Strawberry Mascarpone Cream Puffs

Strawberry Mascarpone Cream Puffs

I am flush with strawberries right now. It’s still relatively early in strawberry season, which generally runs from late spring through summer, but the berries I’ve picked up this week have all been sweet and full of flavor. The only problem with having so many strawberries around is that they start to go bad rather quickly, so I try to use them up by adding them to cereal, yogurt and pancakes for breakfast, making smoothies and loading them into desserts. One of my favorites is strawberry shortcake, a dessert that is always easy to put together and a great way to showcase fresh, ripe berries.

I like to think of these as fancy strawberry shortcakes. They’re cream puffs that are filled with a fluffy mascarpone cream and chopped, fresh strawberries. The choux pastry that makes the cream puffs is lightweight and soft, so these are much lighter and less filling than regular shortcakes. Each one is about 3 bites of creamy, strawberry goodness.

These cream puffs look very elegant but are relatively easy to make. The filling can be made in advance and chilled in the refrigerator. The puffs are best the same day that they are made, but are still very good the next day if they’re cooled completely and stored in an airtight container. The filling should only be added to the puffs right before serving. I like to leave the strawberries in medium-sized chunks to get a lot of flavor, but this also means that I usually have to cut open the cream puffs and add the filling with a knife or a spoon. If you want to pipe it into the puffs and don’t want berries stuck in a pastry bag, chop them up finely.

Strawberry Shortcake Cream Puffs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
3 1/2 tbsp butter (1.75 ounces), softened
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water (for egg wash)

Preheat oven to 400F.
Combine milk, water, butter, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until dough comes together into a ball. Continue to cook dough, stirring continuously, for one additional minute.
Transfer dough to mixer or clean bowl and let mix (pref. with a paddle attachment) at a low speed for 2-3 minutes until slightly cooled. Add eggs one at a time, waiting until each egg is fully incorporated to add the next one. Increase mixer speed and continue mixing until batter is very smooth, about 3-4 minutes.
Using a spoon, drop 16 round tablespoonfuls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Lightly stir together remaining egg yolk and water to create an egg wash. Brush each pastry with egg wash.
Bake for 20 minutes, until puffs are well browned.
Allow puffs to cool completely on a wire rack.

Makes 16

Strawberry Mascarpone Filling
8-ounces mascarpone cheese, cold
1/4 cup half n’ half or cream
3-4 tbsp powdered sugar, to taste
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
approx 1 cup diced strawberries

Beat all ingredients together with a whisk until soft peaks form. If you want to make the filling sweeter, then add a bit more sugar. You might have to add a little more cream to keep the filling from getting too stiff. Fold in diced strawberries, then either spoon or pipe filling into split cream puffs just before serving. Chill if not using filling right away.

12 comments

  1. That filling looks divine! I’d top with strawberries macerated in balsamic.

  2. Looking good. I will make anything with mascarpone in it

  3. Your Cream Puffs are absolutely lovely. I’m beyond jealous that it’s already strawberry season for you! I have to wait until next month. I’m just not sure if I’ll make it. Come on summer berries in New England! Grow, grow, grow!

  4. What a fabulous take on strawberry shortcake — I love it!

  5. Ooo do these ever sound good! Especially with mascarpone cream yum.

  6. OH MY GAH. These look amazing. That strawberry mascarpone filling sounds totally delicious. I think I could eat it with a spoon. What a wonderful, summery treat!

  7. I just made the cream puff portion – they came out perfectly! I looked at a lot of cream puff recipes, and really, your dough instructions are the best and easiest to follow. I didn’t have any strawberries, so I just made a vanilla pastry cream to fill the puffs. I’m keeping a close eye on my strawberry plants now, grow little guys, grow! I will make these puffs again, I want to try the delicious-looking mascarpone filling.

  8. Hi,
    i just tried the puffs but they never puffed up, i use different recipe for choux buns with no milk and they come out perfect every time, but this didnt work for me, any reason, i could have done wrong somewhere.

  9. I made these last weekend and they were to die for. I dusted them with powdered sugar.

  10. I made these the other night for my bible study group and everybody loved them! The filling was fantastic.

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