This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was a peppermint cream puff ring. I wasn't really in the mood for mint, and still had raspberry jam to use up, so I changed it to a raspberry cream puff ring. The change was simple enough - instead of using mint and letting it steep, fold about 9 tablespoons of raspberry jam into the whipped cream.
This was my first time making any sort of cream puff. I was pretty excited when I got to go to the store and buy a piping bag and tips (I know, I'm weird...these things excite me). I also picked up a few other goodies I'd been missing out on - a Y-peeler, a french rolling pin, some tea towels so I can try to make my own sourdough (that'll be interesting).
When making this cream puff dough, the taste and smell reminded me of Cream of Wheat I ate when I was little. Odd how you can get nostalgic smells/tastes like that. The dough ended up nice and silky after adding the eggs.
At this point, I threw it into my new (washed) piping bag and realized that my tip was much too small. Dorie calls for a 3/4-inch diameter tip, the biggest one I had gotten was less than 1/4-inch. Nevertheless, I decided to move on and make some thicker rings, and layer three rings on the bottom with two on top.
The leftover dough got thrown into a couple weird-looking blobs. Remember, my first time with a piping bag, first time with cream puffs, yadda yadda. I pulled these blobs out of the oven about 10 minutes before the larger ring, that way they wouldn't get burnt. The ring didn't rise as expected...instead of moving up, it just moved out to the sides. This made it a lot thicker and shorter than what I was hoping for.
Piping the filling really proved how new I was to the whole thing. I put a syringe-looking tip onto the bag and tried to pump filling into the puff blobs I had previously made, but nothing came out. I eventually took the tip off and found it clogged with a bit of raspberry. I removed that tip and attached the rosette tip. That was sure a lot better, but it too got clogged with raspberries about a dozen time through the process of topping the cut cream puff ring. Each time, I had to remove the tip, take out the raspberry, then put it back in. At least now I know better, and will be sure to strain things before throwing them into a mix destined for piping.
I ended up doubling the chocolate glaze recipe, because the puff was so much thicker than expected. When it came to cutting, I got out a nice serrated knife and tried to keep everything neat, but that just wasn't happening. The puff kept moving all over the place messing up my rosettes, so I began to push down harder. The puff started acting up and squirting out cream...I'm not going to say who started yelling at whom, but names were called, feelings were hurt, and I ended up just hacking at it with a chef knife. The end product was a bit more...squished than what it could have been, but the taste is dead on.
Recipe: Baking: From My Home to Yours, Dorie Greenspan, pp. 290-292