Wider Horizons

It’s a recipe that has been around since the Middle Ages in one form or another – and perfecting it Strawberry cream puff swanswill provide endless options for main courses and desserts. It’s the cream puff or profiterole, a light, airy pastry that can be filled with savory cheeses or light creams and sweets. In this recipe, Chef Heng Ng (Culinary 1994) describes how to shape them to look like a swan – adding a bit of elegance to your table.

Students in Lethbridge College’s Culinary Careers and apprenticeship program spend hours creating sweet confections of all kinds in the bakeshop as part of their studies to learn to work as professional cooks and chefs. To sample their finest efforts – perhaps even your own strawberry cream puff swan – book a table in the Garden Court Restaurant by calling 403.382.6999.

To see a video of Lethbridge College chefs preparing this and other recipes, click here. Bon appétit!

Ingredients

FOR THE CREAM PUFFS

1 cup (250 mL) water

1 cup (150 g) bread flour

pinch salt

4 eggs

½ cup (120 g) butter

 

FOR THE FILLING

½ litre heavy whipping cream

½ cup (or less) icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

20-30 strawberries


Method

• Preheat oven to 425F.
• Bring water, salt and butter to a rolling boil.
• Add flour and stir with a wood spoon until it leaves the sides of the pot and forms a ball.
• Transfer into a mixer bowl with paddle attachment and beat in eggs one at a time until absorbed. When all of the eggs are incorporated, the dough should be very thick and NOT runny.
• Place some dough into a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off.
• Pipe 20 to 25 “S” shapes, making sure to make one end slightly bigger. These should resemble a swan head and neck and be 1.5 to 2 inches long.
• Pipe the rest of the dough into rounds that are a bit bigger than a toonie, pulling the ends just a touch longer so it resembles a tear drop. These will be the swan bodies.
• Bake at 425F for 10 minutes, then lower the heat and cook at 375F until the cream puffs are golden brown and dry. This could take between 7 and 14 minutes, depending on your oven.
• While the cream puffs are cooking, wash, drain and slice the strawberries.
• To prepare the filling, take cold whipping cream from the refrigerator and whip it in your mixer until it is frothy. Then add the sugar and vanilla and whip it until it forms firm peaks.
• To assemble the swans, make sure the swan bodies (cream puffs) have completely cooled.
• Cut each cream puff round in half. Pick out the doughy inside. Pipe whipped cream into bottom half of one of the rounds, slightly overfilling it.
• Place sliced strawberries on top of the whipped cream.
• Then slice the other half of the puff in half again to make the wings. Place each wing half on each side of cream-filled body.
• Gently place swan heads onto bodies.
• If you’d like, melt a small amount of dark chocolate and make eyes with a toothpick.
• Now you have a complete flock of about 20 cute, elegant swans. Enjoy.

Wider Horizons
Recipe by Chef Hang Ng
Original Publication Date:
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