Okay y’all, I’ve done it again. I’ve succumbs to lavender and #cantstopwontstop eating it. Colin was gone last weekend so I took advantage of his absence to indulge in my favorite (and his least favorite flavor). Don’t judge me until you check out these lavender cream puffs, they are truly addicting.
I’ve been watching a lot of The Great British Bake Off lately, which inspired me to step up my baking game. Sure I don’t have Paul and Mary (the judges, not my parents) breathing down my neck but I still felt the pressure to succeed. Mission accomplished. Cream puffs get a bad rap for being fancy and complicated but the truth is if you follow the directions, anyone can make these. Especially because cream puffs don’t require fancy equipment. A stand mixer would be nice but not necessary.
My favorite part about these cream puffs is that they aren’t sweet. I know, that’s a little surprising but by now you’ve probably realizing that I have savory cravings every now and then. Remember that time I made rosemary shortbread? Or when I made basil cupcakes? See, I occasionally go savory.
I wanted to keep the filling super light so I skipped the pastry cream and went for a chocolate lavender whipped cream. The bitterness from the cocoa powder and the floral notes from the lavender are the dominant flavors, leaving no room for the sweetness you might expect from anything with ‘chocolate’ in the name.
Knowing my love of fancy salts, my brother’s roommate brought me a jar of lavender salt a few weeks ago when she came for a visit. If you love lavender, stop what you’re doing and go buy some. I’ll wait. Trust me, you’ll want some of this lavender salt ito top your cream puffs with.
I’m still working on my British accent so for now I’ll wait to apply to be on next season. I can only imagine what Paul and Mary would have said about my lavender cream puffs (they tend to be critical of lavender for it’s tendency to overwhelm all other flavors) but I’m thinking these could definitely have won a show stopper challenge. If you didn’t understand that reference, it’s time for you to pour yourself a glass of wine and settle into your comfiest spot on the couch for some good old-fashioned friendly British baking. Seriously, they are so gosh darned friendly to each other.
Is there anything quite as decadent and french-sounding as lavender cream puffs? These puffs of floral flavors are a savory treat for chocolate and lavender lovers alike.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons dried lavender
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup flour
- ? teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 - 2 tablespoons lavender salt
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- Combine heavy cream and dried lavender in a bowl and refrigerate for about 2 hours. If you want a stronger lavender flavor, leave it for 2 more.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick mat and set aside.
- Combine water and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, flour and salt. When the butter has completely melted and the mixture has come to a rolling boil, lower the heat to medium low and pour the flour mixture into the saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients together until there are no more lumps and it forms a ball. This is called your panade.
- Continue mixing the panade over the stove, careful not to scrape the bottom of the pan. When you begin to see a starchy coating on the bottom of the pan, pull the panade off the stove and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Let cool for five minutes. Mix the panade on low for a few seconds to help release some of the steam/heat. If you don’t let it cool, the eggs will scramble when added to it. Turn the mixer on medium and add the eggs, one at a time.
- Once the eggs are fully incorporated, transfer dough to a piping bag with a large round tip. Pipe balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet that are 1 ½ - 2 inches in diameter.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes. The cream puffs should be a nice golden brown color, they should easily come off the baking sheet and the bottom should be an even darker brown. Top each cream puff with a sprinkle of lavender salt. Let them cool completely before slicing in half and filling.
- Strain the lavender out of the heavy cream and add the heavy cream, powdered sugar and cocoa powder in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk on medium for two minutes. Stop the mixer and use a spatula to scoop any extra cocoa powder or powdered sugar back into the whipped cream. Return the mixer to medium-high until stiff peaks form.
- Transfer whipped cream to a piping bag with a star tip. Slice open a cream puff, remove the top and fill the middle with about two tablespoons of whipped cream. Replace the top of the cream puff and repeat with the rest. Don’t add the whipped cream to the cream puffs until ready to eat them.