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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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Passover Cream Puffs Recipe
- 1 cup (240ml/8fl oz) water (at room temperature)
- ½ cup (113g/4oz) unsalted butter (cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 1 cup (120g/4oz) Matzah meal
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 large eggs (beaten)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a 2-inch cookie cutter and a pencil to mark circles (with a 2-inch separation) then turn the paper over.
- In a medium saucepan, pour the water and add the butter pieces. Cook over medium heat until the water is boiling and the butter has melted.
- Add the Matzah meal and salt and keep cooking while stirring with a wooden spoon for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and place the mixture into a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Beat on medium for about 3 minutes to cool the mixture, then slowly drizzle in the beaten eggs.
- Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the eggs have been fully incorporated and you have a thick batter that slowly drizzles down the attachment. Note that the batter would probably not be smooth due to the texture of the Matzah meal.
- Transfer the batter into a large piping bag fitted with a rose or a round tip and pipe at the center of each circle you marked on the parchment paper.
- Bake for 25-28 minutes, then turn the oven off and allow the cream puffs to cool in the oven for about 15 minutes before removing them from the oven. Allow the cream puffs to completely cool before filling them.
- To make the filling pour the heavy cream into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, sprinkle the powdered sugar over then beat starting on low and gradually increasing speed to high until the cream is thick.
- Gently fold in the pastry cream then transfer it to a piping bag fitted with the star tip.
- Use a serrated knife to slice each cream puff then pipe the filling into each pastry and place the tops back.
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
- The cream puffs must be stored in the refrigerator within 2 hours after assembly.
- Empty shells should be stored in a container or a plastic bag for up to 3 days.
- The shells might get soft, it's ok, you can also not cover the container or not seal the bag.
- You can also freeze the empty cream puffs for up to 6 months. When ready to use, remove from the freezer, unwrap and allow to reach room temperature in the open air before filling.
- You can fill the pastries with any fillings you may like such as Pastry Cream, ganache, whipped ganache, and even ice cream.