Caramel Pecan Cream Puff

Prep Time:

1 hour

Cook Time:

25 mintutes

Total Time:

1 hour 25 minutes

Delicious and decadent caramel pecan cream puffs that will steal the show at any brunch, tea, snack, or dessert!
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Caramel Pecan Cream Puff

This showstopping pastry treat tastes just as good as it looks! There are quite a few elements to this recipe so to help you along I have given free access to the virtual live recording I offered for this class in November of 2022, you can access that step by step recording using this link!

And psst, don’t forget that if you’d like access to even more step by step video recordings from previous classes to consider signing up to become a member of the Public Class Pass! You can find more information on that using this link.

Caramel Pecan Cream Puff

Light choux puffs filled with creamy, delicious white chocolate pecan ganache and whipped brown sugar cream cheese swirl, then topped with a brown sugar craquelin- absolutely perfect!

Prep Time:

1 hour

Cook Time:

25 mintutes

Total Time:

1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

White Chocolate Pecan Ganache
(Ghiradelli white chocolate chips would work great for this!)
  • 1 cup (120g) pecan halves
  • 11 oz (312g) white chocolate
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp (28g) unsalted butter, room temp, cubed
  • 1⁄4 cup (55g) brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon
Brown Sugar Craquelin
  • 7 tbsp (100 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (85 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) brown sugar (light or dark)
Pate a Choux
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk
  • 7 tbsp (100g) unsalted butter, cubed, room temp
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1 1⁄4 cup (150g) all-purpose flour
  • 3-5 large eggs, room temp
Whipped Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Swirl
  • 1.5 cups (360ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 6 oz (170g) cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/3 cup (73g) brown sugar (light or dark)
Caramel Topping & Caramelized Pecans
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar (refined white sugar, not organic)
  • 1 cup (120g) pecan halves

Instructions

White Chocolate Pecan Ganache:
  1. Toast the pecans in the oven at 325F (160C) for 10 minutes. Cool and then chop. Psst – you’ll be toasting pecans for the filling too in a recipe below, why not toast them all at the same time!
  2. Place all remaining ingredients in either a double boiler over steaming water, or if you’re feeling crazy, directly in a saucepan on the lowest heat.
  3. Stir constantly until the chocolate has melted and everything has come together. Stir in the chopped pecans and transfer to a bowl to cool at room temperature.
Brown Sugar Craquelin
  1. Mix together all the ingredients in a mixer with a paddle attachment until a dough forms. Roll out between two sheets of parchment paper until thin about 1/8 inch thick (3 mm). If the batter doesn’t come together, it is because the butter is too cold. Either wait several minutes or place in
    a warm place, then mix again.
  2. Chill in the fridge about 20-30 minutes, until cold.
Pate a Choux:
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F/190C.
  2. In a saucepan, add the water, milk, butter, sugar, and salt. Measure the flour and have nearby.
  3. Heat the liquid ingredients over medium heat until it comes to a full boil and butter is melted, stirring as needed.
  4. Take off the heat, and add all the flour at once. Stir strongly with a wood or plastic spoon until a dough forms. Put back on the heat and stir continuously for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the dough pulls away from the sides and a film forms on the bottom. Transfer dough from the saucepan to a clean bowl or a mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix several minutes on low
    speed until the dough is no longer steaming.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Check dough at 3 eggs lifting the spoon to see how the batter falls. It should be thick, silky smooth and fall in a point. If it is not, either add another full egg (depending on how the texture) or if just a little extra egg is needed, beat an egg in a bowl and mix in a little at a time. Check the texture repeatedly.
  6. Transfer to a piping bag with a piping tip (12mm Round, Wilton 1A/2A, Ateco 806).
  7. Pipe 12 rounds on a baking sheet lined with a Slipat or parchment paper. They should be about 2.5” in diameter and 1” tall.
  8. Top with a round of chocolate craquelin. To cut the Craquelin, use round cookie cutters that are about 2 inches (5cm) in width.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes (or longer! This depends on your oven), not opening the oven until you see they are nicely golden brown. Test for done-ness by picking one up. It should feel light and hollow.
Whipped Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Swirl:
  1. Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip using the whisk attachment until firm!
  2. Transfer to a piping bag with a star tip (I used one with short prongs called a French tip) and keep in the fridge.
  3. Optional: Add a glug of bourbon or other spirit towards the end of whipping for a boozy frosting.
Caramel Topping & Caramelized Pecans:
(Before starting, make sure that your cream puffs are done and out of the oven.)
  1. Toast the pecans in the oven for 10 minutes at 325F (160C). Set aside to cool.
  2.  Set up a pan lined with parchment or a Slipat nearby.
  3. In a small light-colored saucepan, add half the granulated sugar. Set on medium to medium-high heat and allow to cook and melt, without touching it.
  4. When you see the top start to get darker in places, run a heat proof spoon through the mixture to move the sugar around.
  5. Continue to do this and start to the remaining sugar in two additions. When most of the sugar has melted, stir continuously to help melt any remaining sugar lumps.
  6. Take off the heat and carefully dip the top of the cooked cream puffs inside.
  7. Place one pecan half on top as decoration.
  8. Continue until all the cream puff tops are coated in caramel.
  9. Put the caramel back on the heat, on low, to remelt anything left in the pan.
  10. Quickly stir in the remaining pecan halves and pour out on to the prepared pan, spread them out as much as possible.
  11. Let these cool completely and then roughly chop.
Assemble:
  1. Cut the cream puffs in half width-wise under the caramel topping.
  2. Transfer the white chocolate pecan ganache to a piping bag without a tip and cut a large opening (or just use a spoon to put it in the base of the cream puff).
  3. Fill the bottom of the cream puff with the ganache.
  4. Top with the roughly chopped caramelized pecans.
  5. Swirl the Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Whipped Cream on top of this.
  6. Then place the top of the cream puff back on.

Notes

Storage: These are best the day they are made, and very good the follow day. Store in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Make Ahead:
You could make the craquelin several days in advance and keep in the fridge. The Whipped Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Swirl could be made the day before assembly. The best though would be to make and assemble everything the day before you want to eat them for the least amount of stress!

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Leave A Comment & Rate This Recipe!

Hi.

Just curious…if I make these caramel pecan cream puffs in the am for an evening engagement what is the best way to store them? Fridge or out of fridge or? Are these a light dessert or on the rich side?

Thank you!!! Happy holidays to you!

Also, is there a way to add the classes I took long ago to the same place my beginning pastry area is located?
Nicole

Hi Nicole!

I would keep them in the fridge until it’s time to serve them! They are on the richer side!

For the classes: shoot us an email at contact@mollyjwilk.com and let us know which classes you took so we can look into that for you!

Happy holidays to you too!

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