A sublime dessert: Cream puffs
It's hard to resist the voluptuousness of this treat
When making raspberry cream puffs, the dough requires just four main ingredients: water, butter, flour and eggs -- and a little muscle. (Tom Wallace/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon each: salt, sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour, preferably bread flour, but all-purpose will work
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1 Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place a baking or pizza stone on the lowest rack, if you have one. Warm eggs in a bowl of hot tap water. Combine butter, water, salt and sugar in a saucepan; heat to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Add flour, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon to quickly form a ball.
Return the pan to medium heat; cook, stirring and pressing the dough against the side of the pan and gathering it up into a ball, 1-2 minutes. Place dough in a mixing bowl.
2 Lightly beat 3 of the warmed eggs in a bowl. Separate the fourth egg, placing the white in a small dish; beat lightly. (Save or discard the yolk.) Gradually mix the beaten eggs into the dough in three increments with a mixer, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding more. Increase speed to medium; beat until eggs are thoroughly incorporated.
Test the dough by placing a spoonful on a plate. It should be supple enough to hold its shape, but not pasty. If it's still stiff, beat in the egg white. Place large spoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. Lightly spray each puff once with water.
3 Place baking sheet directly on pizza stone or on bottom rack. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake 25 minutes. Do not open the oven door, or the puffs may collapse. Remove pan from oven; pierce each puff with a small knife to allow steam to escape. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; bake 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
4 For filling, whip cream with 1 tablespoon of the confectioners' sugar until it holds soft peaks. Reserve a few whole raspberries for garnish; lightly crush the rest with a fork. Fold into the cream. Cut puffs in half horizontally with a serrated knife; fill bottom half with cream. Replace top. Sift remaining confectioners' sugar over; garnish with remaining raspberries.
Per puff: 261 calories, 67% of calories from fat, 20 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 162 mg cholesterol, 16 g carbohydrates, 6 g protein, 193 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.