A long overdue post, but I had to share this recipe, because it's totally worth the small effort it takes to make these.
I finally gave choux pastry a try a while back, something I'd been meaning to make for ages. I find it such a fascinating method for making pastry, and wonder who in the world developed the recipe. Choux pastry is a twice-cooked pastry. You first boil together butter and water (or some recipes call for milk), stir in flour, then beat in several eggs. You then pipe them on baking sheets and bake in a piping hot oven until they puff up. It's really not that tricky to make, but you do have to make sure you're spot on with your timing during the cooking of the batter, and very importantly, ensure that the oven temperature is accurate. Who wants soggy/deflated puffs?
I also discovered during the process of making the coconut whipped cream filling that heavy cream can, in fact, be frozen and subsequently thawed and whipped pretty nicely. Just make sure that you give the heavy cream a good stir. There is slight grainy texture once it's been whipped, but I added coconut flakes to the mix so no one could really notice.
Yup, I'm one of those people. I cannot resist peeking into the oven to see how the little guys are doing.
Coconut Choux Pastry
makes 10-12 servings (depending on how many you eat)
6 tbsp coconut oil (that's right, coconut choux!)
1 cup water
pinch of salt
1 tsp sugar
4 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Bring the coconut oil and water in a pot to gentle boil, then remove from the heat and stir in the flour and mix well. Place back on high heat and mix for 1 to 2 minutes, until a film starts to form on the bottom of the pot.
Remove from the heat, let cool for 30 seconds, then stir in eggs, one at a time. Mix very well after each addition (you want to incorporate some air to help the pastry to puff up).
One all the eggs are added and well beaten, pipe or spoon the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Each mound of dough was about 2-3 tsp in size, so that I had bite-sized puffs.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until browned and doubled in size. Turn off the oven, and use a knife to make a small slit in the side of each puff. This release the steam and prevents the puffs from deflating.
Let the puffs slowly cool in the oven for 10 minutes, leaving the door open.
Remove from the oven, and let cool on a rack completely before filling.
Coconut Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp shredded coconut
Whip the cream and sugar until stiff peaks form, then stir in the coconut. This can be prepared a couple of hours ahead of time and stored in the fridge until needed.
chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark, whichever you prefer)
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or the stovetop, then slowly add, a teaspoon at a time, milk, until the mixture become the desired consistency. I keep it on a relatively thing side so that I can use a spoon and drizzle the chocolate over the puffs.
To assemble, split the puffs and spoon in the coconut whipped cream (or use a piping bag). Drizzle with the warm chocolate glaze. They can be prepared an hour or two before serving, but will get soggy as time passes by.