Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Cream Puff Wreath

I find baking so soothing.  With the tragedy today I needed to keep myself occupied so I didn't rush to pick the kids up just to hug them.  I decided to run a practice of my cream puff wreath, since last time I tried it, it didn't rise properly, likely because of the difference in altitude.  After some modifications, I think it turned out quite lovely.  Everyone really enjoyed it.

Christmas Cream Puff Wreath (I made two of these, separately)

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter (I typed this wrong previously, many apologies!)
1 cup flour
eggs (whisked in a bowl)

I preheated the oven to 425 degrees and used my round stoneware baking sheet sprayed with coking spray.  It provided the outline for my wreath.

In a saucepan I heated the water and butter at medium.  Once the water reached a boil and melted the butter I removed it from the heat and added all of the flour at once.  Using my wooden spoon I made sure it all mixed in.  I let it cool for a few minutes and then added half of the whisked egg mixture.  Once it was mixed thoroughly, I added the remainder.  I put the full mixture in a plastic Ziploc bag with the corner cut out to use as a pastry bag.  I squeezed two rings of the pastry flat for the bottom part of the cream puff and for the top section, I squeezed one ring of dough on the top center of the other two rings.  I baked the rings for 20 minutes at 425, then reduced the heat to 375 and let it cook for another 25 minutes after using my bacon fork to poke small holes around the edges.  I moved the wreaths to a wire rack to cool while I made the filling.

For Christmas I plan to make the filling with:

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp almond extract

Today I cheated and used a package of chocolate instant pudding with 1 1/2 cups of milk instead of two, then once it was ready, I folded in a cup and a half of whipped cream. 

When the wreath was nice and cooled down, I put the bottom layer face down and put the filling on top.  I added the top wreath piece and drizzled some chocolate melted with a little butter and powdered sugar over the top.  It was delicious.

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