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Cream Puffs: Custard or Whipped Cream?

Was just curious what was the popular consensus on cream puffs. Do you prefer cream puffs with custard, whipped cream, or both?

For me, I really have difficulty liking custard. I just find the texture a little too...I really can't put a word to it. The best I can come up with is shocking or jarring. Whether it be a cream puff or cake, you bite into it only to be jolted by this thick, heavy and COLD filling that kinda snaps you out of what you thought would be a pleasant dessert experience. I just like whipped cream better b/c its...well its WHIPPED CREAM! What dessert isn't made better by whipped cream? Its creamy, its rich, yet still being impossibly light/fluffy and oh so fun to eat.

I just finished eating a cream puff from my fave bakery. The girl at the counter told me it was filled with whipped cream but when biting into it, I was most definitely sure it was custard. However, it was still rather nice, and I think the reason why was b/c the custard had a lighter texture to it, almost a kin to whipped cream.

I can't be too sure: how do you know for sure if your puff is filled with whipped cream? Why would the girl say it was whipped cream when it wasn't?:S

Also, can anyone recommand me a good recipe?:D

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  1. I like standard pastry cream with whipped cream cut in.

    3 Replies
    1. re: coastie

      Ditto! Plain whipped cream is a bit boring and insubstantial. Some custards are cloying and too heavy. A combination of the two works very well.

      1. re: pilinut

        This. A light custard, lightened further with whipped cream, is perfect. I also like stabilized whipped cream on its own, but I agree that the custard gives it just enough substance.

      2. re: coastie

        Me, too. It's so light and rich at the same time.

      3. I know what you mean with the custard. I like it hot, but when it's cold it can stay out of my mouth.

        I'd go for cream too. And what coastie said sounds pretty good too. Baking with Anna Olsen covered pastry cream in one episode, might be worth checking out.

        1. I prefer pastry cream, but to me a cream puff by definition has whipped cream in it.

          1. I have to differ, I definitely prefer custard to whipped cream. When I was very young my mom got a recipe from a friend which she called shoe cream which involved making a butter/flour mixture, beating it with a wooden spoon, dropping lumps on a baking sheet and cooking into fluffy golden balls, then making something on the stove that was like vanilla pudding. The balls were cut in half and the pudding was spooned in, then closed. I remember it was soooo good but soooo much work.
            Years later I found out it was really called chou a la creme, aka cream puff. I will try to dig up the recipe and post it.

            3 Replies
            1. re: hsk

              Shoe cream--that's great!
              When I was a kid we'd get gigantic cream puffs filled with whipped cream from a local bakery. I still like them, but find pastry cream a more interesting filling now.

              1. re: hsk

                is there no milk or egg? that would make pate choux -- the classic shell for this. butter and flour makes... crackers.

                1. re: hsk

                  Shoe cream. What a blast from the past. My mom called it that, too, and I realized when I was taking french that it was choux, not shoe. I thought my mom just got it wrong but when I read your post, I had to google it. It's a Japanese thing. I just found this, which the Americans filming it didn't get:

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvcenW...

                2. I think cream puffs are divine, so many things to fill them with.

                  if I had a choice, probably would choose a light custard.
                  I wouldn't want one of those really bad heavy globby kind of custards.
                  that's why I say light custard, thinner than thick.

                  1. Absolutely custard! I like to have both, but if I have to choose between the fillings, it's custard all the way.

                    A cream puff with only whipped cream is like a lemon meringue pie with just the crust and meringue!

                    1. My favorite cream is heavy cream, mascarpone, a little sweetner, cocoa and some espresso powder, whipped up until stiff peaks. Dreamy!!!!!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: sedimental

                        the recipe that I use is a pastry cream folded with whipped cream

                        1. re: doberlady

                          I like to also whip the pastry cream.

                      2. Custard, custard, custard for me. No whipped cream, unless it's just a bit that's been folded into the custard to lighten it up. When I get a cream puff with whipped cream, I always feel cheated. :)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: TorontoJo

                          pastry cream. now if you want whipped cream...make Paris-Brest

                        2. Why not make both whipped cream and pastry cream andlet your guests decide.Let them open their own cream puff and fill it how they prefer.