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Passover coffee cream puffs

Passover coffee cream puffs
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

When I was in high school in a suburb of Washington, D.C., my friend Debbie Weisz gave me a recipe for Passover rolls that she’d written on a three-by-five card. My mother and I were intrigued by the idea of ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, plus cooling and chilling times | Makes about 2 dozen puffs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons potato starch (5 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut in 12 pieces
  • Prepared Passover cream puff shells
  • Powdered sugar, for garnish

Step 1Make the filling: In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk and vanilla bean and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, cover and set aside to steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean, scraping out any seeds and adding to the milk (discard the bean or save it for another use).

Step 2In a heatproof medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until blended. Sift in the potato starch and coffee, whisking until thoroughly combined.

Step 3In a heavy saucepan, bring the milk back to a boil. Remove from heat and gradually add the milk to the egg mixture, ladling and whisking it in to temper the eggs. Return the milk and egg mixture back to the saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. Cook until the mixture begins to thicken, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the mixture into a bowl set over a larger bowl of ice water, discarding any solids. Continue whisking until the custard is completely cooled and smooth. Transfer the custard to a covered container and refrigerate until completely chilled.

Step 4In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until soft and smooth, about 3 minutes. Slowly add the custard, beating in each addition until fully incorporated and smooth. This makes about 5 cups filling. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 to 2 hours.

Step 5Using a serrated knife, carefully cut off the top half of each puff and reserve this part as a "hat."

Step 6Fill the puffs: Using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, pipe the filling generously onto the bottom of each puff, allowing the cream to show slightly at the sides. Top each puff with its “hat.”

Step 7Sift powdered sugar over the cream puffs and serve.

Note: To make the puffs pareve, use nondairy milk and margarine instead of milk and butter. To make coffee-walnut cream puffs, add 1 cup finely chopped walnuts to the coffee filling, and use a spoon to fill the puffs rather than a piping bag; after topping the puffs, drizzle dark honey over each puff, then top with a walnut half and sifted powdered sugar.


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