When I think of puffs pastry (choux pastry) I think of weddings, picnics, dinner parties and birthday parties. Here in Trinidad, no party will be complete without this favourite appetizer. And as a guest to any of these occasions, I feel I must have a puff (or two, if I am lucky!). The filling may be of tuna, cheese paste, or minced chicken (all with a hint of pepper).
The Choux Pastry Dilemma
However, there is one thing that disturbs me most: that small bite-size puff turns out to be a little of a teaser. This is true especially at every wedding reception. The caterer usually offers the classic paper saucers with a tasty bite-sized puff, a small bite-size cheese paste sandwich and a prune stuffed with peanut butter, often an hour or more before the main course, which by then is not really helping my hunger (or as we say in Trini: meh belly boiling).
My wife bites it slowly to savors the lingering taste of this tiny morsel (that is if our infant son doesn't grab hers before she claims it), and I usually end up feeling like I could do with about ten more puffs to really feel satisfied.
I, therefore, cannot and will not depend on these occasions to enjoy a good puff. And I certainly cannot purchase one regularly at the bakery either. They cost about $4.00 TT each (depending on the filling), and I must say they are very stingy with the fillings too. So my wife makes them whenever I feel for them. The ones she make are not bite-size and I can certainly have as much as I can 'til I am contented.
Some people use a pastry bag to help make the puffs (like éclair). However, a spoon could be just as effective. My wife prefers to use the spoon method when making puffs at home. I find it much simpler than the bag and in my opinion there is less cleanup too when you're done. So pull up a chair,grab your ingredients, mixing bowls and baking sheets because were about to start making, a Trini favourite, puffs.
The Choux Pastry Recipe
PUFFS (PUFFS PASTRY OR CHOUX PASTRY)
1 cup water
½ cup butter
1 cup flour
¼ tsp. salt
Tip: A dash of grated lemon zest would take away the fresh scent from the egg.
In a saucepan, bring water to boil. Add butter to melt.
When butter is melted put in all the flour at once; stir over heat until the mixture forms a panada (a ball in the center of the pot). Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Add one unbeaten egg at a time to the panada. Beat well until stiff.
Take up mixture by teaspoons and drop on a greased cookie sheet 2" apart. (You can use a pastry bag and tips for this part as well.)
For larger puffs use a tablespoon. You can twirl the spoon to make a nice design.
Start oven at 450°F and bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to a moderate 325°F for 25 more minutes so there are no beads of moisture on the puffs. Turn off the oven. To help keep the puff dry, slit the puffs and put them back into the oven for another 20 minutes. Cool puffs then fill as desired. Puff are crisp when finished baking but softens later.
Makes about 15 large puffs or 2 dozen medium sized puffs.
Puffs ready to be eaten. These were made using a teaspoon.
Some Popular Filling:
- Tuna Paste
- Cheese paste
- Chicken salad
- Chicken in cream sauce
- White fish and tartar sauce
Well that's it for another post. I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as I do. Maybe, you all will be as adventurous as I am to try other types of fillings. I'll be glad to hear what filling you used and maybe try it when next I have puffs.
Puffs (Choux Pastry)
- You can se a pastry bag and tips for this recipe.
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup butter unsalted
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 4 eggs
- A dash of grated lemon zest would take away the fresh scent from the egg.
- In a saucepan, bring water to boil. Add butter to melt. Add the flour at once; stir over heat until the mixture forms a panada (a ball in the center of the pot). Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Add one unbeaten egg at a time to the panada. Beat well until stiff.
- Drop on a greased cookie sheet 2” apart. Start oven at 450°F and bake for 15 minutes. Cool puffs then fill as desired. Puff are crisp when finished baking but softens later.
- Fill with cheese paste or any of your favourite fillings
*yet another bookmarked recipe!
i remember these appetizers as well, and yes, always being served at wedding, and yes, always such a tease. i could easily eat my weight in these.
And I thought I was alone 🙂 reya, glad you liked the post.
i love puffs im goin to try this recipe my aunt used to make them for us on our summer vacation when i was a kid God bless u for taking your time to show us this
These are a favourite of mine. Enjoy!
HiI was just wondering how do you add the filling into these puffs. Do you stick them in the middle of the ball and roll it up? And do you have the recipes for the chicken filling? I tried this recipe and it was delicious wihout the filling already. Thanks for the post!
Actually we add the filling after the puffs are baked. The fillings I would do soon so look out for it. I'm glad you liked this recipe. It is one of my favourites.
Felix....I can make these puffs the night before too right?
Sure you can. It has happened to my wife and I on countless occassions.
These were really delicious! Just a little thing I add to the mixture is nutmeg and a few drops of Angostura bitter. Yum yum ! 🙂
Hey! just wanted to say this is GREAT! 🙂 thx
These are yummy if you put custard filling into them to or chocolate pudding. yummmoo.
They do last for some time but I would not advise to have them stuffed overnight.
1. They might get soggy from the filling.
2. It is best to stuff the puffs the same day you are planning the party.
3. If you make the puffs the night before you don't need to refrigerate or else you would have to heat them again the next day.
From experience what we do at home is to bake the puffs right before we go to bed so that by the time they're finished they have the rest of the night to cool. Then in the morning the filling is made and the puffs are stuffed.
Great looking recipe. Can't wait to try it. One question though- how much in advance before a party can I make this, and can they be refrigerated overnight. I want to make chicken puffs, so I'm wondering if I can have it completely ready and stuffed, then refrigerated overnight. Thanks 😉
Was enjoying a few puffs yesterday and thought, I'm sure I can google a recipe and make them myself!
Thank you for this, going to make them today 🙂
I can't wait tot try these out! My aunt used to make them with a chicken filling. Do you know how to make that one?
Will do soon 🙂
wow just made some....they are in the oven....waiting patiently ..lol
Silly question I know, but how do I measure otherwise the butter, ur recipe says "cup" but we get them in sticks so silly of me to ask how else to measure the butter, thanks!
That's a a good question ; not a silly one Sansa. I'm sure someone else may have been wanting to ask the same. Just let the butter soften to room temperature then measure the "cup". Thank you for commenting. 🙂
love this,i made puffs twice within the last 2 weeks and they were just perfect... THX for the great recipes. love it
a good way is to put in a half cup of water and then add butter til it gets up to one cup. then remove the water and you will have half cup of butter. I DO KNOW THAT THIS RESPONSE IS THREE YEARS AFTER THE QUESTION WAS ASKED 🙂
Not A Kitchen Person
I am not much a fan of the kitchen and seeing the holidays are approaching i thought i'd surprise my family a bit and make these. But i'm not sure when you say "flour" what type you refer to. As i am used to self rising flour. Is it that you used or did you use all purpose?
i going to try this tonight ........ if it comes out well i will do it for Christmas too 😀
Well you better plan for Christmas one time because this is a tried and true recipe 🙂
what did i do wrong
So I baked them for the 15+25 minutes at the required temperatures and when i took them off they were hollow .
what did i do wrong?
maybe the four eggs were too much or not enough flour?
You should have confidence in your cooking skills. It is perfect, all you need to do is fill it with cheese paste or chicken or tuna filling and share it with your friends. Good job! 🙂
The first time I tried these they came out tasting eggy and fresh. How do I get rid of the fresh, eggy taste?
Read the recipe carefully and slowly and you would see this " Tip: A dash of grated lemon zest would take away the fresh scent from the egg."
Where exactly would I put it in?
When you're adding the eggs.
Hi, just made this this morning and its been a few hours and they are vey hard. Would they soften up? If so, how long?
Apparently something went wrong. It's not supposed to be hard. Review the steps and the ingredient measurements, especially the flour. By the way is this the first time you're attempting this recipe?
Hey Felix,thanks for the recipe. I made it 3 times in 1 week since I saw this. The first time was good, the second time it was too hard and 3rd was good but they are coming out different sizes. Do you swirl it with the spoon.
I sometimes use a spoon but nowadays I just place it in a pastry bag
I think the 4 eggs was too much. It left a real bad taste to the puffs.
Next time read the recipe carefully and you'll see "Tip: A dash of grated lemon zest would take away the fresh scent from the egg."
My family loves these!! Thanks for the recipe!
Hi,I made them n delicious they were ,what is d recipe for 100 puffs,thanks in advance
This is not a recipe to double or even triple. You will have to make it in batches for best results. This recipe, depending on the size of each puff, can yield about 25 to 30. Hope this helps.
Greetings Felix, nice recipe for puffs. But when I click on the "cheese paste" recipe link, I get a message saying "Error 404 Page not found". Is the link broken?
Hope you are well!
Dc thank for the heads up. You are really looking out for me. I just checked it and fixed the link. Thanks again 🙂
Hey Sansa. For butter/margarine/shortening, 1cup = 8oz = 227g = 16Tbsp. Just for future reference. 🙂
Hi Felix, do you use salted or unsalted butter? Btw I love your recipes!
It depends but any will do. Your choice.
Hi how long in advance can these be made and how to store them?
I would say to be safe allow 1 day in an air tight container.
Hey felix boy!I just made these puffs... It came out great! The only thing I did different was I added half of a small lime juice. It wasn't fresh smelling or tasting at all. I'm really happy because its my first time doing it. I love your page boy.. A smiles!
I learned to cook many dishes from you Felix. Great pictures, easy instructions and always great results. Much appreciation and many thanks.
A good friend regularly made cheese puffs for all get togethers and parties. She would make about 150 because of the large crowds and it was always difficult to get any they vanished as soon as the huge tray arrived! I've been dying to make them myself for about 35 years...thanks for the amazing step by step recipe, photos and link to the cheese paste! Do you ever grate garlic into the cheese paste?
No, never put garlic. Thanks for your comment. Hope your cheese puffs come out as expected.