Choux Pastry: Preheat
oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
or lightly butter or spray the pan with a non stick vegetable spray.
In a bowl sift
or whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
butter and water in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. (Make
sure that the butter melts before the water boils to reduce the amount of
from heat and, with a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture, all at once, and stir
until combined. Return saucepan to the heat and
stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of
the pan and forms a thick smooth ball (about 1-2 minutes). Transfer the
dough to your
electric mixer, or use a hand mixer, and beat on low speed to release the steam from the dough
(about a minute). Once the dough is
lukewarm start adding the lightly beaten eggs (dough will separate and then come
together) and continue to mix until you have
a smooth thick paste (dough will fall from a spoon in a thick ribbon). Spoon or pipe 12
small mounds of dough onto the
baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. With a pastry brush, gently brush the
tops of the dough with a lightly beaten egg.
Bake for 15
minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Continue
to bake for a further 30 to 35 minutes or until the shells are a nice amber color and
when split, are almost dry inside. Turn the oven off, poke a couple of
holes in each puff and, with the oven door
slightly ajar, let the shells completely cool (and dry out).
Whipped Cream: In a large mixing bowl place the whipping cream, vanilla extract,
and sugar and stir to combine. Cover and chill the bowl and whisk in
the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. When chilled, whip the
cream just until stiff peaks form.
To Assemble: Split the
pastry shells in half and fill (or pipe) with whipped cream. Place the top half of the pastry shell on the whipped cream and dust
with powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar. Leftovers Cream Puffs
can be stored in the refrigerator.
Makes 12 cream puffs.