If there is a perfect creampuff it has a light and airy pastry, with slightly eggy dough that melts in your mouth as you bite into it. The cream filling is sweet but not cloying, creamy but not too thick or too liquid, and is perfectly proportioned inside of the puff so that you can taste it at the first bite but it doesn't completely overcome the pastry.
These can be found at a little Chinese bakery called Jinmaixiang, on Andingmen Dongdajie, on the north side of the street just east of the Andingmen subway stop and a short walk from Lama Temple. I've been twice now and wanted to cry from happiness both times as I bit into the cream puffs. On my first visit I spent 20 minutes watching one of the pastry chefs decorate a cake with beautiful, perfectly formed delicate frosting flowers, all done by hand. On Monday I took an Italian friend and she had to agree with me that the cream puffs there were perfect.
The same friend is now lobbying for me to move into her apartment complex when it is time for me to find my own place here. It's a 15-20 minute walk from Jinmaixiang. That will be dangerous.