The lazy afternoon stretched forever. I didn’t feel like putting down my book and pulling the curtains apart to let in the sun. But the room had become cold…it had been raining all morning. I had been craving creme puffs since an early breakfast, but had somehow resisted rushing off to the kitchen. Instead, I went through all the cookbooks looking up all the cream puff recipes. And I made these mini-puffs with a coffee creme filling and icing, for tea.
For the puffs I like using David Lebovitz’s recipe for pâte à choux, or Pierre Hermé’s choux recipe for his Chocolate Éclairs.
I added an extra tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar to make the mini-puffs sweeter.
Coffee Caramel Crème:
- Half cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
- Half a teaspoon of freshly ground coffee (or espresso powder)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Half a teaspoon ground cinnamon
Bring the cream to a boil. Add the coffee, butter, vanilla essence and cinnamon and stir well. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool for five minutes. Meanwhile, melt the sugar in a bain-marie until it becomes toffee-like (I’m a certified expert in burning caramel at this point, but I’m sure you’ll be more careful!).
Add the caramel to the cream mixture and stir well. I like to keep the icing (or if you use it as a filling) a little swirly, but that depends on you really. Smother the mini-puffs in the creme and chill in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.