Cream horns are a delicious puff pastry treat filled with sweet, creamy goodness. Learn how to make this classic dessert with our easy-to-follow recipe and impress your guests with your baking skills!
What is a Cream Horn?
A cream horn, also known as a lady lock or cream-filled pastry horn, is a small, flaky pastry that is traditionally filled with whipped cream or custard. The pastry is made by wrapping thin strips of puff pastry or phyllo dough around a conical metal or wooden mold, and then baking it until golden brown and crispy. Once cooled, the mold is removed and the pastry is filled with a sweet cream or custard filling using a piping bag. They are a popular dessert, often served at special occasions such as weddings or holidays, and can be found in bakeries and cafes worldwide.
Here are some ingredient notes for the Cream Horns recipe:
- Puff Pastry: It is recommended to use Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry, which can be found in the frozen section of most grocery stores. If you can't find this brand, look for a similar brand of frozen puff pastry that comes in sheets.
- Heavy Cream: Make sure to use cold heavy cream for best results. You can also substitute with whipped cream, but the filling may be less stable.
- Powdered Sugar: Also known as confectioner's sugar, this is used to sweeten the filling and give it a smooth texture.
- Vanilla Extract: This adds flavor to the filling. You can use vanilla bean paste or vanilla powder instead.
- Lemon Juice: The lemon juice adds a tangy flavor to the filling and helps to stabilize it. You can substitute with other citrus juices such as lime or orange.
- Cream Cheese: It is important to use softened cream cheese at room temperature for easy mixing and a smooth filling.
- Toasted Almonds or Walnuts: These are optional and can be used to add texture and flavor to the filling. You can also use other nuts or leave them out altogether.
How to Make Cream Horns
- Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Follow the instructions on the Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry package to thaw the sheets.
- On a lightly floured surface, unfold the first sheet of pastry and keep the second sheet in the refrigerator. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the pastry into a 10-inch by 10-inch square, then cut it into 5 equal strips.
- Take a cream horn mold and wrap each strip of pastry around the mold, starting from the pointed end and rolling up to the wider end. Seal the ends of the pastry and place the cream horn molds onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Repeat the process with the second sheet of Puff Pastry.
- Bake the pastry for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed up. Once done, take the pastries out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Remove the cream horn molds from the pastries and let them cool completely. Once cooled, fill a piping bag with the whipped cream filling and pipe it into the center of each pastry. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top of the cream-filled pastries.
Here are some tips for making Cream Horns:
- Chill the cream horn molds in the refrigerator before using them. This will help the pastry hold its shape better and prevent it from sliding off the molds.
- Use a sharp knife or pastry wheel to cut the puff pastry into even strips. This will help the cream horns cook evenly and look more professional.
- Use cold heavy cream for the whipped cream filling to ensure it whips up properly.
- Don't overfill the cream horns with the filling, as this can cause them to leak or collapse.
- Use a piping bag to fill the cream horns with the whipped cream filling. This will make the process much easier and more precise.
- Make sure the cream cheese is softened to room temperature before using it in the filling. This will make it easier to blend with the other ingredients and ensure a smooth filling.
- Sprinkle the chopped nuts on top of the cream-filled pastries just before serving. This will keep them crunchy and prevent them from getting soggy.
Here are some variations you can try for Cream Horns:
- Chocolate Cream Horns: Add ¼ cup of cocoa powder to the whipped cream filling for a rich chocolatey flavor.
- Fruit-Filled Cream Horns: Fill the cream horns with your favorite fruit compote or jam before adding the whipped cream filling.
- Nutella Cream Horns: Spread a thin layer of Nutella on the inside of the cream horns before piping in the whipped cream filling.
- Lemon Cream Horns: Add 2 tablespoons of lemon zest to the whipped cream filling for a tangy lemon flavor.
- Caramel Cream Horns: Drizzle caramel sauce over the filled cream horns for a decadent caramel flavor.
- Pumpkin Spice Cream Horns: Add 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to the whipped cream filling for a festive fall twist.
- Almond Cream Horns: Add ¼ teaspoon of almond extract to the whipped cream filling and top with sliced almonds for a delicious almond flavor.
To store cream horns, place them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. It's best to fill the cream horns with whipped cream just before serving to prevent the pastry from getting soggy. If the cream horns have already been filled with whipped cream, they may become slightly soft in the refrigerator but will still be delicious. Just make sure to keep them covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use homemade puff pastry instead of store-bought. Just make sure it's thawed properly and follow the recipe instructions as written.
Make sure the pastry is fully baked and cooled before filling it with the whipped cream.
Yes, you can make the pastry shells ahead of time and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Fill them with the whipped cream just before serving.
Yes, you can freeze cream horns before filling them with the whipped cream. Place the baked and cooled pastry shells in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw them at room temperature before filling with the whipped cream and serving.
Yes, you can experiment with different fillings like pastry cream, chocolate mousse, or flavored cream cheese. Just make sure the filling is thick enough to hold its shape in the cream horn shells.
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