These EXTRA delicious cream puffs are stuffed with a layer of mango curd, fresh mango chunks, and whipped cream which are perfect for mango lovers! This sweet and tangy dessert is the ultimate Summer dessert.
Summer is mango season and I’ve been making all types of dishes using mangoes. Because cream puffs are one of my favorite desserts, I baked some and incorporated mangoes into the filling to create a different type of cream puff that includes not only cream, but also mango curd and fresh mango chunks. I really wanted to emphasize the flavor of the mangoes, and the curd and mango chunks do just that. Cream puffs can be a bit difficult to make, so it is important to understand some of the basics behind the pastry dough. When I started baking cream puffs, it took me a few tries before I successfully got them right.
What is choux pastry?
Choux pastry is a light pastry dough that uses steam to puff up and expand in size when exposed to high heat. It is made of only eggs, butter, water, and flour, and the egg is the rising agent. The dough must be cooked slightly prior to baking. There is no sugar in the dough, so a cookie choux or craquelin (sugar cookie crumb) is often added to the top. The craquelin adds crunch and sweetness to the pastry.
How to make a good choux pastry?
Choux pastry dough is extremely tricky and factors such as oven type, humidity, temperature, fewer or extra ingredients can affect the outcome of the pastry. I have made a list of tips that can help with making the choux pastry dough.
- Measure in weight, not measuring cups. I highly recommend using a scale to ensure exact measurements of ingredients.
- Don’t overcook the dough in the pan. Once you add the flour in, mix until there are no more clumps and once the dough begins to pull away from the pan, remove it from the heat.
- Allow the choux dough to cool before adding eggs. If you don’t let it cool, you will get scrambled eggs.
- For the cookie dough, do not make the cookie dough disk too large, otherwise it will fall off the puff while baking and burn quicker than the puff.
- Make sure the oven is preheated completely. You want the puffs to be exposed to the right temperature from the beginning.
- The cookie dough must be frozen for at least 20 min. Work quickly when cutting the cookie dough because it softens quickly and is difficult to work with. However, you can reshape the dough and refreeze if it does soften.
- Do NOT open the oven while the puffs are still baking. If you open the oven, heat will escape and the puffs may deflate!
- Make sure the puffs bake completely. You do not want a doughy and dense interior. Do not remove the puffs from the oven before they have completely puffed up. Once you remove the puffs from the oven, putting them back in the oven will not make if puff more.
- Once the puffs are baked completely, turn the heat off and allow the puffs to sit in the oven for 15 min. with the oven door slightly open. Removing the puffs immediately from the oven can create a heat shock which can cause them to deflate more.
The trickiest part about this recipe is the choux dough, so once you have mastered that, the mango curd and whipping cream are very simple to make and not as tricky as the the choux pastry dough. While this recipe may be more complex, it is absolutely worth it!
Mango Curd Cream Puffs
yield: 6 large, 9 medium
total cook time: 1 hr. 30 min.
For mango curd:
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3/4 c. mango puree
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp. lemon zest
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 3 egg yolks, beaten
For choux pastry (recipe is adapted from Honeykki):
- 60 g. water (1/4 c.)
- 25 g. butter (1.75 tbsp.)
- 38 g. all-purpose flour (4 tbsp.)
- 55 g. egg (1 large egg)
For cookie dough:
- 43 g. unsalted butter, softened (3 tbsp.)
- 50 g. granulated sugar (1/4 c.)
- 50 g. all-purpose flour (5 1/2 tbsp.)
For whipped cream:
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar (optional for stabilized cream)
- 3/4 c. fresh mango chunks
- 1 tbsp. dried mango zest (optional for topping)
- To make the mango curd, in a small pot over low heat, add in the butter. Once the butter is melted, add in the mango puree, lemon juice, and lemon zest and stir consistently until the mixture comes to a slight boil.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and cornstarch and add it into the pot. Whisk consistently for 1 min.
- Add in the beaten egg yolks while whisking consistently. Whisk until it comes to a boil and remove from heat. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and allow to cool at room temperature for 20 min. After 20 min, place in the fridge for 1 hour.
- In the meantime, to make the cookie dough, combine all ingredients in a bowl and transfer to a piece of parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and use a rolling pin to flatten out the dough until approx. 1/8 cm. thick. Place the dough on a baking sheet and freeze for at least 20 min.
- Preheat oven to 390 F.
- To make the choux dough, in a small pot, add in the water and butter over low heat until melted. Mix the butter and water and add in the flour. Use a spatula to combine the mixture consistently until no clumps remain and the dough pulls away from the pan. Remove from the heat and transfer the dough to a bowl and allow to cool at room temperature for 10 min.
- Once the choux pastry dough is cooled, add in the egg and combine with a spatula until the dough is smooth. Transfer to a piping bag. Use a tip if you have one, although a tip is not necessary.
- Pipe the puffs onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Pipe the puffs relatively high. Leave about 1 in. in between the puffs. Set aside.
- Remove the frozen cookie dough from the oven and peel off the top parchment paper. Cut the dough using cookie cutter or circular item. The dough is approx. 1 1/4 in. thick. Place the dough disks on top of the choux dough and place in the oven to bake for 25 min. Keep an eye on the cream puffs and bake more or less as needed.
- Turn the oven off after the puffs are completely baked and open the oven slightly to allow the puffs to cool for 15 min. in the oven. After 15 min., remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature.
- In a large bowl, combine the whipped cream ingredients and use an electric mixer to beat until whipped cream forms. You can chill the bowl and whisk before to help with forming the cream.
- Place the whipped cream in a piping bag with an open star piping tip.
- Place the mango curd in a piping bag. The mango curd should be cool and more thick.
- Place the fresh mango chunks and dried mango zest on the side.
- To assemble the puffs. slice off the top of the puff using a serrated knife. Some of the cookie crumb may fall off which is okay. Pipe the bottom of the cream puff with mango curd. Pipe 2 rings of whipped cream on the rim of the cream puff. Add the mango chunks in the middle of the cream puff and top the cream puff with the top of the puff.
- Sprinkle some dried mango zest on the whipped cream. Repeat for the other cream puffs.
Eat the cream puffs immediately or place in the fridge to eat later. The cream puffs store really well in the fridge and do not lose its shape or texture. For best freshness, consume the puffs within 3 days.