For the Cream Puffs
- 1/ 2 cup whole milk
- 1/ 2 cup unsalted butter, cubed, preferably European Style Butter
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5-6 large eggs
For the Vanilla Bean Crème Diplomat
- 2 cups milk, preferably whole milk
- 1/ 4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/ 4 cup cornstarch
- 1/ 3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 2 cups heavy cream
For the Chocolate Glaze
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1/ 2 cup heavy cream
To Make the Cream Puffs
Preheat oven to 450°F. Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper. Also prepare a pastry bag by adding a plain ½” tip.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add milk, 1/2 cup water, butter, 1 tablespoon sugar, and salt, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add flour in the pot, all at once, and begin to stir very quickly. A ball of dough should form relatively quickly. Continue cooking, stirring vigorously, until a dry film begins to form on the bottom and sides of the saucepan. Remove from heat.
Place dough into a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat for about 30 seconds to a minute, to cool the dough down. Add one egg and beat until completely incorporated (the dough should look dry again). Continue adding eggs one at a time, ensuring that each is completely incorporated before adding the next, scraping at the sides of the bowl occasionally. After the 4th egg, remove paddle from mechanism and place deep into the batter, if the batter forms a nice “V” shape from the paddle, it is ready. If the batter still looks thick and does not form a nice “V” then add another egg. Dough should be thick and sticky, but also shiny and smooth.
Add dough to the piping bag, and pipe directly onto parchment lined baking sheets. Pipe about nine 2” rounds per baking sheet (about 18 total). If your piped rounds have peaks, dip your finger into water and press down to flatten the peaks.
(Optional) For cream puffs that are more “perfect” in shape, freeze the cream puffs for 1 hour.
Add one egg and 1-2 teaspoons water to a bowl and whisk together to form an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush over the piped rounds. Place into the 450°F oven, and immediately turn the oven off. After 10 minutes, turn the oven onto 350°F, and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Rotate pans and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cream puffs are golden brown and puffed. To ensure the cream puffs are finished, remove one of the oven and check if it deflates within 45 seconds – if it deflates they are not finished.
Remove the pans from the oven, turn the oven off, and quickly place the cream puffs onto cooling racks, then place the cooling racks back onto the baking sheets. Place back into the oven, and crack the oven open. Allow cream puffs to cool for 30-45 minutes in the cracked oven. Then remove from oven, and using a small knife, poke a hole into the bottom of each cream puff. Then allow to cool completely before filling.
To Make the Vanilla Bean Crème Diplomat
In a large sized bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and whole egg. Add in the 1/3 cup sugar and the cornstarch, and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring milk and ¼ cup sugar to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it begins to boil, remove it from the heat, and very slowly drizzle the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, stirring vigorously while drizzling. Once all of the hot milk mixture has been added, pour the entire mixture back into the sauce pan and place back onto medium-low heat.
Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened and resembles the thickness of pudding. Add in the butter and vanilla, and place into a heatproof bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the custard, so a skin does not form, and place into the fridge to cool completely.
In a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, add heavy cream. On medium-high speed, beat the cream until stiff peaks have formed. Add the whipped cream to the cooled custard, and fold together using a spatula, until completely incorporated.
Using a serrate knife, cut off the top of each cream puff. Using a spoon or a piping bag, fill each cream puff with the crème diplomat. Then place the top back on. Glaze each top with the chocolate glaze, then allow the glaze to set for 10-15 minutes before eating.
To Make the Chocolate Glaze
Add confectioners sugar and oil to a medium sized bowl and whisk together to combine. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, add heavy cream and cocoa. Whisk to combine and bring to a boil.
Once the chocolate cream mixture has boiled, pour into the confectioners sugar mixture and mix well to combine, ensuring no lumps remain. Allow to cool before glazing the tops of the cream puffs.