I love baking. My sister knows this. For her son’s 11th birthday, she asked if he could pick out his own cake for me to make. “Of course”, I said. His selection: the Peppermint Cream Puff Ring from Baking from My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan. The pictures in this book are great. They really make you want to make the items. But as I have realized from baking so many of the recipes, sometimes the items in the pictures have had a little help to get them to look so good.
For my nephew’s cake, he wanted to substitute a lemon cream for the peppermint cream. No problem, as there is an excellent lemon cream recipe in the book. I made it about a year ago and loved it.
I have wanted to make this recipe for a while now. It requires making a choux paste, which is a dough formed in a pot on the stove and then piped warm into shapes. I have never done this before. The dough came together very easily. I used a plastic bag with a snipped end to pipe the dough around an 8″ parchment paper circle.
The recipe called for 3 circles, inside and on top of one another, but since I had so much dough remaining, I added some more circles to make a thicker ring.
The ring is baked in the oven at 425 degrees for a while and then the temp is lowered and the ring continues to bake. The steam created by the baking process is what allows the dough to rise.
Out of the oven and cooled, I slit the ring in half horizontally and scooped out the inside dough. Then I used a piping bag to fill the inside with the lemon cream. The lemon cream is a heavenly mixture of lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, and butter. A whole lot of butter. The resulting mixture is so unbelievably delicious; tart, sweet, creamy, yummy. You have to stop yourself from eating it with a spoon.
After adding the lemon cream, I placed the top half of the ring back in place. Then I melted chocolate and cream on the stovetop and when cooled slightly, I poured it on top of the creation, followed by a sprinkling of toasted sliced almonds. Then back into the refrigerator to set.
That night we went to my sister’s house for the birthday party. Since it was hard to put a candle in the choux pastry, we only used 1 candle. But he is 11 years old. And he loved the cake.
I loved the lemon cream and the chocolate. But it gets me that my cake looks so much flatter than the picture in the book. Was it the substitution of lemon cream instead of peppermint cream that caused the difference? Or was there some propping going on in the photostudio the day the picture was taken? I don’t know.
Anyway the end product was delicious, and I guess that is the goal.