Bouchon Bakery Challenge: Cream Puffs

Cream Puff

You probably thought I forgot to make these Cream Puffs.  They were my October Bouchon Bakery Challenge recipe, and October is long over after all.  I didn’t forget – I just had trouble fitting them in.  But here they are!

Cream Puffs

What makes the Bouchon Bakery cream puffs different from other cream puff recipes is the little unbaked cookie that is placed on top of the pâte à choux before baking.  It gives the puffs a nice crispy texture, and also adds a touch of sweet almond flavor.

Ready for the Oven

Frozen pâte à choux with cookie dough on top – ready for the oven!

Whenever I make cream puffs (or any other recipe involving pâte à choux), I think about a book I read when I was a kid.  I don’t even remember what book it was, but in one chapter, the main character and her friend made cream puffs.  As they measured out the batter, they thought surely something was wrong with the recipe and the cream puffs would be much too small.  So instead they made 1 big cream puff.  Well, if you have ever made cream puffs, you can imagine how big that puff became!  Does anyone else remember that book?  What was it called?

Freshly Baked

Unfilled and right from the oven

These cream puffs are really tasty.  I love, love, love the extra crunch from the cookie on top.  It really makes these special.  While the pastry cream inside was very good, I like the pastry cream from Dorie Greenspan’s eclairs better.  When I bake up the rest of my cream puffs I will try using that pastry cream instead.

Recipe Notes

  • The recipe has you pipe the pâte à choux into silicone molds so they are uniformly sized and shaped.  I don’t care about perfect uniformity, so I simply piped them “freestyle” onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • The dough for the cookies was supposed to “come together in large crumbles” during mixing.  Mine stayed in very small crumbles, so I added a tablespoon of cold water to the dough.  This seemed to work fine, and I’m sure it has to do with my dry climate.
  • The pastry cream uses Bird’s Custard Powder.  Both times I have used Bird’s (I also used it for my Blueberry Flan Tarts) I found that once the custard started to thicken, it thickened very quickly!  So quickly that I feel like I overcooked the custard both times.  So, beware, and consider keeping the stove temperature low.
  • I love that the piped pâte à choux and cookie dough can be frozen and used as needed!  This time, I made just enough pastry cream to fill 12 cream puffs and I will bake more later.

Cream Puffs

Altitude Adjustments

None.  The pâte à choux puffed up very nicely without any adjustments.

Next This Month

November’s recipe is Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (page 32).  I know what you’re thinking.  November is more than half over and I am just getting to October’s recipe.  How I am going to fit another one in?  Never fear!  I have already baked the cookies and will share my results with you next week.

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3 Comments

Filed under Cooking

3 responses to “Bouchon Bakery Challenge: Cream Puffs

  1. Oh My! These look AmaZinG!!

  2. You did a beautiful job. They look delicious. You are very talented.

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