Triple chocolate cream puffs with caramel sauce

Triple Chocolate Innovation! Who ever said innovation has no taste? Those that have, have never tried Triple Chocolate Cream Puffs with Caramel Sauce.  For many, the name says it all!  The preparation, the creation will yield the ultimate "WOW" factor to any occasion.

This recipe has been delicately devised, tested, and proven.  Don't allow the "unknown" of the cream puff or the specialized ganache intimidate you.  This recipe is formalized for any chef on any level.  The process is 3 hours in the making, one hour and twenty to cook, but the yield is beyond a pastry.  It will be the talking and the envy of future occasions.

Preparation time: 3 hours

Cooking time: 1 hr :20 min

Yield: 24 cream puffs

Ingredients:

For the cream puffs:

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup water

3 oz butter

1 tsp sugar

1 cup eggs (about 4 medium-sized)

pinch of salt

For the white chocolate ganache:

½ cup heavy cream

4 oz high-quality white chocolate, finely chopped

1 tbsp butter

For the milk chocolate ganache:

½ cup heavy cream

4 oz high-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped

For the dark chocolate ganache:

½ cup heavy cream

4 oz high-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped

For the caramel sauce:

2 oz sugar

1 oz butter

1/6 cup heavy cream

Directions:

To make the white chocolate ganache, place ¼ cup cream and butter in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until it simmers. Remove the pan from the heat, add the white chocolate and let rest for one minute. Whisk until smooth and then gradually add the remaining cream and combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour. Whisk to medium peaks just before filling the cream puffs. 

For the milk chocolate ganache, place ¼ cup cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat and heat until small bubbles appear around the edges. Put the chopped milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour the hot cream on top. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes, until the chocolate has melted and whisk until smooth. Gradually add the remaining cream and combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour. Whisk to medium peaks just before assembling the cream puffs.

To make the dark chocolate ganache, repeat the same procedure as for milk chocolate ganache.

To make the cream puffs, preheat oven to 400 F. Line two baking sheets with Silchef silicone baking mats. In a medium saucepan place the water, butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and stir in the flour. Stir the mixture quickly into a paste with a wooden spoon. Allow the paste to cool down for a couple of minutes. Add the eggs in three batches,  mixing thoroughly with a hand mixer in between each adding, until the eggs are well incorporated and the batter is smooth and shiny. 

Transfer the cream puffs batter into a large pastry bag fitted with a large tip and pipe 24 1 ½  -inches round mounds, about 1 ½ inch apart.  Bake in the middle of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before filling.

To make the caramel sauce, put the sugar in a small saucepan and stir over high heat with wooden spoon. When the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. Cook for 1 minute, then add 1 oz butter and stir until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and add cream. Mix well until combine. Let it cool completely.

Assemble the cream puffs. Cut the puffs in half with a serrated knife, and set the tops aside. Pipe a ½ -inch layer of dark chocolate ganache into each cream puff.  Chill for 20 minutes until dark chocolate layer is set. Pipe a ½ -inch milk chocolate ganache on top of the layer of dark chocolate ganache and chill again for 20 minutes. Remove the cream puffs from refrigerator, pipe white chocolate ganache on top of the layer of milk chocolate filling and top with the lid. Refrigerate for 20 minutes more.

Just before serving, make the caramel sauce.  Put the sugar in a small saucepan and stir over high heat with wooden spoon. When the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. Cook for 1 minute, then add 1 oz butter and stir until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and add cream. Mix well until combine. Let it cool slightly and spoon it over tops of cream puffs.