touch. Turn off the oven.
Pole the bottom of each puff (you can do this with a toothpick), turn upside down on the baking sheet and let dry in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool at room temperature.
Prepare the filling. Heat the double cream to a simmer. Turn off heat and add the Earl Grey tea bags. Steep until desired taste is achieved and remove tea with a strainer. Let cool completely. Add the sugar and vanilla extract to the heavy cream. Whip until soft peak appear. Place whipped cream into a piping bag.
In the same area as the hole placed on the bottom of the puffs before with the toothpick, insert the tip of the piping bag and fill the puffs with the filling until you can see and feel that they are full. You may see the puff expanding a little bit, and they will feel slightly heavier.
Dust the top with powdered sugar, or melt some dark chocolate for a chocolate drizzle.
Enjoy the puff pastries!
∗After using the tea bags in the cream, rinse the tea bags with water until it runs clear and place on an open surface to dry out completely. Once dry, cut open the tea bags and sprinkle the tea leaves onto fruit trees and plants for a natural fertilizer.