Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"dans le ciel amoureux, un joli petit nuage bleu danse dans le vent heureux"

Several years ago, I saw a dreamy little sleep pillow displaying the beautifully embroidered phrase: "dans le ciel amoureuxun joli petit nuage bleu danse dans le vent heureux," ("in the loving sky, a lovely little blue cloud sleeps in the happy wind,"). I have never forgotten this wonderfully comforting little quote and it seemed most appropriate to share on a quiet Tuesday morning.

Choux à la Crème(recipe courtesy of www.yummybaguette.com)

For the Cream:
40 cl milk
3 egg yolks
90 g sugar
50 g flour
1 vanilla bean
(optional 100g dark chocolate)

For the Puffs:
75 g flour
60 g butter
2 eggs
10 cl water
5 cl milk
1 tsp sugar
1 pinch salt

To make the cream: put the milk, the split vanilla bean (and the grated chocolate if desired) in a pot and bring to a boil. During that time, put the egg yolks and the sugar in a bowl, and whip for about 5 minutes (until smooth and almost white in color). Add the flour, and mix again until smooth. Slowly pour the boiling-hot milk while stirring until smooth. Put the mix back in the pot, put the pot on medium heat, and stir constantly until the cream boils. At first boil, take the cream out of the heat and let it cool.

To make the puffs: Put water, milk and butter (cut in pieces) in a pot. Add the sugar and the salt, and bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Take out of the heat and slowly add the flour, while stirring, until the dough is smooth. Put the pot back on the heat and stir constantly for about one minute, then take out of the heat. Add the eggs one by one, stirring constantly until the dough is smooth. Pre-heat the oven at 220 C. Put the dough in a pastry pocket, and make 3 cm-wide puffs, separated 4 cm from each other, on a pastry sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the puffs are brown and puffed.

To stuff the puffs: when the puffs and the cream have cooled, put the cream in a pastry pocket and fill the puffs with the cream. Yields 4 servings.

(I slightly altered pastry by adding some nutmeg, to taste. And of course, mine are generously dusted with confectioner's sugar.)
Until we meet for coffee,

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