I tried my hand at Cream Puffs today and, well, failed. Seemingly on a mission to make every recipe in Ladies, A Plate, I thought it would be a fun thing to make for a 1st birthday: round and perfectly formed to celebrate one’s first trip around the sun.
Well, I don’t think it was entirely the fault of the recipe. My first mistake was not measuring the hot water for the choux pastry in milliliters. I just poured in half a cup. When I went to beat in the flour, I found that it balled straight away, rather than after I had returned it to the heat, so this mixture never cooked. Perhaps that is something important, that the butter, flour and water gets hot before you beat in the eggs. I certainly beat those eggs in well – it was glossy, but rather runny. It sat fairly limp and flat on the baking tray.
But the instructions to cover with a roasting dish to keep in the steam for 30 minutes were not for this mixture or, perhaps, this oven. They burned to a crisp. They didn’t even puff! Look!
With the help of Nicole’s ‘bible’, The Joy of Cooking, we tried a few other methods of baking this dud mixture. I sprinkled water around the blobs, used a heavier baking tray and loosely covered it with the roasting dish. Fail again: burned, but at least puffed and hollow inside! Then I just sprinkled water about, left the roasting dish out of the equation, and hey presto! Still entirely the wrong shape, but hollow and not burned.
Of course, my camera battery ran out of juice and these ones were eaten before I could photograph them. Louis thought they tasted like Yorkshire puds. Next time (there will be a next time) I might find someone who has made them before to show me the ropes.
And I had hoped my accidental over-salting of my porridge this morning would be the last of my culinary mishaps today… but at least we share with all three of our readers our ups and downs…