Monday, August 24, 2015

Honey-Thyme Profiteroles

My mom used to make cream puffs all the time when I was little (I think it was a 70’s thing). She would fill them with vanilla or chocolate pudding and top with chocolate ganache. Many years after moving away from home, I asked her about them and her response was “oh they are SO easy to make!” As a kid, I guess I always thought they looked fancy, so they must be hard to make. But Mom (as always) was right - they are easy to make, good for making ahead, and they really do look fancy!

I wanted to make a filling lighter than pudding, but not just plain whipped cream. I settled on a combination of cream cheese, honey crème, and whipped cream. The filling is light, has a great honey flavor, a hint of cream cheese flavor and is not overly sweet, but completely delicious!

Honey-Thyme Profiteroles
by Jennifer Scantlin
Adapted from Alton Brown's Sweet or Savory Pate a Choux and Chef in Training's Homemade Cream Puffs

1 cup water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup of eggs (4 whole eggs plus egg whites to fill to one cup, if needed)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Pinch of cream of tartar
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 Tablespoons Honey Ridge Farms Clover Honey Crème, plus additional for drizzling on top
Fresh thyme leaves

Heat oven to 400°F.

To make the shells, combine water, butter, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add flour, all at once. Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until flour is completely incorporated and forms a ball of dough. Remove from heat and let cool in pan 5 minutes. Still off the heat, stir in eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next.

Place golf-ball sized portions of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat (you should have about 12 balls of dough). You can use a small ice cream scoop for this, or a piping bag if you have one. Smooth out the tops of dough using a little water and your finger or a spoon.

Bake at 400°F for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and use a paring knife to cut a small slit into the side of each shell to let the steam escape. Let cool completely. These can be made a day ahead and kept in an airtight container, or made up to a month ahead and frozen. Re-crisp in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes and let cool completely before filling.

While the shells are cooking and cooling, pour heavy cream into a cold stainless steel bowl and add the cream of tartar. Using an electric mixer, whip cream until stiff peaks form and refrigerate. Using same beaters, whip cream cheese in a separate bowl for a few minutes until fluffy. Add honey crème and whip for a few more minutes, making sure all honey crème is incorporated.

When you are ready to assemble the profiteroles, fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese/honey mixture. Again, you can use a piping bag or just a spoon to fill the shells. Cut the shells in half horizontally, and pipe or spoon the filling into the bottom half of the shells. Sprinkle some thyme leaves onto the filling and place the top of the shell onto the filling.

When ready to serve, drizzle the tops of the profiteroles with more honey crème. Enjoy!

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