This is more than just your usual cream puff. Sure, this is a recipe for choux pastry. But it’s also filled with a delicious orange-zested Chantilly cream. And a little something more…can you guess what it is? That’s right bestie. Chocolate. The ganache kind.
Valentine’s Day is coming up bestie! I know, I know…it’s a big ol’ commercial hoax designed to guilt couples into spending money on greetings cards they don’t need in order to express love they already share yada yada yada…I totally get it. It’s cliché. And it’s unnecessary. But here’s the thing…it can be nice. And it’s just another day to make your loved one feel special. And that’s always a good thing.
That said, it IS super commercialised, and CRAZY expensive. Like, cwhay-zhee expensive. And that can deter people from doing that something special. But don’t you worry bestie. I got you.
This recipe for Cream Puff Swans (or really any shape you feel like making) is here to solve all your Valentine’s Day problems. Want to get your loved one something personal? Check. Want it to be pretty? Check. Want it to be French? Check. Want to be able to eat it? Double-check!
Want to give it a French name? Call it Pierre.
(And you know what else? It’s kinda really easy. And it doesn’t even need many ingredients.)
Also, here’s the script I want you to use when you serve these cream puff swans to your valentine:
“These beautiful choux pastries (make sure to say choux pastry, it sounds fancier!) are filled with a decadent chocolate ganache, a sweet Chantilly cream, delicately flavoured with orange zest, and topped with icing sugar…now, what did you get me?”
If you liked this recipe, be sure to check out my Lemon & Poppy Seed Madeleines – they’re also French! And delicious! And you can name them Pierre too.
As always, please be sure to comment below, share the recipe with all your friends, and follow me (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter) for updates, sneak peeks, and behind-the-scenes stuff as well!
- 8 tbsp Butter, unsalted
- 1 cup Water, cold
- ¾ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 4 Large Eggs
- 1 Egg Yolk (mixed with 1 tbsp Water), for egg wash
- Icing Sugar, for dusting
- 1 cup Whipping Cream
- 1 tbsp Icing Sugar
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 4 tbsp Orange Zest (about one large orange)
- 3oz Dark Chocolate
- ¼ cup Whipping Cream, boiling
- 1 tbsp Honey
- Set oven to 425 degrees C.
- Mix butter, water, salt, and sugar in a pan over heat, and bring to a boil.
- Add flour, remove from heat and mix until the flour is incorporated (you’re looking for a texture similar to mashed potatoes).
- Return to a medium heat and mix until the 'dough ("panade") is dry – the dough will be quite smooth, pull off the side of the pan, and start coating the pan with a sort of film.
- Switch the panade into a cold bowl, mix thoroughly to cool, and thoroughly beat in eggs one at a time until the batter is blended, smooth and pipe-able. Depending on how dry your panade was in the previous step (and possibly the humidity of your kitchen!), the fourth egg may not be required.
- Pipe your desired shape on to parchment, and brush lightly with the egg wash.
- Note: If you’d like the swan shape, you’ll need to pipe bodies and necks/heads on to separate trays as necks require half the baking time. Cut the top off the bodies and slice the cut portion in half to use as wings. Pipe in the ganache, and then the whipped cream on top.
- If you’re uncomfortable with the shapes needed to make swans, simply pipe out small, fat circles (once they’re baked, you can fill them by cutting off the top and sandwiching the fillings, or by piping the fillings in using a piping nozzle).
- Bake for approximately 20-minutes without opening the oven door, or until the tops have firmed. Turn off the heat, leave the oven door slightly ajar, and let the pastry cool in the oven for a further 10 minutes before removing.
- Fill with chocolate ganache, and Chantilly cream. And dust with icing sugar. Ideally, refrigerate the cream puffs for an hour before serving.
- Whip the cream, icing sugar, and vanilla extract until the desired consistency is reached. (I personally like something just more than a soft peak, but not completely stiff.) Fold in orange zest.
- Melt the chocolate in the boiling cream, and mix in the honey until all ingredients are completely incorporated and put in the fridge to cool.