These cream puffs can be filled with any manner of things from whipped cream or ice cream to savory fillings such as pâté or foie gras. As foie gras traditionally is accompanied by dessert wine, whose sweet acidity complements the richness of the foie gras, I have topped these cream puffs, which make elegant hors d’oeuvres, with ruby port caramel. The port lends the caramel a stunning mahogany hue and multidimensional flavor. The homemade “faux gras” is adapted from
Plan Ahead If filling with the faux gras, make the faux gras at least 4 hours ahead.
Thirty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven and
The mixture will be smooth and shiny and it should be too soft to hold peaks when lifted with a spoon. If it is too stiff, add a little extra water. (The dough can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated overnight or up to 2 days.) Beat the mixture lightly with a wooden spoon before piping.
Dab a small dot of the dough in each corner of the inverted half sheet pan under the floured parchment and press the parchment lightly to affix it.
Scrape the cream puff mixture into the pastry bag. For the savory puffs, pipe puffs about
Dip a fingertip into water and smooth the tops of the puffs. Spritz or brush the puffs lightly with water.
Set the pan on a wire rack for 1 minute. Using your fingers or tongs, transfer the puffs to the wire rack set on the baking sheet. Return the puffs to the oven. Use a wooden spoon to prop open the oven door and let the puffs dry for 10 minutes. Close the oven door and leave the puffs in the oven for 1½ hours to dry out completely (or continue
Remove the puffs from the oven and let them cool completely on the wire rack. Store them in a gallon-size reclosable freezer bag or airtight container until ready to fill.
Use a serrated knife to cut each puff horizontally in half.
For a savory appetizer, fill each puff with a rounded teaspoon/
For a dessert version, fill each puff with
For crispy puffs, fill only the puffs that are to be served. Refrigerate and store extra faux gras in its own container.
Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven and
Cover tightly and chill for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.
Shortly before serving, scrape the caramel into a small bowl. Dip the tops of the filled puffs into the caramel and then set them, bottom side down, on serving plates. Do not cover the puffs once the caramel has been applied because the caramel will soften and liquefy.
Airtight: Room temperature, 1 day; refrigerated, 1 week; frozen, 6 months.
Copyright © 2014 by Cordon Rose, LLC. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.