Vanilla crème patisserie filled choux puffs
Making the vanilla crème patisserie
I started making the crème patisserie the night before. There's always an abundance of egg yolks in my house, cos my grandma eats three egg whites a day, and my maid stores all the excess egg yolks in the refrigerator in case anyone wants to use it (she knows I'll make ice creams and stuff with them hee). I made a batch of the crème patisserie, and stored it in the fridge to cool overnight. BUT. In the morning, when I checked on it, the consistency of the pastry cream was so liquidy! I think I removed the mixture from the stove too early when cooking it. :(
Plain cookie topped choux puffs; Chocolate cookie topped choux puffs
When my girlfriend arrived, I pointed out the recipe for the cookie topped choux puffs I had been eying all week and puppy-eyed asked her if she wanted to make that. She was like "Okay!", and I was like "Yes!" (fists raised). I'm easy to please that way.
First, we started making the cookie dough and chilled it in the freezer while we chatted in my room. After half an hour of the dough chilling, we went out to the kitchen again and started work on the choux puff recipe. As we were going to make vanilla pastry cream filled choux puffs and ice cream filled choux puffs, we doubled the recipe. Anyway, according to the recipe, it state that a batch will probably yield ten small puffs. And they were indeed petite sized indeed! When they started puffing up in the oven, I was like coo-ing ooooooo, look at that! Cuteness overload.
Vanilla cookie dough; 1st batch of crème patisserie; 2nd batch of crème patisserie; Chocolate cookie dough
As you can see, there are two different crème patisserie textures from the above shot. Well, I whipped up a second batch of crème patisserie that night cos I ran out of the first batch pretty quickly. This time round, I let the mixture cook longer over the stove, till it was visibly thicker before removing from the heat. The first time round, I thought the mixture was going to curdle and removed the saucepan from the heat too soon while it was still liquidy. I realised that just as long as I continue stirring the mixture, the curdle-like consistency will eventually smooth out to become a smooth thick mixture.
I piped quite a bit of crème patisserie into the puffs above as I was running low on puffs by then haha. The taste of the crème patisserie was simply awesome. I can just eat it by the buckets I swear, if it's not such a fatty cholesterol bomb (think of the egg yolks).
Homemade coffee ice cream filled choux puffs
Girlfriend was enthusiastic about making ice cream filled puffs, and luckily, I had a batch of freshly churned ice cream in the freezer I had made. I made coffee ice cream from here with some slight modifications. I halved the recipe as nine yolks seem extremely sinful (what am I saying? As if crème patisserie isn't sinful too... Ha!). As I had no coffee beans in the house. I used slightly more than half a cup of ground espresso powder for the recipe. I used vanilla essence instead, and I omitted the addition of the cocoa nib brittle. The final taste of the ice cream was superb! Tasted remarkably like the coffee flavoured sweet you can get in local supermarkets - Kopiko. ;)
Baking books borrowed from the library
Lately, I've taken to borrowing more Chinese baking books cos there are more entremet dessert recipes in those than the English baking books. I've already bought 我♥泡芙 and 蛋糕彩妆师 at Kinokuniya, and has placed my orders for 糖果舆糕饼 and Top 10 名师的 50 道人气蛋糕技术教本 . I was going to buy them online, but a call to Kinokuniya revealed that it was going to be cheaper buying in the store than ordering them from an online spree-er, phew to checking first! Kino said they'll try ordering the latter two books for me, but it's not confirmed whether the books will be available. *fingers crossed that there will be stocks!*
Here's the recipe for the choux puffs I've translated from the book (it's in Chinese), hopefully my instructions are clear!
Cookie topped choux puffs (adapted from 飯田順子 - 我♥泡芙)
Cookie dough (plain)
25g all purpose flour
25g unsalted butter
25g castor sugar
*For chocolate dough, use 20g all purpose flour and 5g cocoa powder
Place the unsalted butter in a bowl and use a spoon to mash till slightly softened.
Add in the sugar and mix to combine.
Add the flour (and cocoa powder if using) and use a spatula to mix till combined.
Wrap with cling wrap and roll into a mini cylinder. Place in the freezer to chill for at least half an hour.
Basic choux puffs recipe
30g all purpose flour
30g cake flour
40g unsalted butter
5g castor sugar
pinch of salt
2 eggs (100g)
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Place water, butter, sugar, salt in saucepan.Heat the mixture till the butter melts and boils (at least 95°C).
Remove from heat, add the flour into the saucepan. Using a heatproof spatula, stir the mixture quickly to mix.
Place the saucepan back over medium heat. Stir constantly with the spatula while letting the moisture from the mixture evaporate. The dough should become less watery and be stickier. When a thin layer of skin forms on the base of the saucepan, remove saucepan from heat.
Dump the dough into a mixing bowl, and while the dough is still warm, add in the eggs one at a time. Using the spatula, stir the mixture quickly to mix in the egg. When the mixture is smooth, add in remaining egg bit by bit (you might not need all of it) and repeat quick stirring motions.
When the eggs are fully mixed in and mixture appears smooth, lift some of the dough up using the spatula. If the dough droops in a triangular shaped peak, it means that the consistency of the dough is just right (no need to add in all of the egg).
Transfer the dough to a piping bag. Line a tray with baking paper. Snip off the end of the piping bag and start piping swirls of the dough onto the tray. You should end up with approximately 10 puffs.
Remove the cookie dough from the freezer, slice into ten pieces and place on top of the piped puffs. Press down slightly and ensure that the cookie rounds are in the center of the puffs (if not you'll end up with lopsided cookie tops!).
Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Cool before filling with desired fillings.
Vanilla crème patisserie
1/2 vanilla pod
50g castor sugar
3 egg yolks
25g all purpose flour
20g unsalted butter
Scrape the vanilla pod and add to the milk in a saucepan.
Add the pod and half the sugar into the saucepan and heat till just boiling stage. Remove vanilla pod (wash thoroughly to reuse for vanilla sugar or essence).
Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl, add in remaining sugar. Add in the flour and continue to whisk to combine.
Add the heated milk mixture to the egg yolks gradually. Whisk in a few tablespoons of the milk mixture into the yolks bit by bit, before adding the rest of the milk, whisking constantly.
Strain the mixture back into the saucepan and heat over low heat. Stir constantly using a wooden spatula to prevent the mixture from burning.
When the mixture has thickened considerably to a sticky thick consistency, remove from heat and stir in the butter.
Pour into a bowl and cool. When cooled, cover with cling wrap, ensuring that the cling wrap touches the top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate till ready to use.
Coffee ice cream (adapted from Kaitlin at Whisk Kid)
5 egg yolks
100g sugar, divided
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup espresso powder (more if you like)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the yolks and half of the sugar until it is lightened in color and forms ribbons.
In a large saucepan, combine the remaining sugar, milk, cream, coffee powder and vanilla. Bring to a boil, then slowly pour the cream into the eggs, whisking constantly so as not to cook the yolks. Return to the pan and, whisking constantly, cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and not run when you run a finger through it. Whisk in the salt.
Pour the custard into a bowl, press plastic wrap onto the surface and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. After chilling, strain into your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.