Almond-Cream Puff Ring
Total TimePrep: 40 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 1-1/4 cups cold milk
- 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1-1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 1-1/2 teaspoons milk
- Cover a baking sheet with foil; grease the foil. Trace a 12-in. circle onto foil; set aside. In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter and salt to a boil. Add flour all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add egg, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.
- Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls along the inside of the circle (mounds should be slightly touching). Bake at 400° for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Lift foil and transfer to a wire rack. Immediately cut a slit in the side of each puff to allow steam to escape; cool. Carefully cut ring in half horizontally and set top aside; remove soft dough from inside with a fork. Transfer to a serving plate.
- In a bowl, whisk the milk, pudding mix and extract for 2 minutes. Chill for 5 minutes or until thickened. Fold in whipped cream. Spread over bottom of ring; replace top. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and butter; stir until smooth. Stir in corn syrup and milk. Drizzle over ring. Refrigerate until serving.
Nutrition Facts1 piece: 255 calories, 17g fat (10g saturated fat), 111mg cholesterol, 289mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (12g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.
Aug 2, 2016
UPDATE: Made it a second time; this time I used greased parchment paper. NO STICKING! Perfect!I made this for our weekly teatime; it was delicious and looked absolutely incredible. Since it looks very elaborate, I’ll provide an extensive review for anyone a little reluctant to try this one. We served it with sugared strawberries, and it was delightful, refreshing and light; everything from the pastry, to the filling to the glaze tasted and looked perfect and authentic. The presentation really wowed everyone - our guest thought we were expecting someone momentous!When you make the dough in the saucepan: instead of cooling for 5 minutes, I placed it in a metal bowl and stuck it in the fridge until it was pretty cool so I didn’t risk scrambling the eggs (it can stay piping hot for a very long time and may have to be stirred up a little so the central parts of the dough cool too!).Make sure the foil is very, very well-greased; otherwise, maybe try greased parchment paper? My puffs stuck to the foil and it was very difficult to remove – impossible to do so without ripping a puff or two, but no harm done. Patience required.Use all of the dough; the single ring will puff up hugely, so just try to get a ring of fairly uniform blobs. They’ll be glorious cream puffs in no time. Mine took about 30-40 minutes and were golden brown and fairly hard to the touch.Initially, I used a small paring knife to make the slits and begin slicing the ring in half; I switched over to a long, dependable serrated blade so that I could make sure the puffs were getting sliced through-and-through evenly – I don’t recommend a cake leveler. This stage was fairly easy with some patience. Make sure your puffs are sliced all the way through before removing the top, which I recommended doing by gradually slipping another rack or plate of some kind between the top and bottom and shifting the top over onto the server carefully.Very gingerly rake the fork across the exposed fluffy insides of the puffs such that the firmness of the tougher skin of the puffs will signal you before you can remove too much. Don’t stress this stage, just get the fluffiest, excessive bits out. To do the same with the top, I recommend sandwiching two racks or plates against the top layer and flipping the whole thing at once, so you can get to the fluffy internal underside of the top layer. Don’t worry if the puffs separate by accident, you can still form a ring and it will still look beautiful.When you make the glaze, I recommend slowly heating the milk you’re going to use so that the glaze doesn’t toughen up; I had this problem. It got all clumpy and thick on me. I microwaved some milk and added it, whisking it up until it was very dark, very shiny and very smooth/fluid. Perfect for drizzling!I hope you try this recipe, because it really isn't as hard as it may seem and it's well worth the effort - a real showstopper!
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