(makes 3 dozen cream puffs)
PATE A CHOUX:
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp condensed
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 7-8 large eggs
- 2 cup whole milk
- ½ vanilla bean, scraped
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 eggs
- a pinch salt
For the crema pasticcera:
- Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and a little water. Set a stainless steel or glass bowl on top of the ice.
- In a saucepan set over medium heat, heat the 2 cups of whole milk with the vanilla seeds. In a separate bowl, whisk together the ½ cup sugar and cornstarch until combined.
- Whisk in eggs. When the milk comes up to a simmer, slowly pour the milk into the egg mixture making sure to continuously whisk. Pour the mixture back into the pan and whisk over medium heat until the mixture thickens and holds the lines of the whisk. Pour the crema pasticcera into the bowl set on top of the ice bath.
- Whisk until cool. Place in a piping bag and refrigerate until firm.
For the Pâte á Choux:
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Line two 12×18” sheet pans with parchment paper.
- In a large saucepan, combine the water, condensed milk, butter, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat to medium, add the flour all at once, and stir rapidly with a wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the side of the pan into a stiff ball.
- Transfer the dough to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and on medium speed begin to add the eggs one at a time (scraping down in between additions until the mixture reaches a “pipe-able” consistency but is still firm. If you need the extra egg, use it now.
- Place the dough into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip or simply cut a ½ inch opening . Pipe 1 inch mounds onto the baking sheets, leaving 1 inch between them. Spray the mounds with nonstick cooking spray. Bake the pate a choux for about 30-35 minutes, golden brown and puffed, and when you pick up the choux it feels lighter than air. Make sure to switch the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Let cool completely.
- For Cream Puffs: Using a serrated knife, cut the choux in half and set the tops aside. Pipe some of the pastry cream into the bottom of the choux and replace the tops and dust with confectioners sugar and serve with fresh raspberries.
- For Chocolate Éclairs: Dip the top of the éclairs into melted chocolate and allow to harden. Use a sharp knife to poke a hole in the bottom and fill it with pastry cream using a pastry bag. Sprinkle with gilded hazelnuts or edible glitter.