I grew up cooking, and subsequently eating my meals at the kitchen table surrounded by cookbooks. Eating, while reading about food is actually one of my favorite pastimes. Come to think about it, reading about food IS my favorite pastime. I've even been scolded by my friends at parties a few times for reading their cookbooks instead of socializing (Loser). Anyhow, I digress...
I grew up with Company's Coming, Jean Pare's institution of a cookbook series, and the one from which I drew the following recipe for Cream Puffs for my family Christmas Party.
Cream Puffs from Company's Coming Desserts, p. 103, adapted by moi.
1 cup Boiling Water
1/2 cup Butter
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 cup Flour
500 ml. Whip Cream
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 tbsp. Icing Sugar
200 g Dark chocolate, melted
Combine water, butter and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add flour all at once and stir vigorously until in forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each is added. Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack.
Whip cream, vanilla and icing sugar using an electric mixture until light and fluffy. Spoon into a pastry bag and pipe into the cream puffs.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler and dip the tops into chocolate.
Put cream puffs in the fridge to let the chocolate set, then assemble into a tower. Dust with powdered sugar and wait for the "oooo"s and "aaahhh"s!