Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

It suddenly occurred to me, after I received a lovely comment from someone who apparently had been searching for my Carrot Cake recipe for years, that I had not included the recipe here on my blog. Well here is the link.

As Ruth Reichl stated in the Gourmet compilation, “it is one of the best we’ve ever tasted…” Enjoy!

Cream puff recipe

I did not include the recipe for cream puffs below.  Here it is!  Just make sure to overbake them until the form is baked fully and there is no chance for collapse.  These shells offer endless opportunities in a sweet or savory preparation.  When I finally get my hands on the in-season berries, perhaps as early as this weekend, I am going to fill these puffs with mascarpone mousse and balsamic glazed strawberries! I’ll make sure and include a photo!

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

3/4 cup water

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup all purpose flour

3 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 400F. 

Combine water, butter and salt in a medium sized saucepan over high heat.  Stir until butter is melted and reduce heat to medium.  Add flour all at once and stir vigorously until the mixture pulls away from the side of the pan and forms a ball (about 1 minute).  Transfer mixture to the bowl of a food processor and let cool slightly.  Add eggs one at a time through the feed tube while the processor is running (run the machine for about 20 seconds after each addition). Add vanilla and beat for 5 seconds or so.  Turn off machine.

With a small ice cream scoop, scoop 18-20 mounds of dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet.  Brush each cream puff with egg wash and bake about 30 minutes until completely puffed out and hardened and golden brown.

To form the cream puff sundaes below split each cream puff in half, fill with pure vanilla ice cream and drizzle warmed sauce over top.

Puffs can be kept in a zip lock bag which will result in a softening of the cream puff but no collapse. To crisp them before filling them, place in a 350F oven (preheated) for about 5 minutes. 

Patty shoe

Pate a choux is, I would say, the most versatile of the French patisserie line up–and the easiest.  Shaped into eclairs or cream puffs, sweet or savory, this simplest of doughs can be stirred together in the time that the oven barely has a chance to preheat.  Split open and filled with pure vanilla ice cream, then decadently drizzled with any sweet sauce, these now Profiteroles are the perfect ending to any dinner party.  Small and “just enough.”  The key to preventing collapse of any cream puff is to actually overbake them.  The high concentration of eggs in the batter will form the distinctive puff and you’ll be tempted to take them out of the oven when lightly browned.  But, continue to bake them until they produce a distinctive thump when tapped gently with a fingertip. The hard crunchy exterior will prevent collapse and when split open, they will still retain their shape. Enjoy!