Today is national cream puff day in the US. Or as they say in France, choux à la crème or profiterole.
I had no idea the wonderful concoction had its own day, but if anything deserves one, well, the cream puff most assuredly does.
They look intimidating, but I can say from experience they aren’t all that difficult.
The first thing you do is make a choux pastry dough. It’s a light dough with many uses.
The dough is made from butter, water, flour, and eggs.
Really, that’s it.
There is no yeast, but the mixture is smart enough to know that its high moisture content will create enough steam while it’s in the oven to make it puff UP.
Once the mix is made, you pipe it through a pastry bag or use two spoons and drop the ball shaped goodies onto a cookie sheet.
Then you bake them, let them cool, slice the top off and fill them with whatever you’d like.
Back in the day – about 35 years ago, I made over 1,000 for a wedding. We filled them with pimento cheese, tuna salad, and a cream cheese mixture.
They were a big hit!
Most of the time they are filled with sweet creams or chocolate and sometimes they are covered in chocolate.
They are one of the most versatile pastries out there.
Borrowed from the French, the word profiterole first appeared in the English language around 1604. It loosely translates “baked under the ashes,” but a literal translation or original meaning is lost to history.
The term cream puff didn’t show UP on American restaurant menus until about 1851.
The cream puff is a French as things come, but they are popular everywhere. So popular, they are the national dish of Gibraltar!
If you want to celebrate National Cream Puff Day, check out Martha’s recipe…