Cream Puffs with Honey

This classic French dessert takes on a Greek twist with the addition of a thyme honey glaze. Thyme honey is primarily manufactured in Crete and has an amber colour when liquid and brown when crystallized. It’s herbal, savory flavor is fresh and reminiscent of dates and white pepper. Mixed with the sweetness of the pastry filling, you won’t be able to stop at one cream puff.

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Ingredients – Cream Puffs
1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups flour
6 eggs
Pinch salt

Ingredients – Pastry Cream
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 package gelatin powder
2 cups whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla powder

Ingredients – Honey Glaze

1/2 cup thyme honey
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with paper or a silicone sheet. In a saucepan bring the water, butter, and salt to a boil. Remove it from the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir it quickly and continuously until the mixture forms a ball. Place the hot dough into a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Start mixing it to cool it down (place your hand at the side of the bowl to see if the mixture has cooled down). Once cool, add the eggs one at a time while mixing. The dough should be shiny once done and not stiff. Place the dough in a pastry bag fitted with a piping tip and pipe a few inches apart as the puffs will get larger. As you pipe each puff, twist at the end to finish and release. Wet your hand slightly with water and pat down any peaks. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes and ensure that you do not open the oven door or the puffs will deflate. They are ready when they achieve a golden brown colour. Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool on a wire rack.

In the meantime, make the filling by heating milk and vanilla powder over medium heat. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar in a mixing bowl until they are creamy and light yellow. While mixing, slowly drizzle in the warm milk. Once completely incorporated, return to a low heat and simmer until thickened. Important: You must continuously stir or the pastry cream will stick. Once you can blow the back of a wooden spoon and a “rose” pattern forms, it is ready. Prepare the gelatin by melting in 1/4 cup cold water. Add an additional 1/4 cup boiling water and stir until completely dissolved. Fold in the gelatin mixture to the milk mixture and chill for 1/2 hour until it gels slightly. In the meantime, whip the whipping cream until if forms stiff peaks. Fold into the milk mixture. Place the pastry cream into a piping bag so that you can fill the cream puffs easily.

To fill the cream puffs, use a knife tip to cut into the cream puff. Place the tip of the pastry bag into the puff and insert enough pastry cream to fill the cream puff. Keep filled puffs refrigerated until you prepare the glaze.

To prepare the glaze, melt butter with brown sugar and honey in a pot. Stir over low heat for one minute. Remove from the heat and dip one side of the cream puffs into the honey glaze to coat.

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Makes 36 cream puffs.

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