Banana Cream Puffs

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup water, boiling
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pkg (5.1 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 largish bananas, cut into about 1/4 inch chunks
  • Powdered sugar for garnish

METHOD:

  1. Bring water and butter to a boil.  Add the flour all at once & stir vigorously until it forms a ball.  Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
  2. When water-butter-flour mixture is cool, beat in eggs, one at a time, until smooth each time. Scrape into a gallon-size plastic storage bag.  Snip off about ½” of one corner to make a pastry bag.
  3. Preheat oven to 230°C.  Chill the bowl and whisk attachment of a standing mixer, or other mixing bowl and beaters.
  4. Squeeze out blobs that are about 3 tablespoons worth of the paste onto two parchment-lined baking sheets.  (More paste for larger puffs, less for smaller puffs)  Blobs should be at least 2 inches apart.
  5. Bake at 230°C for 10 minutes—then turn oven down to 180°C for 15-20 minutes, or until well-puffed and light brown.
  6. Move puffs to wire racks.  Poke each one with a toothpick or a sharp knife to allow steam to escape.  Once cool, cut each puff horizontally in the middle and gently remove membrane-looking insides.
  7. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together milk and pudding powder.  Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes or more.
  8. Place banana chunks in a medium sized bowl and gently stir in about a cup and a half of the pudding.
  9. Pour the heavy cream into the chilled mixer bowl.  Whip on high speed until almost stiff peaks form.   Then fold the remaining pudding  into whipped cream. (Use 2/3 to all of the pudding, depending on how sweet you want your cream puffs to be.)  Do not over-mix.
  10. Spread a layer of banana/pudding into the bottom of a puff.  Then with a spoon, scoop enough of the cream mixture into the bottom to just go over the top.  Spoon some into the top to fill in.  Return top to its puff.  
  11. Plate puffs and sprinkle with powdered sugar.Makes 12 large, 18 medium, or 24 small cream puffs.

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