Almost like magic, simple mixtures of eggs and flour pouf into expansive, golden mounds ― popovers and cream puffs. What's the secret of their silhouette?
Think of these classics as edible hot-air balloons. Both contain eggs, flour, and butter. When the batter is heated quickly, the liquid in it vaporizes; the steam stretches the structure before the proteins in the eggs and flour solidify and form a crisp shell. The oven temperature is critical: It needs to be hot enough to cause the puffs to expand quickly, but not so hot that they set before they have a chance to balloon. Make sure you preheat the oven to just the right temperature, and check its accuracy with an oven thermometer.
That's easy payment for the pleasure of spooning fruity jam into a steaming popover for breakfast or breaking into a cream-filled puff drizzled with chocolate.