It has been a while since I have indulged in a cream puff. Definitely way too long as I really can’t remember when the last time was. How sad is that?
Since it seems that I am baking and making things all the time, how could I forget about cream puffs? The lightness of the dough and the crunch of the outer shell along with the filling is enough to make anyone forget about the problems of the day. It really has it all. You never feel bad about having a cream puff. They are so light and airy that you really can’t count any calories. That is my philosophy. Have you ever seen a sour face after someone has eaten one? Nope. Me neither. (okay once, but they were soggy and for the record I didn’t bake them).
They are just so delightful to make and eat. Plus if you are feeling flirty and French you can call them profiterole or choux à la crème. What ever name you decide to call them, they are delicious!
Just to warn you however ,this recipe does break with tradition. If you are a highly traditional person and get easily offended by some not so conventional baking, it is best to click the back button. You have been warned. The pastry portion is pretty traditional and follows all the basic setups. The filling though does break the rules. I know, I am like that sometimes.
Hey if you can’t be creative and fun with your food, then are you really enjoying it?
Rules are sometimes made to be broken as thinking Outside the box is for the enjoyment of everyone. So back to the filling. It is lime buttercream. Yes. Buttercream. Not whipped cream, not custard or pastry cream. Full on buttercream. The decision to go with an unconventional filling was one of a) practicality for transport, b) buttercream is fantastic, c) the lime flavour really comes through. The texture of the filling really compliments the soft interior of the puff.
Not only is their lime in the filling, but there is also a touch in the actual pastry. The freshness of the puff and the lime together make for a refreshing dessert or mid afternoon treat.
Lime is definitely the highlight flavour and it is so fitting as citrus fruits are one of my all time personal favourites. These were gratefully enjoyed as we are currently in a warm weather break from the typical frigid winter. Visions of spring and summer are slowly coming into site as the days are getting longer. Not that far away are the sunny days lazy on the deck when I will make these again to celebrate spring.
If you take anything away from this, please let it be that cream puffs are great no matter which way you like to make them.
Lime Buttercream Puffs
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1tsp salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup flour
- Zest from 1 lime
- 6 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 3 limes, zested and juiced
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 cups icing sugar
- 1-2 tsp whole milk
Cream Puff Pastry
Lime Buttercream Filling
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large saucepan bring milk, butter, sugar, salt and 1/2 cup water to a boil over medium heat while stirring occasionally. Add in all the flour and the lime zest. Lower the heat until keep stirring until it forms into a dough and starts to pull away from the sides of the saucepan. Remove from heat then transfer into a a large bowl.
- Add 1 egg at a time until you have incorporated a total of 5 of the 6 eggs. After each new egg is added, stir vigorously until fully mixed in and the dough returns back to it's original form.
- Prepare a pastry bag with a large tip to pipe the dough into a round shape that is approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Leave about 2 inches of spacing between the rounds. Whisk the remaining egg with a dash of water and gently brush the tops of the piped rounds.
- Place the baking sheets in the oven and turn the temperature off. Leave them sitting for approximately 10 minutes. Turn the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets and bake for an additional 10 minutes until golden brown. Turn off the oven. Remove the trays from the oven and quickly pop a few holes in the bottom of each puff with a wooden skewer to release some of the hot air trapped inside. Return the puff to the baking sheets and place back in the oven with the door slightly ajar to completely cool.
- In a stand mixer beat together the butter, lime zest, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy. Add in a third of the icing sugar slowly and mix until combined. Then mix in the juice of 1 lime. Alternate between the two until they have all been added. Blend until the icing is smooth. Add in the milk if wanting to adjust the consistency of the icing.
- Fill a piping bag with a large tip and use that to fill the interior of the horizontally cut puffs. Place the lid of the puff on the top of the icing.
For the Cream Puff Pastry
For the Lime Buttercream Filling
Store puffs in an airtight container in a cool, dry location.