I was very surprised about the attention these cream puffs got on Sunday. There were several people observed taking four or five. In basic principle, these consist mainly of pate choux dough and sweetened whipped cream. I will express, however, the feeling of comfort eating one of these after a heavy or rich meal. It creates great contrast.
If you are looking to make these at home, I’d suggest following Alton Brown’s recipe. The cream is a simple mix of 2 parts cream to 1 part powdered sugar with Vanilla Extract for flavor.
I will say I ran into some pitfalls that most recipes don’t describe. First, since not all ovens are created equal, get to know how hot it becomes and crank your oven up initially. Since cream puff dough relies on steam to expand and make its inner pocket, the hotter the oven initially will make the most steam internally.
Second, after five minutes turn down the oven to somewhere between 325 and 350. This will ensure even coloring. This step too will take up to twenty minutes or more and you will want to check them after twenty minutes. Baking out most of the moisture is key to maintaining the puff’s structure. Under-baked puffs will implode. Over-baked puffs will be too dry. Open one up and if the inside looks just slightly moist, then they are done.