Cream Puffs with Rose-Cardamom Pastry Cream

updated Feb 11, 2021
Valentine's Day
Cream Puffs with Rose-Cardamom Pastry Cream

One of the coziest flavor combinations is rose and cardamom. Both flavors are extremely aromatic and delicate, and make for a light yet rich dessert when paired with cream puffs.

Makes8 cream puffs

Prep15 minutes

Cook45 minutes

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Credit: Brittany Conerly
Credit: Kitchn

Welcome to the second recipe of Weekend Baking Adventure. For each week in February, we’re publishing a new recipe each Monday. Then, that Wednesday, our guest baker will meet you on Instagram Live at 12 p.m. EST to demo the recipe. For Week 2, we’re very excited about these Cream Puffs with Rose-Cardamom Pastry Cream from Hetal Vasavada.

For me, rose and cardamom is one of the coziest flavor combinations. Both of the flavors are extremely aromatic and delicate, and really come through in this delicious pastry cream. I pair the pastry cream with light, tender cream puffs to create this light yet rich dessert. The cream puffs are made with pâte à choux dough, which is the same dough that’s used for making profiteroles (aka tiny cream puffs), eclairs, gougères, french crullers, and more. Choux pastry is all about ratios: You want to use two parts eggs and water to one part butter and flour by weight.

To make this dessert extra special, I pulverize freeze-dried strawberries with powdered sugar in a coffee or spice grinder to make a pretty pink sugar for dusting over the cream puffs. Feel free to switch up the strawberries with freeze-dried raspberries, mango, or blueberries.  — Hetal Vasavada

Tester’s Note

I always forget about the magic of pâte à choux, how quickly the dough comes together and then bursts into light, tender puffs in the oven. While these puffs are part of our Weekend Baking Adventure, they come together quickly enough for a weeknight treat, too. To cut down on dishes, use the same pot and bowl for both the dough and the pastry cream (just wash them out in between). — Meghan Splawn, Food Editor, Skills

Cream Puffs with Rose-Cardamom Pastry Cream

One of the coziest flavor combinations is rose and cardamom. Both flavors are extremely aromatic and delicate, and make for a light yet rich dessert when paired with cream puffs.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes

Makes 8 cream puffs

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the choux pastry:

  • 1/4 cup

    water

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    granulated sugar

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons

    all-purpose flour

  • 2

    large eggs, divided

For the pastry cream:

  • 2

    large egg yolks

  • 1/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    cornstarch

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • 1 cup

    whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground cardamom

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    rose water

For the pink powdered sugar:

  • 2 tablespoons

    freeze-dried strawberries

  • 3 tablespoons

    powdered sugar

Instructions

Make the choux puffs:

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, bring 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, and 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar to a boil. Add 3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour and stir continuously with a stiff spatula or wooden spoon until there is a thin film of dough on the bottom of the saucepan, about 2 minutes.

  3. Transfer the dough into a large bowl. Stir vigorously for 1 minute to cool. Add 1 large egg and mix well. It might look like it's curdled, but keep mixing, it'll eventually come together into a smooth batter. The batter should fall off your spatula in a V-shape.

  4. Spoon the dough into a piping bag or ziptop bag with a bottom corner cut off. Pipe 8 (2-inch) circles onto the baking sheet. Use a damp finger to gently press down on and smooth out any peaks or lumps.

  5. Beat the remaining egg for an egg wash. Brush each choux pastry with the egg wash. Using a spray bottle, mist the baking sheet with water. Alternatively, you can also dip your fingers in water and flick droplets onto the baking sheet if you don't have a spray bottle.

  6. Bake for 12 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (do not open the oven door). Bake until the choux pastry is golden brown, about 20 minutes more. Do not open the oven door while they bake, you want the heat to dry out the centers.

  7. Remove the choux puffs from the oven. Poke a hole into the side of each puff with a paring knife and let cool completely, at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the pastry cream and pink powdered sugar.

Make the pastry cream:

  1. Place 2 large egg yolks, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, and a pinch of kosher salt in a medium bowl. Whisk until the mixture is pale yellow/white and thick, about 5 minutes. It'll be a bit tough in the beginning but will loosen up as you mix.

  2. Heat 1 cup whole milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, and 3/4 teaspoon rose water in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the milk is hot to the touch but not simmering.

  3. Take 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture and whisk it into the egg yolk mixture. Once it is well combined, add the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk (reserve the bowl). Cook over medium-high heat, whisking continuously, until the pastry cream thickens and just starts to bubble. Remove from the heat.

  4. Set a fine-mesh strainer over the reserved bowl. Pour the pastry cream through the strainer and discard the contents of the strainer (make sure to scrape the underside of the strainer). Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.

Make the pink powdered sugar:

  1. Place 2 tablespoons freeze-dried strawberries and 3 tablespoons powdered sugar in a coffee grinder, spice grinder, or small blender, and blend until fine.

Fill the choux puffs:

  1. When ready to serve, whisk the pastry cream to loosen and smooth it out. If you’d like to pipe in the filling, transfer it into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip or a small ziptop bag with a bottom corner snipped off.

  2. Poke a hole into the bottom of each cooled choux puff with a paring knife. Pipe the pastry cream into each puff through the hole in the bottom until full. Wipe off any excess pastry cream. Alternatively, cut the top off each choux pastry and fill the bottom halves with pastry cream with a spoon, then place the other half on top. Dust the cream puffs with the pink powdered sugar.

Recipe Notes

Make-ahead: You can freeze the baked choux puffs for up to 3 months in an airtight container.

Credit: Kitchn