I’m lucky to be able to call Barbara Schieving from the blog Barbara Bakes a friend. She’s another Utah baking blogger and one of the nicest people I know so I’ve been a fan from the very beginning. When she announced that she was creating a cookbook dedicated to cream puffs, eclairs, and profiteroles I couldn’t wait to see it.
And it’s finally here! The Simply Sweet Dream Puffs: Shockingly Easy Fun-Filled Treats e-book is filled with some of the most beautiful pastries I’ve ever seen and I can’t wait to bake (and eat) my way through it.
Photos from Simply Sweet Dream Puffs
Cream puffs, eclairs and profiteroles all come from one kind of pastry dough— pâte à choux. It’s got a fancy french name and it’s unfamiliar so I think that scares a lot of home bakers from even attempting it. I know, I used to be one of them. But don’t let these sophisticated desserts fool you into thinking they’re impossible to make, because they aren’t.
Barbara breaks it all down in her e-book— what supplies and ingredients you’ll need, what each step should look like, and suggestions for troubleshooting any issues you may have. Believe it or not, these dream puffs are just as easy to make as cupcakes.
The pâte à choux is just four basic ingredients and once you’ve got that figured out Barbara shares over 40 different recipes for every occasion, from the basics like simple chocolate eclairs to more fun flavor combinations like s’mores cream puffs and rocky road profiteroles.
When I first flipped through Simply Sweet Dream Puffs I was overwhelmed. How was I going to choose a recipe to try first? I asked Barbara which was her favorite and she answered with these strawberry cheesecake eclairs. And I’m so glad I didn’t wait till strawberry season to try them! They’re incredible— light and creamy, and so fresh and flavorful.
While every recipe in the e-book looks amazing, these eclairs stand out as a dessert everyone is sure to love and gobble up quicker than you can remember how to spell pâte à choux.
Strawberry Cheesecake Eclairs
- 6 tablespoons (87 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (90 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 large egg + 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash (optional)
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- 1 cup (250 ml) cold heavy cream
- 8 oz (226 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1/3 cup (85 ml) water
- 1 1/2 cups (250 grams) chopped strawberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
To make éclair shells:
- Preheat oven to 425°. Line sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Bring butter, sugar, salt, and 3/4 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Immediately remove from heat, and quickly stir in flour all at once. Return to heat and stir with a wooden spoon for 1 to 2 minutes, or until dough is smooth and forms a ball.
- Transfer dough to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
- Add 3 eggs, 1 at a time, beating until mixture is smooth and glossy. Spoon dough into a pastry bag fitted with a 5/8-inch or medium sized plain tip. Pipe dough onto prepared pans into 4-inch strips about 1 1/2-inches wide. Smooth out peaks and round tops with a moistened finger. Brush tops of dough with egg wash, if using.
- Bake at 425° for 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 375° and bake 30 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. Turn oven off; let shells stand in closed oven 10 minutes. Remove from baking sheets to wire racks, and cool completely.
- Shells can be made 1 day ahead and stored, unfilled, in an airtight container at room temperature.
To make strawberry filling:
- In a small saucepan, sprinkle 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water; let stand 1 minute. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in diced strawberries, sugar, and orange zest. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until berries are softened, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Can be made up to a few days ahead.
To make cheesecake filling:
- In a large mixing bowl, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla until smooth. Add cream cheese mixture to heavy cream and beat until incorporated. Can be made up to 1 day ahead.
To assemble éclairs:
- Cut off the top third of the éclair shell. Spoon strawberry filling into the bottom of the shell. Pipe cheesecake filling on top of strawberry filling, and put the top of the shell on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Eclairs are best served within a few hours of assembling.
Have you tried this recipe?
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Simply Sweet Dream Puffs to review. But I’d gladly pay the $9.99 to purchase it, it’s great!