Christmas Swan Cream Puffs on a
In a future post I will do a step by step tutorial but here is the recipe and I do hope you enjoy it as much as I do. They sound difficult to make but really aren't. The trick is to bake the bodies long enough without getting over browned as explained in the recipe.
Christmas Swan Cream Puffs on a Chocolate Pond
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter cut into pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 pkgs (3.4 ounces each) instant pudding mix (either vanilla OR cheesecake flavor…your choice… I personally like the vanilla the best)
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Powdered sugar for dusting swans
10-12 Thin Red ribbons cut about 12-15 inches in length for neck bows and streamers
Green candy ‘holly’ – two pieces per swan (from a bottle of Christmas Sprinkles)
Red candy ’berries’ (also from a bottle of Christmas Sprinkles)
1 tsp. white corn syrup for ‘glue’ (or icing can be substituted)
1 cup or more Chocolate or hot fudge sauce (warmed to be pourable) from a bottle or homemade
3 fresh Strawberries with leaves attached, washed and dried
In a saucepan, bring the water, butter and salt to a boil. Add flour all at once and stir vigorously until a smooth ball forms. Remove the sauce pan from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until incorporated. Beat until smooth and shiny.
Cut a ½ hole in the corner of a heavy-duty freezer resealable plastic bag (like ziplock.) Fill bag with about ½ cup of batter. On a greased baking sheet, pipe 10-12 three inch long "S" shapes for the swan necks. Make a small dollop at one end of each S for the head. Bake at 425° for about 5-8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven to cool. Don’t over bake and get overbrowned.
For swan bodies, put large spoonfuls of batter onto greased baking sheets. With a spoon spread each out to form an oval about 3 ½ inches long and 2 ½ inches wide. (There should be 10-12 using all the batter). Bake at 425 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Do NOT UNDERBAKE. NOTE: It is essential to poke a hole the last 5 minutes of baking the puffs so they don't collapse. But don’t over brown either. The tops of the puffs should be hard to the touch when ready. If they are too soft they will collapse. If necessary at this point turn off oven and let sit in oven for a half hour. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. NOTE: This can be done a day in advance.
Meanwhile put pudding mixes into a medium to large bowl. Add the milk and mix well. Set aside to ‘set’ about 5 minutes. Whip the cream adding the sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold in the whipped cream into the pudding. Chill.
Just before serving carefully slice off top third of swan bodies; set tops aside. Remove any soft dough inside. Spoon pudding mixture into bottoms of puffs dividing mixture evenly. Cut reserved tops in half lengthwise to form wings; set wings at an angle in filling. Dust with powdered sugar. Meanwhile tie a ribbon around the neck of each swan underneath the head making a bow with small streamer. With a small dab of white corn syrup or frosting, ‘glue’ the green candy holly leaves and red candy berries on the knot of the red bows. Carefully put a neck in each swans body at the top of the angled wings into the filling. If desired, dust with confectioners' sugar again.
Pour the chocolate sauce or warmed hot fudge onto a round or oval platter. Carefully set seven of the Swans in a circle facing out on the outward edge of the chocolate ‘pond.’ Arrange strawberries in center of the ‘pond.’ Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 10-12 Christmas Swans on a chocolate pond. Expect raves. These are delicious and make a ‘Wow’ presentation.
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