Friday, February 6, 2009

Cream Puffs

I'm a sucker for cream puffs and nothing here in sg can beat the ones I've tasted in japan. Two of my favourites were the Matcha Cream Puffs and the ones from Hokkaido. They were absolutely delicious, from the indulgent fillings to the ultra-light choux pastry.This was going to be my first attempt at making cream puffs, & I was prepared for any impending kitchen disaster. I started off by making creme patisserie. When the vanilla bean was thorougly infused into the rich custard and I added a shot of brandy for some kick. I could say the Pâte à choux came through without a hitch and I was busy piping away. They baked up perfectly with the signature hollow interiors and crisp shells.
For dessert that night, the cream puffs were a winner. (Even if they would never ever match up to with those from japan) To speak the truth, these aren't your everyday 'healthy desserts', but I guess they are very very worth the extra calories. (:

Pâte à choux

Recipe adapted from Pichet Ong's The Sweet Spot

155ml water
125ml whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter
2 T sweetened condensed milk
1/2 t salt
152 g all purpose flour
4 large eggs

Place the first 5 ingredients and bring to a boil. Add the flour all at once. Stir with a heatproof spatula until a smooth mass forms. Keep cooking over moderate heat, about 4-5 min.Transfer dough to mixing bowl. With the paddle attachment, beat at medium speed to release steam. At low speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated between additions. The dough should look smooth and glossy. When you lift up some of the dough with a spatula it should take 5-7 seconds to fall back into the bowl. Transfer the batter into a piping bag and pipe onto a non-stick baking sheet. Sprinkle roughly chopped almonds on top. Bake in a pre-heated 400F oven for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 350F to continue baking for about 20 minutes more.

Creme Patisserie

275ml whole milk
100g vanilla sugar/caster sugar
2 egg yolks
half a vanilla bean, split & scraped
20g cornstarch
30g unsalted french butter
30ml brandy (optional)

Bring the milk, vanilla bean to a boil over medium heat. (Let the mixture stand to infuse) Beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale & thickened. Whisk in cornstarch and blend well. Temper the egg yolks with the hot milk and return to the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once the mixture thickens, remove from heat. When cooled, whisk in butter and brandy. Strain the mixture before placing in the fridge.

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