Best-ever cream puffs

How good does that custard look?

How long has it been since you had a real cream puff?

These tasty sweets are a real treat at any time, and there’s just something so much better when they’re fresh, and homemade. Give these ones a try for something that will really impress your visitors

Ingredients

Pastry:

1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain flour
4 large eggs

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Custard:

2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cornflour
1 egg
3 egg yolks
450ml heavy whipping cream

Method

For the pastry:

1. Preheat oven to 200C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

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2. Bring water and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan then remove from the heat. Add flour and salt and combine using a fork. Add one egg at a time, mixing continuously. Wait until one egg is fully mixed before adding the next.

3.Dollop 2 teaspoons worth of dough for each puff on your prepared baking tray, about 5cm apart. Use your fingers to “pinch” the dough upwards on all sides to give each puff height. If any swirls form on top, gently press them down or they will burn.

4. Bake for 15 minutes at 200C, then turn heat down to 175C and bake for 20-25 more minutes or until golden. Place a clean tea towel over the top and let them cool.

For the filling:

5. Bring milk, 1/4 cup of sugar, butter, salt and vanilla extract to a gentle boil in a medium saucepan then remove from heat.

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6. Whisk together the cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the egg and egg yolks to the cornflour and mix into a smooth paste. Ladle in approximately a cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking. After mixing in the hot milk and the mixture is roughly room temperature, pour all of the egg mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the hot milk.

7. Return to the stove and bring to a boil, whisking continuously for 2-3 minutes. The custard will thicken right away, but continue to cook for 2-3 minutes to ensure the cornflour is properly cooked. Move to a bowl, cover surface with cling wrap and place in fridge or freezer for 15 minutes to cool.

8. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff, then fold with the cooled custard. Cut the “lids” off the pastries, spoon the filling inside, and replace lid. If you like, you can sprinkle with icing sugar. Serve immediately.