Potato Puffballs, or Pommes Dauphine

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Picture of Potato Puffballs, or Pommes Dauphine
Here is one of our favourite ways of eating potatoes with a big meal, like the Christmas lunch. Puffballs are deep fried balls of potato and choux pastry mix - they are light and very tasty, here's how to make them.

We'd eaten this recipe for 40 years at my folks' before we discovered the "proper" name for them is "Pommes Dauphine", and they were quite popular in Eastern Europe too.

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Step 1: First collect the ingredients

Picture of First collect the ingredients
Choux Ingredients.jpg
1lb, or 450 gms of mashed potatoes
1/4 pint 145mL of water
3 eggs (1 yolk and  2 whole eggs)
2.5 oz (71g) of plain "all purpose" flour.
3 oz (85g) of butter (1 oz and 2oz)

Step 2: Make mashed potato

Picture of Make mashed potato
The mash MUST be very dry. The best way I found was to cook the potatoes in the microwave until soft. Prick the potatoes all over first. Peel them when still hot, and mash them. Let them cool down on a tray, which also drives off a bit more water.

Step 3: Make choux pastry

Picture of Make choux pastry
Choux pastry, the basis of the chocolate eclair is a very versatile element of cookery. It will be providing its light fluffy texture to our puff balls.

Bring 1/4 pint of water gently to the boil, melting  2oz of the butter into the warming water.

Step 4: Choux 2

Picture of Choux 2
...when the water boils, remove from the heat and add ALL the flour. Stir like MAD to make a thick paste.

Step 5: Choux 3

Picture of Choux 3
Break the first whole egg and "chop" or cut the egg into the flour paste. It will look AWFUL at this stage ! Persevere. After a few seconds the mixture will turn into a glistening smooth paste. At this point, add the other egg ! This time, it will take longer to mix in, but again, it will clear to the paste.

CHILL the paste (this is important)

Step 6: Back to the mash

Picture of Back to the mash
After everything is chilled down, blend in 1 oz of flour, and an egg yolk into the cold mashed potatoes.
Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste.

Once mixed, fold in the choux mixture. 

Step 7: Final mixture

Picture of Final mixture
Here is a picture of the final mix, should be an even colour, if the mixing is right.
totor45 years ago
The name of this recipe is not "Pommes Dauphinois" but "Pommes Dauphines", there is another recipe based potatoes called "Gratin Dauphinois".
Bon appétit !
steveastrouk (author)  totor45 years ago
Thanks ! Corrected. We picked the name up from the ancient cookery book we found the recipe in.
steveastrouk (author)  steveastrouk5 years ago
In fact,
Merci Beaucoup pour votre assistance.

paganwonder5 years ago
I remember these from the cart vendors in the Plaza de Armas in Arequipa!  Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this 'ible - "May blessings rain down upon your house"!
l8nite5 years ago
these look and sound delishious! The additions could be endless, bacon, cheese, peppers... the imagination runs wild.... Thanks 4 the tasty inspiration
lemonie5 years ago
I'm suprised that I never heard of these before now. But brown & crispy has my attention.

caitlinsdad5 years ago
I will have to try this.  This would be lighter than the standard potato croquette which is just a fried breaded lump of mashed potatoes.
steveastrouk (author)  caitlinsdad5 years ago
Yes, that's the point, with everything else on the plate, potatoes take too much room inside !
Wow, these look amazing. If I hadn't already started cooking our Christmas Roast Beast Feast, I'd totally make this instead of the Roasted Garlic & Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes we're having.

I wonder how they'd work with a little grated cheddar & crumbled bacon added in....
steveastrouk (author)  RavingMadStudios5 years ago
Yep, I should add that to the instructable.

Have a good Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you, too. Take care.