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Recipe: Vandbakkelser – Danish Cream Puffs

Recipe: Vandbakkelser - Danish Cream Puffs

Danish vandbakkelser are a kind of cream puffs similar to éclairs or profiteroles. While growing up, I always thought of vandbakkelser as something truly Danish. It wasn’t until I grew older I realized that the dough vandbakkelser is made from, is found in many other cuisines and widely known as choux pastry dough, with France as the accredited origin. Though one very Danish way to use choux pastry dough is to turn it into a Vandbakkelses-kagekone/kagemand (cake person) and use it as a birthday cake. I don’t think that’s done at any other places in the world? 🙂
When my sister and I were kids, my mom would often make vandbakkelser on the weekends, so eating vandbakkelser never fails to bring back a bunch of happy childhood memories. My mom’s version is quite basic, without any added salt or sugar, and with only whipped cream as a filling. This is the version I grew up with, and the one I prefer the most. If you’re in the mood for something more fancy in terms of shape, size, and filling, feel free to play around.

Notes

It’s crucial that you do not open the oven until at least 25 minutes have passed, even just to peek. You risk that the cream puffs collapse, and if that happens, the only option is to start over again with a new batch.

After 25 minutes, the outer layer will be hard enough that the risk of the cream puffs collapsing is minimal. If you think the cream puffs are done, you can take one out at that point and cut it open to check if it’s properly baked inside.

My mom’s cream puffs are as simple as they come. There’s neither salt nor sugar in the dough, but if you like, you can add a teaspoon of vanilla sugar to the whipped cream. You can also fill the cream puffs with custard, jam, or why not a scoop of ice cream in the summer.

My mom always makes the glaze with boiling water. According to her, it makes the glaze shiny.

For those wondering, it’s the steam from the water you add at the very beginning, along with the eggs, that causes the vandbakkelser to rise.

Recipe: Vandbakkelser – Danish Cream Puffs

Recipe by Mummi P Course: BakingCuisine: Denmark
Portion

8-10

pieces

When my sister and I were kids, my mom would often make vandbakkelser (Danish cream puffs) on the weekends, so eating vandbakkelser never fails to bring back a bunch of happy childhood memories. My mom’s version is quite basic, without any added salt or sugar, and with only whipped cream as a filling. This is the version I grew up with, and the one I prefer the most. If you’re in the mood for something more fancy in terms of shape, size, and filling, feel free to play around.

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Ingredients

  • cup (2dL) water

  • 3 ½ oz (100g) butter

  • 3 ½ (100g) AP flour

  • 3-4 eggs

  • For the glaze
  • cup (2dL) powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa

  • 1-2 tablespoons boiling water

  • For the whipped cream
  • 1 cup (¼ L) heavy cream

Directions

  • Whisk the eggs together and set them aside for later.
  • Melt the butter, add the water, and bring it to a boil.
  • Add the flour while stirring vigorously while the pot is still on the hot stove. Keep stirring until the dough detaches from the pot.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let the dough cool for a few minutes.
  • Gradually add the whisked eggs while continuing to stir. You may not need to use all the eggs.
  • The dough should be thick and glossy and not too runny. You should be able to shape it with two spoons. Now is the time to preheat the oven to 390ºF/200ºC.
  • Place dollops of dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper using two tablespoons.
  • Make sure to leave ample space around each dollop, as they will rise significantly during baking. There should be enough dough for 8-10 cream puffs.
  • Bake the vandbakkelser at 390ºF/200ºC in the middle of the oven for 35-45 minutes. Do not open the oven during the first 25 minutes, as this might cause the vandbakkelser to collapse. The vandbakkelser are done when they are golden brown on the outside and properly baked inside. You can test this by taking one out of the oven to see if it collapses.
  • While the cream puffs are cooling, prepare the whipped cream and glaze.
  • Whip the cream to soft peaks. Optionally, add 1 tsp of vanilla sugar.
  • Prepare the glaze by mixing powdered sugar, cocoa, and boiling water. Be careful, and add just a few drops of water at a time until the glaze reaches the desired consistency, as it’s hard to salvage a glaze that has become too watery.
  • Cut the cream puffs open and fill them with a couple of spoonfuls of whipped cream. Decorate with glaze on top and serve immediately.

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