Friday, 7 December 2012

Bella Swan

To avoid any confusion, let me start by saying this - the seventh day of Christmas did not bring us a glittery vampire. The seventh day of Christmas brings us seven swans a swimming and some delightfully beautiful Swan Cream Puffs.

I did take a few liberties with my cookie of the day for the seventh day of Christmas as today's recipe isn't technically a cookie, but I think you will thank me for it. They're cute, yummy, and creative desserts.

I have seen similar desserts to my Swan Cream Puffs on the Internet for a while and I've been wanting to make them since the first day I saw them. But since they were intricate looking I expected them to be a lot of work and wanted to wait for a special occasion. And what better day to make Swan Cream Puffs than the for the seventh day of Christmas?

Keep reading to find out how I make my version of Swan Cream Puffs. They're pastry bag free and even have a candy topping like a Croquembouche! In fact, this recipe is very similar to my Croquembouche recipe. I just make the pastry balls larger, spoon them onto my tray instead of piping them, and serve them differently.

Swan Cream Puffs - Makes 9-10 Swan Cream Puffs


3/4 cups water
1 pinch of salt
1/3 cup butter
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 cup flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
Milk, for glaze


1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped

1. Start with your pastry. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Combine water, salt, butter, and sugar in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove the heat and add the flour. Beat until the mixture forms a ball and pulls from the sides of the pot. I use a wooden spoon for this.

3. Put the mixture back on the heat for a minute so that it dries out a bit for the egg to be absorbed better. Now, beat 1/3 of the beaten eggs into the mixture, before adding the vanilla. Continue adding more of the beaten eggs until the dough is smooth and glossy. If you have a little egg left, that's ok. You will use it for your glaze.

4. Spoon the dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet in 9 or 10 even round balls. 

5. Mix the milk into any egg mixture that remains and brush this onto the tops of the pastry. If no egg remains, just use milk. Bake until the pastry balls are light and golden, about 30 minutes.

6. Cool them on a wire rack and poke them with a kabob stick to let the hot air release. Poking them will also let you know if the pastry is cooked in the middle, the stick should come out clean.

7. While your pastry balls are cooling, make your cream. Put the milk in a medium pot and add the vanilla. Bring the mixture to a boil and then remove from the heat. 

8. Combine the egg yolks and the sugar and beat to combine. Gradually beat in the flour before mixing the milk mixture in slowly. Return the whole mixture to the heat on the stove, allow mixture to boil so it thickens and stir constantly. 

9. Allow the mixture to cool and then fold in the whipped cream. 

10. Next make the Pumpkin Seed Brittle. 

11. When you are ready to enjoy dessert, make your pastry and cream into beautiful swans. Start with one pastry. 

12. Cut the pastry in half horizontally. Then cut the top half of the pastry in half again. The two quarter pieces will form wings for your swan and the bottom half of the pastry will be the swan's body.

13. Spoon some pastry cream onto a dessert plate and place the bottom half of the pastry on next. Top with another spoon of pastry cream.

14. Place the two remaining pieces of pastry on top of the pastry cream to form the swan's wings.

15. Gently place a shard of the Pumpkin Seed Brittle between the wings for the swan's head. Enjoy!

What do you think? Pretty nifty right? 

And I'll let you in on a little secret. I was planning on using some of the pastry to make the swan's heads like I had seen in other recipes. I was planning on piping s's onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and placing an s between the swan's wings. 

But then after I finished cooling the pastries I realized I had forgotten to make any s's and I wasn't going to make a second batch of pastry. So I decided to make a batch of Pumpkin Seed Brittle and hope for the best. 

And the best is what I got because it added another texture and made my dish really reminiscent of a croquembouche. I am do glad my memory failed me today!

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