Saturday, July 25, 2009

cream puffs : )

finally finished making the cream puffs!
mixing the choux pastry was so tiring...paranoid that they would burn or something so was mixing like crazy.

the result: the tart dough on top looked more like a hat than a seamless crunchy attachment. but i thought it gave some extra sweetness which made the soft choux pastry taste better (even though it looked burnt, cos of the sugar granules, you couldn't taste the bitterness) and the filling had extra whipped thickened cream added to it so it was extra light and smoother than the usual choux cream recipes.

didn't fill all the puffs, since we decided pouring the cream on/into them just before la moment de manger (this french is probably very wrong) would be more satisfying x) hehe more creeeeam !


generously filled choux!

yea the tart dough on top looks really burnt, but i assure you they taste normal

ahhhh the soft and flaky pastry

here's the recipe - for 3 dozen or about 60 SMALL (look at the 2nd pic) cream puffs. i prefer bigger ones like the one in market city (called mr puff or something?)

Pastry Cream
makes about 2½ cups

2 cups whole milk
½ cup caster sugar
¾ tsp vanilla essence/extract
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
¼ cup corn flour/starch
28g unsalted butter, cubed

1. bring milk, ¼ cup sugar, vanilla and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a medium bowl.
3. whisking, slowly pour about ½ cup of hot milk mixture into yolk mixture (so to not cook the egg). Slowly add remaining milk mixture until incorporated.
4. Pour mixture back into the saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking, until it begins to bubble in centre and reaches 71 degree C, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
5. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
6. Add butter; beat on medium speed until butter has melted and mixture has cooled, about 5 minutes.
7. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Just before using, beat on low speed or whisk by hand until smooth.

Tart Dough

84g unsalted butter, softened
½ cup icing sugar
2 large egg yolks
1½ cup plain flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp thickened cream

1. Put butter and icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes.
2. Add egg yolks, and mix until combined, about 1 minute.
3. Add 3/4 cup flour, and mix just until flour is incorporated. Add remaining 3/4 cup flour, salt, and cream; mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
4. flatten dough with a rolling pin; wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

Choux Pastry

113g unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp caster sugar
½ tsp salt
1¼ cups plain flour
4 large eggs (plus 1 large egg white, if necessary)

1. Bring butter, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat.
2. Using a wooden spoon, quickly stir in flour. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly (and quickly), until mixture pulls away from sides and a film forms on bottom of pan, about 3 minutes.
3. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until slightly cooled, about 1 minute.
4. Raise speed to medium; add whole eggs, 1 at a time, until a soft peak forms when batter is touched with your finger. If peak does not form, lightly beat remaining egg white, and mix it into batter a little at a time until it does.

(finally, the actual) Cream Puffs

1 choux pastry recipe
1 tart dough recipe
granulated sugar, for sprinkling on tart dough
1 pastry cream recipe
¾ cup thickened cream
icing sugar, for dusting

1. Line 3 large baking trays with baking paper.
2. Transfer pate a choux to a pastry bag fitted with a 1½cm plain tip, and pipe puffs about 5cm wide. Smooth peaks with a moistened finger, rounding tops to ensure even rising.
3. Freeze (i refrigerated. nothing bad happened) pastry puffs on baking sheets until firm, about 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, sprinkle a clean work surface with some granulated sugar, and place tart dough on top of sugar. Sprinkle some sugar over dough, and roll to a scant 1/3cm thick, coating both sides of dough with the sugar to keep it from sticking.
5. Using a 4cm cookie cutter, cut out rounds, and place a round on top of each frozen puff. Return to freezer until firm, at least 15 minutes (didn't do this. again, nothing happened).
6. Preheat oven to 190.5 degree C.

7. Bake puffs until pale golden brown all over, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheets on wire racks.

Puffs can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature overnight.

1. Put thickened cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (quite a while).
2. Mix the pastry cream to soften. Working in 2 batches, fold whipped cream into pastry cream.
3. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a 1¼cm plain tip. Insert tip into bottom of each puff, and fill. Dust with icing sugar.
(or more conveniently, keep the puffs and cream separate until you wanna eat/serve them!)

Cream puffs are best eaten within a few hours; refrigerate in an airtight container.

some of the numbers are weird cos i changed them from the original (US) version from the martha stewart site:
Pastry Cream
Tart Dough
Choux Pastry
Cream Puffs

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