I've been wanting to make cream puffs for a while. They are definitely a weakness of mine. Whenever my friend Jesse and I go to the grocery store together we pick up cream puffs. We usually end up eating most of them while they are still partially frozen because we just can't wait until they thaw. Homemade cream puffs are even better and they don't have to thaw :-) Want to make cream puffs even better? Cheesecake filling. Yep. It's good... just try it. You know you want to :-) I even added some extracts to try a few different flavors.
regular cheesecake = yummy (no extracts)
lemon cheesecake = wonderful (lemon extract) <-- my personal favorite
strawberry cheesecake = glorious (strawberry extract)
Since I used jello pudding to give me the cheesecake flavor, think about the delicious substitutions you could make (butterscotch, chocolate, coconut, oreo, lemon, white chocolate, etc.). I just made up the filling, but I used a recipe from Joy of Baking for the pastry.
1/2 cup all purpose flour (I was out of all-purpose, so I used bread flour and they turned out great)
1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup water
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Egg Wash Glaze:
1 large egg
1/8 teaspoon salt
Cheesecake Whipped Cream Filling:
1 cup heavy whipping cream1 cup milk or half and half
Powdered (Confectioners or icing) sugar
Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for a further 30 to 40 minutes or until the shells are a nice amber color and when split, are dry inside. Turn the oven off and, with the oven door slightly ajar, let the shells dry out for a further 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Make sure to keep your eye on them as they bake. Smaller bite-size pastries will take less time.
For cheesecake whipped cream filling: In a large mixing bowl whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
To assemble: Split the pastry shells and pipe with cheesecake whipped cream filling.
I ended with more cheesecake whipped cream filling, so in the future I may double the pastry to make for equal amounts.