Purveyor of Cute
Perhaps I spent a few too many of my formative years inside a
shop, but small things made to mimic bigger things really tug on my cute strings. These pumpkin puffs are my latest crush.
I fully disclose I didn't come up with this idea myself, but I will go as far as to say that I definitely made it better. A small shop in Brooklyn specializing in choux puffs offers multiple flavors of their two-bite treats. On a recent trip, I spied a pumpkin spiced puff in the form of a baby pumpkin. "What a great idea!", I thought. Only issue I had was the actual pastry was dense with little cream inside, overbaked, had no flavor, and was topped with a green marzipan round that I just didn't want to eat. A tiny sliver of pecan inserted into the marzipan served as the stem.
I set out to make my own version to lure guests to our tasting table at the
event. Pate a choux (done right) expands into tender, globes of pastry, self-hollowing to accommodate lots of filling. Of course, color was an integral part of making them actually look like pumpkins, so a dose of powdered orange food coloring gets worked into the batter without adding any excess moisture. Our puffs are normally piped with a plain round tip; but knowing I wanted to replicate the striations of a pumpkin, star tip was the way to go.
As they bake in the oven, the outer angles of the choux get hit with the heat first and set their shape, while the inner valleys blow outward, thus creating their signature pumpkin ridges.
Once baked, they remind me of
Filled with pumpkin spice cremeux and topped with rum infused green glaze, they exlode "Thanksgiving pie" in the mouth! But a pumpkin is not complete without its hand-piped Dulcey chocolate stem.
At the event, our pumpkins looked pretty fetching against a logo-ed backdrop of checkerboard coasters with a banner of holiday pastry porn hanging above. Dripping candelabras added to the fall-festive mood.