Cream puff swans took center stage at our recent pre-recital ballet gathering. This was my first attempt at recreating Elmwood Inn's famed recipe, and I am so pleased with the results. I adapted Elmwood Inn's recipe to fill the swans with chocolate cream.
Cream Puff Swans
1 cup water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
dash of salt
1 cup flour
Bring water, butter and salt to a boil in a saucepan. After the butter has melted, add the flour. Mix quickly with a wooden spoon until batter is smooth. Continue stirring for a few minutes over low heat to dry the dough. The dough should not stick to your fingers when touched. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, and let it cool. Add eggs, one at a time, until mixture is smooth. Grease and flour a cookie sheet. Using about 3/4 of the dough, drop large tablespoons of dough (2" diameter) onto the prepared sheet.
Place the remaining batter into a pastry tube fitted with a large round or star tip. Pipe the batter onto a prepared baking sheet in the shape of an "S." Brush all the dough shapes with beaten egg and let dry for 25 minutes.
Preheat oven to 370 degrees. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until light brown. Turn off heat, open the oven door slightly, and let the puffs cool in the oven for 20 minutes. Cool completely before use.
1 cup heavy whipping creamWith an electric mixer, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla, and whip until stiff. Chill until ready to use.
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/8 cup Hershey's cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
To assemble: Split the puffs in half horizontally. Then split the top in half in order to make wings. Fill the bottom half with chocolate cream piped with a star tip. Place an "S" into the cream for a neck and head. Add the wings. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 8-12 swans.
Note: I prepared the cream puffs the day before the party and stored them in an airtight container. Shortly before the party I assembled the swans to keep the dough from getting soggy.
If you have been intimidated to attempt cream puff swans, I encourage you to give them a try. They add a graceful note of elegance to Tea at the Ballet!
"Dance is a delicate balance between perfection and beauty." ~ Author Unknown