These Homemade Heart Shaped Cream Puffs are filled with a luscious custard and topped with a rich and buttery chocolate frosting and would make anyone fall in love!
What’s the difference between an eclair and cream puff?
You may be wondering, what is the difference between a chocolate eclair and a cream puff? The primary difference is the shape. A chocolate eclair is generally long and narrow and a cream puff is typically a circle (or in this case, a heart!).
The only thing sweeter than these heart-shaped cream puffs is the love that is put into them when they’re made. My life experiences confirm that the way to anyone’s heart is through sweets.
With a little practice, you can learn how to make pâte à choux – that’s the fancy French word for pastry dough that is used to make cream puffs and eclairs. You don’t need any fancy ingredients to make these awesome treats – just a few basic ingredients that you probably have all of the time.
Let’s take a quick look at how to make cream puffs.
How To Make Cream Puffs
For the basic pastry shell, you need the following items:
- Bread Flour
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Combine 1 cup water and 1/2 cup butter in a heavy saucepan and then bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and add 1 cup of bread flour and stir vigorously until the mixture is combined.
Once the mixture forms a smooth ball, remove the saucepan from heat and then cool slightly. It will have the appearance of thick mashed potatoes.
Next, add eggs one at a time to the thick mixture and beat after each addition. You need to beat until the batter is smooth.
Spoon the batter into a pastry bag that has been fitted with an 8B tip and pipe hearts onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake the hearts in the preheated ove for 40 minutes or until they become a nice golden color. Let the pastry shells cool.
Once the shells have cooled, with your fingers carefully scoop out inside leaving the shell in tact. It will be a dough like consistency and you can discard it.
How To Make Custard
Don’t confuse this homemade custard with pudding. It’s rich and velvety and makes the perfect filling for cream puffs. Below are the basic ingredients for vanilla custard:
- Egg yolks
- Corn starch
Combine sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy saucepan and stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is thickened and bubbly.
In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks until they are thick and lemon-colored. Gradually stir about 1/4 of the hot mixture into yolks then add the egg mixture into the remaining custard mixture while stirring constantly. Continue to cook for two minutes or until the mixture is thickened.
Once the custard has cooled, a pastry bag with custard and pipe it into the hollowed puffs. Replace the top of the puff to cover the custard.
Once your puffs are filled, make your chocolate topping.
How To Make Chocolate Topping For Cream Puffs
For the pièce de résistance – another fancy French term for the most important feature – the cream puffs are topped with a layer of creamy chocolate. For this final layer, you need:
- Ghiradelli Unsweetened Chocolate
- Powdered Sugar
To make the chocolate topping, melt butter and unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat. Be sure to stir constantly until it is completely melted to prevent it from burning.
Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave in 30-second increments until melted.
Remove the chocolate from the heat and add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Stir until it is well combined.
Fill a pastry bag with the chocolate. Cover the puffs by making a heart-shaped outline on top and filling it in.
Store any leftover cream puffs in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup bread flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 tbsp butter
- 3 squares Ghiradelli unsweetened baking chocolate
- 2-3 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar; sifted
For the Cream Puffs
- Combine water and butter in a heavy sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add flour, stirring virgorously until mixture is combined and forms a smooth ball. Remove from heat and cool slightly.1 cup water, 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup bread flour, 4 eggs
- Add eggs one at a time and beat after each addition. Beat until batter is smooth.
- With a pastry bag and tip 8B, pipe hearts onto an ungreased baking sheet covered with a sheet of parchment paper.
- Bake hearts at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden. Allow the cream puffs to cool completely.
- Combine sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy saucepan and stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is thickened and bubbly.1 cup sugar, 3 tbsp all purpose flour, 3 tbsp cornstarch, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 cups milk, 3 egg yolks, 1 tbsp butter, 1 tsp vanilla
- In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks until they are thick and lemon-colored.
- Gradually stir about 1/4 of the hot mixture into yolks then add the egg mixture into the remaining custard mixture while stirring constantly. Continue to cook for two minutes or until the mixture is thickened. Remove the custard from the heat source and allow it to cool.
- Melt butter and unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler stirring constantly until melted. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.4 tbsp butter, 3 squares Ghiradelli unsweetened baking chocolate, 2-3 tbsp milk, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar; sifted
- Cut tops off of the cream puffs and remove and discard the dough inside. Using a pastry bag, fill shells with custard. Top with chocolate topping. Store in the refrigerator.
Be sure to come back and tell us how your cream puffs turned out!