Chef Paola's Hummingbird Cream Puffs Are Out of This World
The star in this week's episode of Pastries with Paola is hummingbird cream puffs, which marry cream puffs with fruity hummingbird cake. "You might know this as a Southern staple, but it's even more Southern than you think," chef Paola Velez says about hummingbird cake. "This is a pastry that was created in the island of Jamaica. That's why you see flavors like pineapple, banana, and coconut coursing all through this delicious confection."
Paola's hummingbird cream puffs feature a banana whipped cream, as well as toasted pecans, a candied pineapple filling, and toasted coconut topping. The end result is a dessert that she says is "gonna be your favorite recipe to make at home, all year-round."
Read on for Paola's step-by-step method and list of ingredients, and follow along with the video below.
Make the Choux Dough
Start out by preparing your choux pastry, which calls for water, unsalted butter, granulated sugar, kosher salt, all-purpose flour, and large eggs. As Paola makes hers, she mentions a few pointers, such as making sure you cook down your flour, and allowing your dough to cool before adding in the eggs (otherwise, they'll cook, and you won't get a good rise in your pastry). Ultimately, the dough should be shiny, smooth, and ribbony.
Cut Out Your Choux Cookies and Build the Puffs
Next up are the choux cookies, which will top each round of piped choux dough. Cream together unsalted butter and light brown sugar, and then add the flour and blend until everything is incorporated. (Don't forget the yellow food coloring, either!) Place the dough on a parchment-paper-lined work surface, add another layer of parchment paper on top of it, and then roll it out to a 1/4-inch thickness. Once you've cut out the rounds, you can assemble the puffs.
Get your choux dough into a piping bag and pipe rounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, using the technique Paola demonstrates in the video. Then, top each round with one of the choux cookie dough rounds and get them all in the preheated 375°F oven. Bake 'em for 20 to 25 minutes, until the choux are golden and the cookie tops have deeply browned and cracked. Transfer them to a wire rack so they can cool.
Meanwhile, Prepare Your Fillings
These cream puffs are packed with homemade candied pineapple, some toasted pecans, and banana whip. The candied pineapple comes together on the stovetop, while the banana whip—which only calls for three ingredients—is made with Paola's trusty immersion blender.
Assemble the Cream Puffs and Enjoy
To build your cream puffs, take a cooled choux pastry and use a serrated knife to cut off the top third of it (save that piece for later). The inside of the puff should be hollow so you can spoon in some of the candied pineapple first, followed by the toasted pecans. Then, add in a generous dollop of banana whip so that the top is slightly overfilled. With a little toasted coconut and the reserved pastry tops to finish them off, the cream puffs are ready to eat.
"Out of this world," Paola says as she tries a bite.
Stay tuned for next week's episode of Pastries with Paola featuring blueberry panna cotta with blueberry chia pudding.