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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHAT YOU GET: My Passover Cream Puffs recipe is not only Kosher for Passover but it’s a great way to add a little flavor — and while both gorgeous and impressive, they’re actually simple to make and I’ll show you how.
Spring is officially here and along with it comes Passover, the Jewish holiday to commemorate the Jewish people’s liberation from slavery to freedom. The thing is, since our ancestors had to escape Egypt in a hurry, they had to pack whatever they could and leave.
They had no time to bake proper leavened bread. So, instead, they ended up baking flat, unleavened bread (quite dense and unflavored I must say…). We all know it as Matzah, and we know it all too well as every year we take a moment to appreciate our freedom by avoiding eating any leavened food such as bread, pasta, cakes, and loads more.
So you can imagine the challenge that faces us Jewish bakers every year when it comes to baking. No flour, no baking powder, and well, no fun.
There is, however, Matzah, Matzah meal, and cake meal (made of Matzah), but as I mentioned before — Matzah is quite dense and unflavored. This is why it’s THE PERFECT ingredient to bake some Passover Cream Puffs with.
Matzah Meal Cream Puffs
The great thing about cream puffs is that they’re merely a vessel for the filing. Cream puffs by themselves are flavorless. They are also sturdy and hollow and can be packed with large varieties of fillings, both sweet and even savory.
Ingredients And Substitutions
The recipe below calls for water, unsalted butter, Matzah meal, salt, and eggs. Here are a few alternative substitutions for different preferences and dietary restrictions:
- Unsalted butter can be replaced with salted butter (just skip adding the extra bit of salt to the recipe).
- For the Parve (non-dairy) option, replace the butter with ½ cup (100g/3.5oz) vegetable oil, or an equal amount of vegan butter or margarine.
- Water. For more flavorful options use milk or half and half.
- Matzah meal can be replaced with finely ground Passover crackers or Passover pretzels.
ESSENTIAL NOTES WHEN MAKING AND BAKING THE PASTRIES
The process of making and baking these Passover cream puffs is identical to every other cream puffs recipe, much like Gemma’s Easy Choux Pastry. Make sure to carefully read the following notes for a successful bake:
- Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces, this way it will melt at the same time the water comes to a boil.
- Use a wood spoon to whisk vigorously the Matzah meal, and do so for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. The idea is to bring the mixture together — as well as to evaporate as much moisture as possible so the pastries will rise up and hollow.
- When adding the eggs into the mixture, it will look like a big unpleasant mess. Give the mixture time to all come together by mixing it for 2-3 minutes, and do not rush it.
- DO NOT open the oven door while the pastries are baking!!! The oven temperature will drop and the pasties will collapse.
- Allow the pastries to cool in a turned-off oven, and door shut for 15 minutes (or longer) before removing them from the oven. A drastic change in the temperature might interrupt the setting processes and the pastries to collapse.
- Let the pastries cool completely before cutting and filling or placing them in a container or a bag.
What Can Go Wrong?
It can be super frustrating when our enthusiasm turns into an epic bake fail, I’ve definitely been there. This is great because I can share my wisdom with you:
- The cream puffs collapsed. Cream puffs get their puffy structure and hollow quality when the moisture in the batter turns into steam and expands the pastries as they set. If we open the door during baking or take them out of the oven too soon, then the steam turns back into water and since there is no force to expand the pasties as they set, they simply collapse.
- The cream puffs didn’t puff. If we do not cook them long enough over the stove or incorporate the eggs well, then the mixture does not have the ability to trap the water that is escaping during baking. Another reason might be a low oven temperature.
- The cream puffs are ugly. That is actually a good sign that the air has found its way through and outside of the pastry leaving you with a hollow and firm structure.
You can bake this recipe up to 6 months in advance and freeze them. Be sure to tightly pack them and minimize any ice collection.
When filled, the storing is related to the filling type. Whipped cream or uncooked cheese filling should be refrigerated within 2 hours after the filling is made. Filling such as ganache can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
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