Vanilla Bean Cream Puffs

Cream Puff is one of those desserts that's simple to make but yet satisfying and easy to please anyone. It's one of the desserts that almost always come up in my mind whenever I want to make a snack for a group of people, for snack at home, for bridal shower, or any gathering for that matter. You can change the filling easily to suit the occasion depending on your fancy.

So, when I was trying to find something to give to one of my good neighbors, cream puffs naturally came to mind. I was planning to make it for Christmas but I was sick for a couple of days that I couldn't do anything except lying on my bed the whole day literally :( and it had to wait until New Year's Eve.

I was just planning to make a regular cream puff with soft and creamy pastry cream filling, but as I made it, I felt like making the filling a little fancier than just a regular filling. I quickly got my vanilla bean (instead of extract) and added it to the milk to infuse (I wasn't that far in making the pastry cream). I always like to lighten my pastry cream with a little whipped cream whether it is for cream puffs, fruit tarts, cake filling, etc. Depending on what it's for, the amount of whipped cream varies as sometimes you would want a lighter filling and sometimes toward a creamier filling, etc. So, I added a little whipped cream just to lighten it a bit, not too much that it would be light as mousse. And just like any other cream puff filling I made, I always add rum to the filling. I couldn't stop myself from licking the filling and my nephew just kept coming back and asking if he could taste more cream :)

It would be better if it was dusted with a little powdered sugar or combination of powdered sugar and cocoa powder but I was out of powdered sugar at the time, bummer. But it served its purpose successfully without the dusting anyway. I served the rest as dessert for New Year's Eve dinner at the same night and it was definitely a big hit.

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