I decided that it was time to revive my long-time obsession. It all started the other night when My Giant and I were grocery shopping late at night and they announced that all doughnuts left from the day were being marked down to a quarter. We sprinted to the doughnut aisle and to my great surprise, there were eclairs in the doughnut case! After inhaling them (yes, more than one) I decided that I needed to make them sometime soon. I really wanted to incorporate strawberry somehow, and found a recipe for strawberry mousse that I adapted. While these are a little messy, I thoroughly enjoyed more than my fair share. I also topped it with a whipped chocolate ganache. It wasn't my favorite. If you have a favorite chocolate ganache I would love to hear about it! Chocolate is not my strong suit, so definitely need some work in that category!
Strawberry Mousse Cream Puffs
For the Puffs
2 3/4 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups water
1 stick plus 2 tbsp butter
4 large eggs
*I prefer to make the cream puffs, and then the mousse for sanity reasons, but the mousse can be started while puffs are in the oven.
- Preheat oven to 425. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda together and set aside.
- In a heavy saucepan, heat the water. Add the butter. When melted, remove the pan from the stove and add the flour mixture all at once. Beat with a wooden spoon, then return the pan to medium-high heat, beating the mixture until it comes away from the sides of the pan. Continue to stir until mixture forms into a ball with glossy coating (3-5 minutes).
- Remove the ball of dough and place into a mixing bowl.
- Add the eggs one at a time to the dough beating with a wooden spoon or hand mixer in-between additions to mix well (I prefer the hand mixer method).
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch tip with the cream puff batter. Squeeze out 3-inch puffs, about 1/2 inch apart on a cookie sheet.
- Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. When done, carefully slit the side of each cream puff with a knife or poke the tops with a toothpick to allow steam to escape and to prevent the puffs from becoming soggy inside. Transfer to cooling racks and let cool.
For the strawberry mousse: (adapted from chow.com)
2 tablespoons water
1 (1/4-ounce) packet unflavored gelatin
8 ounces strawberries, washed, hulled, and cut into large dice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¾ cup heavy cream
- Place the water in a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the surface, and stir to combine; set aside.
- Combine the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and stir to coat the berries in the sugar. Mash the berries with a potato masher to release their juices, then bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries are falling apart and the juices have thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, set a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl.
- Pour the strawberry mixture into the strainer. Using a rubber spatula, push on the solids and scrape the underside of the strainer until all of the liquid is extracted; discard the contents of the strainer. Immediately whisk the gelatin mixture into the strawberry liquid until it’s dissolved and smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place the clean bowl of the stand mixer and the whisk attachment in the freezer.
- Place the cream in the chilled stand-mixer bowl and whisk on high speed until medium peaks form, about 1 minute.
- Give the strawberry mixture a quick whisk to smooth it out, add the whipped cream a quarter cup at a time, folding gently into mixture in between each addition. Fold just until no white from the cream is visible.
- Transfer the mixture to a large resealable bag or piping bag.
- Cut the cooled puffs horizontally. Fill the bottom half of the puffs with strawberry mousse.
- Replace the tops and dust with powdered sugar, or top with favorite chocolate topping.
- Serve immediately