Monday, May 4, 2009

Cream Puff Girl

In Japan, a popular dessert/snack is the cream puff. It is called "Choux Cream". The light, airy, choux pastry can be filled with custard, whipped cream, or both! If you go to a choux cream stand, they fill the shells when you order them so they don't get soggy. Beard Papa, a Japanese choux cream franchise company, has opened stores all over the United States. In Japan, you can get the cream puffs filled with various flavors such as Matcha (Green Tea), Vanilla, Chocolate, Coffee, etc.

So, for my mom's birthday, she personally requested cream puffs for dessert. So I was on a mission! I had never made choux pastry so I was excited! I went on a recipe search for choux pastry dough and pastry cream.

For the pastry cream, I used this recipe from Allrecipes. For the choux pastry, I used this recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini.

STOP. This is a warning. The cream puffs=FAIL. But the pastry cream=AWESOME!

Wait. Correction. I had no idea what "Chouquettes" were. I thought they were just a cutsie name for "choux"... So I used this recipe, baked them up, tried to fill them, and then FAIL. Apparently, they are just like regular cream puffs but they aren't filled with cream. Plus, mine deflated. So when I forced the cream into these poor, little, deflated bundles of love, they were a big old spillage of mess!

So let's start with the Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream. It was my first time using vanilla bean! And it was the first time I almost didn't buy an ingredient because it was so damn expensive. 8.99 for one bean!!!!

It was quite beautiful, and it smelled heavenly. I love the little black dots... it's so very vanilla!

And finally...

Creamy, black-dotted, perfection. Seriously.

Now for the "Chouquettes"...

First few steps makes the smooth doughy ball...

And then add the eggs...

And BAM! Smooth, shiny, choux pastry dough!

Now for the baking. I've never "piped" anything. I've tried to pipe on icing onto cupcakes, but I don't have the necessary tools (I have the pastry bags but no tips!). So I end up just cutting the tips off the pastry bags, and here's what happened.

I tried my best :-)

25 Minutes Later:

40 Minutes Later:


But being the impatient baker that I am, I took a still-warm choux puff and violently injected it with the pastry cream! Surprisingly enough, this one was the only one that stayed puffed and actually looked like a cream puff!

I didn't get to try one because I sent my mom off with all of them to bring them to her friends. But she did eat one in my presence and she said the doughy part was NOTHING like choux but it was good nonetheless. She said it was much heavier and doughier. So.... I guess I will look for another recipe for choux pastry.

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