Puff Pastry Cream Horns

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Puff Pastry Cream Horns, known as Cannoncini in Italian, are a delightful pastry filled with luscious custard cream. They are perfect for special occasions or when you want to impress your guests with a beautiful and delicious dessert. This recipe will guide you through making these delightful treats step by step.


For the Custard Cream:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons (30 gr) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100 gr) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 oz (235 ml) milk

For the Cannoncini:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry, defrosted (about 8 oz, 225 gr)
  • 1/4 cup (50 gr) sugar
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • Powdered sugar for decoration


Step 1: Prepare the Custard Cream

  1. Heat the Milk:
    • In a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until it is hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Mix Egg Yolks and Sugar:
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is pale and creamy.
  3. Add Flour:
    • Gradually add the flour to the egg yolk mixture, whisking until smooth and well combined.
  4. Temper the Egg Mixture:
    • Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling.
  5. Cook the Custard:
    • Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens and comes to a boil. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  6. Cool the Custard:
    • Transfer the custard to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap (pressing it directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming), and let it cool completely in the refrigerator.

Step 2: Prepare the Cannoncini

  1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Roll the Puff Pastry:
    • Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Roll out the puff pastry sheet to a 10×10 inch square.
  3. Cut the Pastry:
    • Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the puff pastry into 12 even strips.
  4. Form the Horns:
    • Wrap each strip around a cream horn mold, overlapping the edges slightly to form a spiral. Place the sugar in a shallow dish and roll each pastry horn in the sugar to coat. Place the prepared horns on the baking sheet.
  5. Egg Wash:
    • Beat the egg in a small bowl and brush it over each pastry horn.
  6. Bake:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastries are puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before removing the molds.

Step 3: Assemble the Cream Horns

  1. Fill the Horns:
    • Once the pastries are completely cool, fill a piping bag fitted with a large star tip with the chilled custard cream. Carefully pipe the custard into each pastry horn.
  2. Decorate:
    • Dust the filled cream horns with powdered sugar just before serving.

Cook’s Notes:

  • Puff Pastry: Ensure the puff pastry is properly defrosted before use, but still cold, as this makes it easier to work with.
  • Custard Consistency: If your custard seems too thick, you can whisk in a small amount of cold milk until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Alternative Fillings: Try filling the horns with whipped cream, chocolate mousse, or fruit preserves for a variation.


Chocolate Custard Cream:

  • Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the custard mixture along with the flour for a rich chocolate flavor.

Lemon Custard Cream:

  • Replace the vanilla extract with lemon extract and add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest to the custard mixture.

Savory Cream Horns:

  • Fill the baked horns with savory fillings like herbed cream cheese, smoked salmon mousse, or chicken salad for an elegant appetizer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I make the custard cream in advance? A: Yes, you can prepare the custard cream up to 2 days in advance. Store it in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.

Q: What if I don’t have cream horn molds? A: You can make your own molds using aluminum foil. Roll the foil into a cone shape and wrap the pastry around it.

Q: How do I store leftover cream horns? A: Store any leftover cream horns in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. They are best enjoyed fresh as the pastry may soften over time.

Q: Can I freeze cream horns? A: It’s best to freeze the unfilled pastry horns. Once baked and cooled, store them in an airtight container and freeze. Thaw and fill with custard before serving.

Q: What other toppings can I use instead of powdered sugar? A: You can drizzle the cream horns with melted chocolate, caramel sauce, or sprinkle with finely chopped nuts for added texture and flavor.

Puff Pastry Cream Horns are an elegant and delicious dessert that’s sure to impress. With their crispy pastry shell and creamy custard filling, they are perfect for any special occasion or just a delightful treat to enjoy with family and friends. Experiment with different fillings and toppings to create your own unique version of this classic pastry. Enjoy the delightful combination of textures and flavors in every bite!

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