Coconut Cream Puffs

These Coconut Cream Puffs are a decadent treat.

Coconut Cream Puffs
Yield: 24 cream puffs • Preparation: 35 minutes • Bake: 20 minutes • Cool: 30 minutes
  • ¾ cup water
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, cut in pieces
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 recipe Vanilla-Coconut Pastry Cream (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: confectioners’ sugar and toasted coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat until butter melts. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cook, and stir until dough pulls away from sides of pan, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and let stand for 2 minutes, stirring a few times to cool dough.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, stirring constantly and vigorously with a wooden spoon until each egg is well incorporated. (Dough should be smooth and shiny.) Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (Ateco #809). Pipe dough onto prepared baking sheets in 1½-inch mounds 2 inches apart. Using a damp finger, pat down dough peaks.
  5. Bake until golden brown, approximately 20 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a wire cooling rack. Using a skewer or the tip of a pointed knife, poke a small hole in side of each cream puff to allow steam to escape. Let cool completely.
  6. Using the tip of a paring knife, cut a small slit in the side of each cream puff.
  7. Place Vanilla-Coconut Pastry Cream in a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe custard into cream puffs to fill, making sure not to overfill.
  8. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar and toasted coconut before serving, if desired.
Make-ahead tip: Cream puff shells can be made a week in advance and frozen in a resealable plastic bag. Let thaw completely before filling and garnishing. Fill and garnish just before serving.

Vanilla-Coconut Pastry Cream
Yield: 2 cups • Preparation: 20 minutes • Cook: 2 to 3 minutes • Refrigerate: 4 to 6 hours
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¹⁄8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract
  • ½ cup finely chopped toasted sweetened flaked coconut*
  1. In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar, whisking well. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until very hot but not boiling. Add hot milk, ¼ cup at a time, to egg mixture to temper, whisking constantly. Add cornstarch and salt, whisking until incorporated. Strain mixture though a fine-mesh sieve. Return mixture to saucepan, and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture thickens.
  3. Remove from heat, and add butter and extracts, stirring until incorporated. Transfer custard to a heatproof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, letting plastic wrap touch surface of custard.
  4. Refrigerate custard until very cold, 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
  5. Add toasted coconut to cold custard, stirring well.
*To achieve a finely chopped texture, pulse coconut in a food processor before toasting. Coconut should be small enough to pass through a large decorating tip.
From TeaTime January/February 2015

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