Does your mother worry about you? Does she think you’re bound for a Darwin Award with your crazy sailing adventures? Well, this Mother’s Day show her what incredible delights can come from that tiny sailboat galley of yours. The perfect Mother’s Day gift is not flowers or Sunday brunch at a crowded restaurant. It’s cream puffs! Yes, cream puffs. But not just any cream puffs. These are Galley Pirate Cream Puffs…coconut filling infused with Malibu Rum and drizzled with hot chocolate sauce. You heard that right.
Apparently there are others in the world who love cream puffs as much as we do. Enter Pacific Puffs from San Francisco. My brother introduced them to me, but I can only salivate over the internet. He on the other hand, frequents the place and has been there many many times. You might say…too many…times?! ; )
Galley Pirate’s Coconut Cream Puffs Filling
2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant Jello Vanilla Pudding mix*
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Malibu Rum
1/2 cup shredded coconut
*Use Jello Coconut Pudding mix instead of Vanilla if you want an intense coconut flavor.
Mix together vanilla instant pudding mix, cream, milk and Malibu Rum. Fold in shredded coconut. Cover and refrigerate to set.
While that chills, preheat you galley oven to 425º. It’s a good idea to get it slightly over 425º because the temperature is going to drop significantly once you open the door. Gotta love a Force 10 Stove. I can get it up to 475º. But you only want to do that in the cool seasons!
While the cream filling chills and the oven heats, prepare the cream puff pastry batter. This is so much easier than you would ever dream!
Cream Puffs Batter
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil.
Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball.
Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and beat in well.
Beat in the eggs, either one at a time or all at once until a smooth batter forms. Making cream puffs is so easy there’s no reason not to make these regularly. Even…especially…from a sailboat galley! And you can fill them with pretty much anything you want. Try filling them with whipped cream, drizzled with warm Nutella. Or my latest favorite, almond cream puffs! Use 2 boxes of Jello Cheesecake Instant Pudding with 2 teaspoons of almond extract; fold sliced almonds into the pastry. Yum!!
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.
With a galley oven I highly suggest using an insulated cookie sheet. In fact, my best practices are to stack TWO insulated cookie sheets to further insulate the puff batter from the hot burner directly below. Hopefully your cookie sheets are cleaner than mine! Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Centers should be dry.
Pull them out of the oven, remove from pan with a metal spatula and poke a hole in each one to release the steam. This will help them hold their round shape. If they collapse, no problem. You can still fill them.
Perfect cream puffs! (find the pug in this picture.)
When the shells are cool, either split them with a sharp knife and fill with the pudding mixture, or use a pastry bag to pipe the pudding into the shells. I do happen to have a piping bag on board (an essential sailing necessity….yeah, right!) but today I just split them with a knife and spooned the cream filling into them.
The chocolate glaze can be made any number of ways and can be stored for days. Best idea is to make this in advance and store it in your icebox. We chose a very simple Hot Fudge Sauce which is based on the culinary bible, The Joy of Cooking. But feel free to experiment with any number of chocolate sauces and glazes for your puffs.
Hot Fudge Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Melt the unsweetened chocolate and butter in a double boiler, preferably, or in a sauce pan over very low heat.
Stir well and add one cup of boiling water. Keep stirring and add one cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons corn syrup. Let the sauce “boil readily, but not too furiously” over low heat. Do not stir. Boil, uncovered for 3 minutes. Takeoff heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir until smooth. this can be kept refrigerated and warmed before using on your cream puffs.
Once ready to serve, warm up your prepared chocolate sauce in a small pan.
And drizzle over the filled cream puffs. Best to eat them right away when they’re still crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.
And guaranteed, your Mom’s going to LOVE them. Almost as much as she loves you!