Hop Into Spring With Toasted Coconut Key Lime Puffs & I’ll Spring A Big Surprise On You!
Yes, I have been off the blogging radar for quite sometime. Ok, a real long time. There is really good reason for it, I promise.
First let’s talk about spring. I love spring in the south! It’s not too too hot and definitely no longer cold, I consider it just perfect. Spring is the time of year I love to add citrus and bright colors to our desserts. One of my favorite flavors is key lime, so tart and tangy. What a delightful wake up to your slumbering winter tastebuds. I have worked an awful lot the past 3 months learning about choux and how to make it. As y’all know, I’m self taught in the kitchen and choux was only made by my Grandma for eclairs on Christmas Eve. I have never even seen it made. My Grandma gave me her super old cookbook as a gift, which is when I started experimenting.
Choux sounds super fancy and by God it’s french. How’s this southern, self taught baker gonna pull it off. Many batches ended up in the trash. But I am now ready to share with y’all this simple choux recipe that can be filled with anything. From custards, puddings, pastry creams, and citrus curds, the sky’s the limit on what can be placed in these crunchy little balls. Today, I will be filling them with key lime pastry filling and topping them with some toasted coconut flakes.
Now, on to where in the world have I been! I will be on Food Network’s new series Spring Baking Championship, which will premiere on April 26th at pm ET! Woohoo. So Exciting!!!!! It was so hard to not share with anyone that I would be baking my heart out on national tv, but now is the time I get to share my wonderful secret. I must say the moment I found out that I would be on the show, I was in my kitchen practicing every waking moment. I wanted to teach myself every recipe I didn’t know and practice every recipe I already knew. What an honor and OMG what a challenge. I must say the other 7 competitors are amazing and I have become extremely good friends with each one of them. And the judges, Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman, and Lorraine Pascale were simply kind, knowledgeable and super cool. The host of Spring Baking Championship is Bobby Deen! And yes, he is even dreamier in person, swoon….You can tune into Food Network April 26th at 9PM ET to watch the premiere of Spring Baking Championship and see me compete against 7 other bakers for 50K!! To read more about the show and some of the challenges click on this link: Food Network Blog
Let’s start baking…
Toasted Coconut Key Lime Puffs
Yields: 20-24 1.5 tbsp puffs
For the Choux
1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour, measured then sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Equipment for the choux:
Stand mixer or hand mixer
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium pot place water, butter, sugar, and salt. Bring to a rapid boil.
3. Keeping burner on medium heat, remove pot from burner and add in sifted flour. Mix well and it will start to form a ball. Place back on medium burner.
4. Mix the thick dough in the pot on medium heat for 1 minute until a ball forms or dough pulls away from pot’s sides. Remove from heat and immediately place in mixer.
5. Beat the hot dough in the mixer on high until cools to almost room temperature. Add in vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time.
6. Scoop dough with an ice cream scooper (1.5 tbsp size) or use a piping bag and squeeze out a ping pong ball size onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
7. Dampen your finger with water and press down any spikes or pointy parts on the dough because they will burn.
8. Bake choux at 400 for 10 minutes then drop temperature to 350 for 30-35 minutes more. They will become hard and rock like when you tap them.
NEXT IS CRUCIAL
9. Leave them in the oven and turn the oven off. This allows them to dry on the insides so they don’t shrink or shrivel up.
Trust me, I ‘ve thrown out too many soft choux batches. Leave them in the oven 2-3 hours.
For the key lime pastry filling
3/4 cup key lime juice
1 tbsp lime zest
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup cold heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp clear imitation vanilla
1. In a medium pot on medium low heat combine first 6 ingredients and slowly bring to a boil-stir constantly.
2. Key lime curd will become thick-boil 5-7 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and put in freezer to assist in chilling.
4. While waiting for curd to chill, put heavy cream, powdered sugar, and clear vanilla in mixing bowl.
5. With the whisk attachment, beat all ingredients on high until thick. Be careful not to overbeat-you will make it butter 😉
6. When the key lime curd is cool, fold it into the whipped cream by hand. Yes, you must fold by hand otherwise it will become soup.
7. If after folding cream and curd together, it is still too tart for you, then add a couple tbsps of powdered sugar and fold.
1. Take a crunchy choux piece and using a serrated knife cut off the top and place on the side.
2. Spoon in the key lime pastry filling to the top.
3. If you like toasted coconut, sprinkle some on the filling to add a nice texture and flavor to the key lime
4. Place the top back on the filled choux and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
These treats are meant to be eaten the same day because they will become soft. If you don’t mind them soft then keep air tight container in refrigerator for 24 hours. Otherwise, you can prepare the filling the day before you plan on serving and then make the choux the day of. These special desserts are meant to be served fresh daily.