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CREAM PUFFS
200 ml water
100 ml melted butter
300 ml flour
1 tsp salt
5 eggs
(dash of white pepper, if filling will be savoury)

Combine water, melted butter and salt in saucepan and bring to boil. Add flour stirring vigorously with wooden spoon until mixture clumps together, forming a ball. Stir for 1 minute longer. Remove from heat.

Using electric mixer, add eggs one at a time, beating until dough is smooth after each addition  —  dough will be slightly soft and shiny.

Using 1 rounded tablespoon dough for each cream puff, spoon dough onto baking sheet covered with parchment paper, spacing about 5 cm (2") apart and forming mounds about 2 - 4 cm (1¼") in diameter. Using moist fingertips, gently press tops of cream puffs to flatten any peaks.

Bake at 225 °C until golden brown, about 20 - 25 minutes. During baking eggs make the pastry puff into hollow, irregular domes. Let cream puffs cool down. Split puffs horizontally, remove "caps" and fill just before serving with sweet or savoury filling and put the "cap" back on.

You can make puffs of different sizes: tiny puffs for cocktail bites (bake for 15 - 20 minutes) or one big ring-shaped puff (bake for 25 - 30 minutes).

Serving suggestion:
Sweet fillings: custard, jam, jelly, ice cream or whipped cream flavoured with instant coffee granules, vanilla, chopped nuts, fresh berries or fruit etc. Garnish with melted chocolate, caramel sauce, icing sugar etc.

Savoury fillings: hot- or cold-smoked salmon, chopped smoked ham, reindeer meat, caviar, shrimps, grated/crumbled cheese, chopped vegetables or walnuts mixed with cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise or whipped cream etc.


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