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Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Day of Trial and Error - Pastry Puffs Redux

Before Christmas I wrote a blog post about making pastry puffs - or cream puffs.  I never got around to filling and topping them despite my best intentions, so they remained in my freezer...until today.  I wanted a treat of some kind and the teen had asked for a cherry-filled puff, so I decided to do that today.  I pulled the puffs (the larger one) out and let them come to room temp and then I re-toasted them at 350 degrees for about 4 minutes.  Perfect.

I put a can of cherry pie filling through some food processor action, and my sampling determined it was a delicious tasting filling.  I made some chocolate ganache for a topping.  I poked a hole in the bottom of each puff...and I was ready to fill.  I put all of the cherry filling into a piping bag with a wide-mouthed tip.  First mistake.  Should have used a smaller tip.  The first one, I filled too rapidly and it nearly exploded.  I laughed at myself and carried on.  Working a bit more carefully, I filled all of the puffs and there was just enough to do them all.

Problem #2 - it was really too thin after processing.  It needed to be more gelatinous...more like just the jelly part of the pie filling.  When I processed the cherries, it added too much juice to the jellied part.  Tasted good, but I knew it was going to be a problem.

Once they were all filled, I carefully dipped each puff upside down into the ganache.  Okay, now that's pretty.  Nice and shiny like you expect a good ganache to be.  No problem there!

Ganache coated, cherry filled puffs
The next step, was to try one, of course!  I am so glad I was standing at the kitchen counter because red cherry jelly squirted out everywhere when I bit into the pretty puff :-)  Lesson learned!  Maybe we'll eat these with a fork!  Another lesson - should have used this filling for the petite puffs, which you could just pop in your mouth whole...and use the jar of lemon curd for the medium puffs...I bet it would have worked much better...OR a whipped cream filling...anything more firm than cherry pie filling.  Oh well, you live and learn. 

The big question...would the teen think they were good?  He's picky, so you never know.  I offered a plate and a fork.  He took a bite...he ate one.  Then he said he didn't like the cherry and the chocolate flavors together.  <huge sigh>  John and I have a lot of cherry chocolate puffs to eat!  Hope he likes them :-)

Cherry filling - not thick enough for a puff!

I'll share the good, the bad, and the ugly with you...because the cooking arts are not a perfect science.  I'd like to see Food Network do a chef bloopers show.  You KNOW it happens...but we never get to see it.  My kitchen activities are rife with blooper examples.  I just laugh at myself and move on...most of the time!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!StumbleUpon

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