In the year and a half or so that I have been blogging, I’ve come to learn what a great community I have amongst fellow food bloggers. We understand each other. We are there for each other. We support each other.
We help each other out. I think we’re about 60% finished unpacking. There is still a lot of work to do . . . so I have a dear friend, Vanessa, coming to the rescue today . . . With something pretty damn amazing. And delicious.
Cream Puffs. Cream Puffs with Caramelized Apples.
I am seriously going to start asking that a sample is sent to me whenever I have my amazing blogging friends help me out with guest posts! Vanessa and I just recently met at IFBC in September, through our mutual friend, Nancy. Just like her blog, sweet-lab, Vanessa is sweet, beautiful, precise, creative and fun.
Here are just some of my favorites from her blog: Pine Nut Shortbread Cookies with Figs, Goat Cheese Spread, and Balsamic Glaze, Vanilla Cake with Black Tea Caramel, Crunchy Nutty Choco Toffee and this gorgeous Apricot, Almond, and Pastry Cream Tart. So beautiful.
So, with that. . you must read on to get Vanessa’s Cream Puffs with Caramelized Apples recipe .. Vane, I’ll take 4 please. 🙂 Thank you so much for this beautiful recipe!
Hello dear Hip Foodie Mom loyal readers! It’s such a great pleasure to meet all of you on my friend Alice’s blog today. I met the incredible Alice at the International Food Blogger conference this past September and was taken away by her sweet personality, strong character, humility, and generosity. For all of those reasons, I am truly honored to have been invited to guest post on her blog today. Thank you Alice!
But before we go any further please allow me to briefly introduce myself. My name is Vanessa, although family and close friends call me Vane (pronounced “vah-ne”). I’m the mommy of a humble dessert blog called sweet-lab. But speaking of mommies…I can’t help but to express how much respect I have for this mommy super star that is Alice Choi.
Alice is a super mommy rock star indeed. If you read her blog and follow her adventures on Instagram like I do, you probably know by now that Alice has two incredibly cute girls and somehow…somehow, she pushes forward in her busy blogging career, while showing nothing but care and love for these cute little princesses, while at the same time being completely immersed in the stressful situation of moving from Seattle to her new home in Wisconsin.
I mean … I don’t know how she makes it all happen, but she does. One minute I’ll see a picture of Alice and her cute little girls making egg rolls. A few minutes later she’ll post a picture of a Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies recipe that she posted on her blog. Alice is now unpacking all of her life belongings into her new home in Wisconsin.
Alice, I really admire your strong motivation to enjoy all the great things that life has to offer just as I admire your will to fight when life becomes challenging and difficult. I admire what a great role model and mother you are to your girls. I admire your organization skills and ability to balance things out so well.
So today I made these Cream Puffs with Caramelized Apples for you and your readers. They’re creamy, airy, sweet, and boasting with a strong apple and caramel flavor. I really hope that you and your readers enjoy them.
Thank you once again for inviting me to be here today and I hope to maintain this food blogger friendship alive for many years to come!
Cream Puffs with Caramelized Apples
For the Pate á Choux Dough for Cream Puffs:
- 8 oz 1 cup milk
- 4 oz 1/2 cup or 1 stick butter
- 6 oz 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 4 large eggs
- water to adjust
- 1 egg lightly beaten for egg wash
For the Caramelized Apples:
- 12 oz 3 cups apples, peeled and finely diced
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 vanilla bean split down the middle
- 8 oz 1 cup sugar
- 1 oz 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 4 oz 1/2 cup heavy cream
- ½ oz 1 tablespoon butter
For the Crème Chantilly:
- 16 oz 2 cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Puffs with Caramelized Apples:
- Cream Puffs
- Crème Chantilly
- Caramelized Apples
- About ¼ cup of powdered sugar
For the Pate á Choux for Cream Puffs:
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Cover two small sheet trays with parchment paper and set them aside for later use.
- Combine milk, butter, salt, and sugar in a saucepan a bring mixture to a rolling boil. Once mixture comes to a rolling boil turn heat to low, add flour and stir on stovetop, just enough to dry dough out a bit and make a panade. (Panade is what you call the dough at this point before you add the eggs). Remove from heat.
- Place panade into mixer and mix with a paddle attachment. Allow panade to cool off a bit while it mixes before adding the eggs.
- Begin to add eggs one at a time and allow each egg to blend well into the panade.
- Do a test to know if choux paste is ready. For example, you can stick your finger into the dough. Dough should form a slight hook on your finger and not be stiff. If dough is too dry, add a small amount of water and mix it in, a teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.
- Place dough into a pastry bag that has a #3 tip. Hold bag at a 90-degree angle over sheet tray. Squeeze pastry bag continuously and stop squeezing when cream puff mounds have a diameter of 1 ½” – 2”. Twist off while ceasing pressure. Continue piping choux paste mounds onto sheet tray and spacing them a couple of inches apart from each other.
- Apply a double egg wash over cream puffs with a pastry brush.
- Bake cream puffs at 375 F for about 15 minutes. Turn sheet trays around and continue baking for 5-6 more minutes, until cream puffs have a nice golden color all throughout. Turn oven temperature down to 250 F—300 F and bake for an additional 8-12 minutes or until the interior of the cream puffs are completely dry and baked through. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. (Note: You can see if cream puffs are ready by cutting one in half and observing the center. If the interior of cream puff is still a bit wet, continue baking them for a few minutes longer).
For the Caramelized Apples:
- Toss diced apples, cinnamon, and all-purpose flour in a small bowl. Run the unsharpened side of pairing knife down the length of each of the vanilla bean halves to scrape vanilla seeds from bean. Toss vanilla bean and vanilla seeds in with the apples, cinnamon, and flour.
- Combine water, sugar, and honey in small saucepan and cook over medium heat until sugar reaches a light amber color.
- Once sugar has reached a light amber color, toss diced apples into saucepan with the sugar while stirring continuously. Cook until apples soften and caramel becomes a darker shade of amber, about 6-10 minutes.
- Pour in heavy cream to saucepan while whisking continuously. Stir until cream is well blended. Remove saucepan from heat.
- Add butter to caramel and stir to combine until butter melts.
- Pour caramel sauce into a small bowl or container and allow it to cool down before serving.
For the Crème Chantilly:
- Combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Whip at medium speed until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until further use.
To assemble the Cream Puffs with Caramelized Apples:
- To assemble cream puffs, split cream puffs in half using a small serrated knife.
- Pipe or fill the bottom halves of the cream puffs with crème chantilly.
- Pour about 1-2 tablespoons of caramelized apples over crème chantilly and replace each one with its top.
- Sift powdered sugar over cream puffs and serve immediately.
- Piped and baked choux paste can be done in advance and frozen. Defrost puffs and then bake them in a 350 F oven until crisp, about 5-10 minutes. Cool before serving.
- Filled cream puffs must be used in one day. Cooked pastries can last 4-6 weeks in freezer.
- If you don’t own a stand mixer you can do pate á choux by hand. Simply remove panade from heat and allow it to cool slightly for a few minutes. Add the eggs one at a time by hand, stirring rapidly with a wooden spoon until each egg is incorporated into the dough. At first it will seem as though the dough won’t accept the eggs. The dough will go through different stages while adding the eggs: from shiny to slippery, until it holds together.