If I draft a list of my favorite cakes, cream puff cake will win silver medal. As the golden one this dessert brings a lot of memories with it.
I know you may think this is kind of a profiterole, but it isn’t. I only ate this cake in Ionic Sicily, where it’s called “Bianco e Nero” which literally means “Black and White”. I thought “cream puff cake” was the most suitable name in English.
Here’s the fact (well, the memory): I ate this cake every Summer I spent in Sicily, where my grandparents live. Somehow, it brings with it a sea perfume, together with that atmosphere that says: today is a special day.
Cream puff cake is for special occasions, family meals (those kind in which there are no less than 20 people at the table) and birthdays. Not exactly an easy cake, but you can buy the puffs if it’s too hard to bake them. Or you can ask for more instructions and tips. I’m here for you.
What about you? What’s your special occasion cake?
Tell me and share with the ones who sit at your table.
CREAM PUFF CAKE RECIPE
for pate a choux:
casserole • wooden spoon • stand mixer with flat beater attachment or hand mixer • pastry bag with a round tip #8 or near • silicone spatula • baking trays covered with baking paper
for pastry cream and finishing:
whisk • casserole • knife • cling film • silicone spatula • stand mixer with wire whip attachment or hand mixer • chopping board • (sieve or strainer) • bowl • forks
for pate a choux:
- 100 g water
- 35 g butter
- 1 pinch salt
- 70 g flour
- 2 eggs
for pastry cream:
- 2 egg yolks
- 40 g sugar
- the seeds of a little piece of a vanilla bean
- 15 g flour
- 100 g milk
- 100 g whipping cream
- 30-50 g hazelnut chocolate cream
- 300 g whipping cream
- 30-60 g hazelnut chocolate cream
- dark chocolate flakes
- cocoa (optional)
pate a choux:
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Put water, butter and salt on fire up to boiling.
Drop flour all at once, stir and go on cooking until the batter starts to unstick from the edge of your casserole.
Cook some minutes more and drop on your stand mixer bowl. Let it cool down.
Using flat beater attachment, start to work the batter adding one egg. Work till absorption, add the other egg, work till absorption. You need to obtain an elastic batter.
Put into pastry bag with round tip and pipe on prepared baking trays. Choose your own size.
Cook for 10 minutes, then open your oven, let the door barely open and cook for 5-10 minutes more.
Let cool down at room temperature.
Whisk egg yolks with vanilla seeds and sugar. Add flour.
Put milk on fire until it almost boils. Drop on egg mixture, stir, and put on fire again, low flame, going on stirring with the whisk.
You know pastry cream is ready when, trying to “write” with the whisk, your word stays a couple of seconds before vanishing.
Drop pastry cream on a cold, clean bowl and cover it with cling film, that should touch the surface of the cream (so that it doesn’t stiffen). Put in the fridge and let cool down.
Add hazelnut chocolate cream.
Whip cream and combine with hazelnut chocolate cream.
Fill all your puffs with pastry cream, then cover them with whipped cream and set on a plate. Help yourself with two forks. Make a first layer, cover with chocolate flakes and cocoa, make another layer, smaller, cover with chocolate flakes and so on.
Put in the fridge at least for half a day. My advice is to prepare the cake the day before eating it.
And remember: if shared, you won’t feel guilty for this little sin.