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June 30, 2013

Maple Cream Puffs with Maple Glaze

Happy 146th birthday Canada!  Some people may think that’s a little old.  But I think you look great for your age! 

I made you something Canada.  I know you’ll say I shouldn’t have, but really it’s the least I can do.  After all, you let me live with you all these years. 

I used your favorite: maple syrup.  I mixed it into the filling of these cream puffs and I put it in the glaze that I drizzled on top.  These are little mouthfuls of maple that you’ll just want to keep eating.  They might be better than those maple pecan marshmallows from before...

Oh stop it, you’re not fat!  You totally deserve these.  I won’t tell the US.  She’s older anyway...

I hope these are a great start to your birthday.  And I hope the next year is even better than this one.  Here’s to you Canada. 

Maple Cream Puffs With Maple Glaze

Pâte à choux and pastry cream recipes adapted from Chocolate and Zucchini by Clotilde Dusoulier

6 tbsp (85g) butter
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup flour
4 eggs

2 eggs
4 tbsp granulated sugar
4 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp maple extract
1 cup milk
2 tbsp pure maple syrup

1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1-2 tsp milk

For the cream puff pastry (pâte à choux):


Preheat oven to 400F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick mats.

In a medium saucepan, heat butter, salt, sugar, and water to a simmer.  Remove from heat.  Dump in flour all at once and stir vigorously until smooth.  Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the dough forms a smooth, but soft, lump that pulls away cleanly from the sides of the pot.  Let cool for 3 minutes.

After 3 minutes, crack in eggs one at a time, and stir vigorously until incorporated before adding the next.  At first the egg will look like it’s not mixing with the dough, and the dough might form little slippery pieces, but keep working at it and it will mix in after a couple more seconds. 

After all the eggs are incorporated, refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes. 

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, or if you want really nice and regular puffs, put into a piping bag with a round tip (like a Wilton #12) and pipe little mounds (about 1 inch in diameter) onto the baking sheets.  Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 20 minutes. 

After the 20 minutes is up, turn off the oven.  DO NOT REMOVE RIGHT AWAY!  Open the oven door slightly.  JUST SLIGHTLY!  I wedge a wooden spoon into mine to keep it open a crack.  Leave the puffs in there for an extra 10 minutes.  I say this for your own good.  Doing this avoids a sudden drop in temperature that will cause the puffs to deflate into not-so-puffs.  Just look at the picture below for the difference. 

After 10 minutes in the slightly open oven, remove the puffs from oven and let cool completely on a rack.
 
For the maple pastry cream filling:

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla, maple extract, and cornstarch.

In a medium saucepan, heat milk just to a simmer.  While whisking constantly, pour hot milk gradually into egg mixture.  Pour mixture back into the saucepan and put back on heat, whisking constantly until it thickens.  About one minute.  Remove from heat and whisk in maple syrup.  If the mixture seems lumpy, just pass it through a sieve. 

Cool completely. 

For the maple glaze:

Combine icing sugar, vanilla, maple extract, and maple syrup in a small bowl.  Add milk a tiny bit at a time until desired consistency.  We want something we can drizzle, but that won’t just leak right off. 

Assembly:

Put pastry cream in a piping bag fitted with a small, round tip (I used Wilton #4).  Poke into the side (near the bottom) of each puff and dispense a little bit of the cream.  You’ll feel the puff get heavier.  The amount of cream that you put in is a matter of preference. 

Drizzle puffs with the glaze and serve!  These are best eaten the same day as they will become soggier after storing.  They will still taste pretty good, but won’t have the same texture.   

You can freeze unfilled puffs and reheat from frozen for about 8 minutes at 350F before filling and serving. 

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