Vermont Culinary Resort Recipes

PHOTO Sam Champion chats with kids in Essex, Vermont, Dec. 10, 2010.

Today Sam Champion gave you the weather update from a storybook holiday location in Essex, Vt. There, he heard some angelic singing from the Saint Michael's College choral group and sampled some of the local cuisine, courtesy of the Vermont Culinary Resort. And did you see his sweet horse and buggy ride? If not, check out the link below.

Check out a few recipes from the resort below and visit the following links for more information.

The Essex

Saint Michael's College

Vermont Horse and Carriage Rides

Holiday Recipes From Vermont

Croque en Bouche

For the cream puffs:
1 cup water
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup all purpose flour
5 large eggs

Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper. Heat oven to 400F.

Put water, butter, sugar and salt in a heavy sauce pan. Heat to boiling over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. With a wire whisk or wooden spoon, add the flour all at once stirring until batter pulls away from side of pan. Cook, stirring, for one minute more.

Remove from the heat and stir in eggs, one at a time, blending until fully incorporated. Drop batter by the teaspoonful onto cookie sheets make 80 1-inch balls about 1 inch a part. Bake until well brown and crisp, about 20 – 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool completely on wire racks. Can be made ahead to this point. Cover and store at room temperature up to 24 hours.

For the Pastry Cream Filling:

3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 egg yolks
pinch salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

In a heavy saucepan the heat, using a wire whisk, beat together the sugar and egg yolks until pale yellow. Whisk in flour and salt. In another saucepan, heat the milk over medium-heat until small bubbles form on side of pan. Gradually beat the heated milk into the egg mixture. Place the pan over medium low heat and cook, whisking constantly until ingredients have thicken--do not allow to boil. When sauce is the consistency of yogurt, remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour into a bowl and place a piece of waxed or parchment paper directly on the surface. Cool and refrigerate. Can be made up to 24 hours ahead.

For the Caramel:

3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
Pinch cream of tartar

Place the sugar, water and cream of tartar in a small saucepan. Over low heat, stir gently until sugar dissolves. Raise the heat, and without stirring, allow the syrup to cook until it is a ruddy gold in color (345F or a candy thermometer). Remove from heat and place in a large pan containing boiling water to keep it soft and manageable.

To assemble:

Spoon pastry cream into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip.

Insert the tip into a puff; fill and return to cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining puffs and filling.

Spread about half of the syrup on 8-inch cake plate. Set aside. Using tongs dip the unfilled side of each puff into the caramel syrup. Do not dip puffs on filled side or the filling may cause the caramel to not harden properly. Arrange about 14 puffs in a circle on the cake plate. Continue gluing and stacking seven more layers of puffs with caramel to form a cone. Any remaining caramel can be drizzled over the cone. Let stand until caramel completely hardens. To serve cut horizontally in rows through caramel with serrated knife to separate puffs, and transfer to serving plates. Makes 12 servings.

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