Cream puffs, peeps, that’s what we’re talking about here. Aka profiteroles — although those tend to be filled with ice cream, and these babies are filled with coconut pastry cream and served with warm dark chocolate ganache — or without: they’re actually spectacular either way. And, yes, you can thank me now.I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t inspired to make these because I’ve always been jonesing to try my hand at pate a choux (cream puffs, eclaires, gougeres: they’re all made from a french pastry called pate a choux). To the contrary. Although I have fond childhood memories of eating profiteroles on lunch dates with my dad in a fancy (to my ten year-old mind) restaurant near his office, I was a bit intimidated by the idea of making my own. But guess what? Making pate a choux dough? Nothing, and I mean nothing, could be easier.
And where did I learn that? The lovely and super talented Samantha Seneviratne posted a video of eclaires-in-the-making that looked effortless and I was sold. Cream puff internet and cookbook research ensued. I quickly concluded that there isn’t a heck of a lot of difference between one pate a choux recipe and another.
Needless to say, my own recipe came together in a snap. The coconut pastry cream, I just have to say, was a stroke of genius, provided you love coconut, which i hope you do. And although the ganache provides the perfect color contrast to the lightly browned puffs, and white coconut cream — not to mention the fact that it’s delish — the puffs truly are scrumptious straight-up filled with cream. So, put your cream puff fears behind you (or at least aside temporarily) and go forth and conquer pate a choux. Pretty sure you’ll be beyond pleased with the results.
Coconut Cream Puffs with Dark Chocolate Ganache
For the pudding
- 3/4 cup 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/3 cup corn starch
- rounded 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 6 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1 yolk
- 3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter room temp
- 1/2 tsp coconut extract
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the pate a choux
- 7 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 5 eggs
For the egg wash
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp heavy cream
for the ganache
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chopped
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp lyle's golden syrup or light corn syrup
To make the pudding
- In a medium to large pot, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt, and whisk until combined. Add the milk and heavy cream, and whisk again, then add the coconut milk and whisk. Add the beaten egg and yolk and whisk. Add the shredded coconut and whisk a final time to ensure all of the ingredients are incorporated.
- Transfer the pot to the stovetop and cook the pudding on medium to medium high heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens up considerably and bubbles begin spurting up all over the pudding's surface. This can take up to 25 minutes, give or take.
- Once the mixture bubbles, continue whisking for a minute or so more, and remove the pot from the heat. Add the butter and the two extracts, and whisk until combined.
- Transfer the pudding to a mixing bowl, and cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap (the wrap should touch the pudding's surface). Place in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours (essentially your pudding will be cold to the touch and quite firm when it is ready). Whisk to loosen it before filling your puffs.
To make the pate a choux
- Preheat the oven to 425 and line a cookie sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine the butter, water, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil and the butter melts.
- Take the saucepan off of the heat and add the flour, stirring until combined. Return the pan to the heat. Over medium heat, cook the dough until it becomes glossy and thickens. Dough is ready when it begins pulling away from the bottom of the pan. Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and stir to cool with a wooden spoon.
- Whisk the eggs together in a measuring cup, and add a little egg at a time to the dough, stirring after each addition, until the dough is smooth, soft, and silky, and holds together.
- Using a 1 1/2 to two tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto the prepared pan, leaving about 2 inches between puffs. You will likely need to reuse the pan to bake off all of them.
- Make the egg wash by whisking together the egg and cream in a small bowl. Brush the puffs with wash and bake them for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating at the halfway point, until the puffs are lightly browned and puffy.
- Poke each puff with a toothpick in order to release steam and prevent sogginess. Let cool completely.
To make the ganache
- Place the chocolate and syrup in a medium heatproof bowl. warm the cream over medium heat in a small saucepan until bubbles just begin to form around the edges. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for one minute. Stir the cream into the chocolate gently, until incorporated. Use immediately, or reheat prior to using, if ganache is no longer pourable.
To assemble the puffs
- Cut the puffs in half with a sharp knife and fill with a spoonful or two (or three) of pastry cream. dribble ganache on top and serve.