Cream puff cake is layers and layers of pure magic. Chocolate and vanilla pudding cream, oh my!
Cream puffs just don't get enough attention. Who makes them? No one that I know. I have literally never gone to someone's house and been offered a cream puff. It's just not a thing that happens.
Honestly, it's one of life's great injustices. Lack of cream puffs. Sad.
I think one of the most common misconceptions about cream puffs is that they are difficult. They absolutely aren't! The dough, called "choux" sounds awfully fancy, but that's just a front. It's a trick by the French to make us feel unsophisticated and inferior, I'm sure of it. In reality, "choux" is just a very thick "roux" with eggs beaten in.
What I'm saying is, if you can make homemade gravy, you can make cream puff dough. And any southern girl worth her salt can BS her way to an amazing cream gravy. It's just a gift we have.
Of course, there are a few things to keep in mind. Anything with a silent "x" in the name is bound to be a bit finicky, but it's nothing we can't handle! First off, choux + humidity = sticky mess. I'm not a scientist, so I can't tell you WHY, it's just how it is. Personally, I think it's the devil's work. Because we all know that rainy days stuck inside is when you need cream puffs the most.
The other thing? Make the dough as close to serving time as possible. Same day is great -- next day, not so much. The dough puffs up and becomes hollow inside with a crisp, chewy exterior. But tack 24 hours onto that, and things aren't pretty. It's a sad, soggy sight that you should never expose yourself to.
Lastly, don't fill until it's close to time for serving. Filling makes the dough soggy. Soggy = sad. You see where this is headed.
So make your dough on a dry day and serve the same day. Fill just before serving. Easy peasy? I think so.
This dough comes together in minutes and bakes up quickly. It truly is a wonderfully impressive last minute dessert. And served as a layer cake instead of individual cream puffs is an spectacular time saver, not to mention SO lovely looking.
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Kristan is known for her candy creations and hilarity on Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. We know where her true genius is, though: fanciful fanatical cupcake and cake creations!