Mint Julep Cream Puffs

Recipe and Photos by Pate Giltner found here at www.thegandmkitchen.com.

“These delectable little cream puffs that are filled with a bourbon and mint pastry cream, and feel like a Southern party in your mouth. They are little dollops of heaven and taste just as refreshing and as slightly sinful as a real Mint Julep, but with the added necessity of me being able to eat tons of these and still being able to work.”

INGREDIENTS

For the pastry cream:

1/3 cup bourbon
1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon  vanilla
2 cups of milk
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup cornstarch 

For the choux pastry:

1 cup of water
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour 

For the whipped cream:

1 cup heavy cream 
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

INSTRUCTIONS

For the pastry cream:

  1. First, separate your eggs and put the yolks in a medium bowl and give them a gentle whisk so that they combine. Set them aside to allow them to come to room temperature. 
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, bourbon, mint, vanilla, salt, and cornstarch. Heat mixture on medium heat, while stirring to make sure the cornstarch doesn’t clump, until it comes to a simmer and is bubbling. 
  1. Add about 1/2 cup to your whisked eggs while stirring constantly, once combined add another 1/2 cup of the milk mixture. This is to give your eggs a gentle cook before adding them into the milk mixture. 
  2. Add egg mixture into the saucepan and cook until thick and is 160 degrees. About 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a standing mixer and beat with the paddle attachment. Add in the butter and beat on medium speed until it cools. About 3 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap by pressing the plastic into the top of the mixture. This is so that the mixture doesn’t create a film on top. Refrigerate for 1 hour. The mixture will keep for 2 days in the fridge.

For the choux pastry:

  1. Preheat over to 375 and prepare two cooking sheets with wax paper and just a little bit of flour. 
  2. Crack your eggs into a small bowl and allow them to come to room temperature.
  1. In a medium saucepan heat the water, butter, salt, and sugar until butter is melted and it starts to boil. 
  2. Quickly add in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is cooked and the mixture pulls away from the pan and leaves a film. About 3 minutes.
  3. Add mixture to a standing mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on low speed until it cools slightly. About a minute.  Turn the mixer up to medium speed and add in the eggs one at a time, beating until each egg is totally combined into the mixture before adding another. 
  4. Beat until all eggs are combined and soft peaks form.
  5. Put mixture into a piping bag and pipe mounds that are about 2 inches wide on the prepared baking sheet. The puffs will grow three times their size in the oven so leave enough space between them. Once pipped dip your finger in a little water and smooth down any pointed tops.
  6. Dip your whole hand in a bit of water and flick water droplets all over the baking sheet. This is so a bit of steam forms in the oven and gives the puffs a little bit of a crust. 
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until they reach a nice golden color. 

For the whipped cream:

  1. Mix the cream, sugar, and vanilla with a mixer until stiff peaks form. 

To assemble the cream puffs cut off the tops of the pastry with a perforated knife fill the hollow center with the bourbon mint pastry cream and then top that with the whipped cream, then place the top back on the pastry and enjoy!

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