Choux a la creme – Cream puff

Choux a la creme (cream puff) is one of Japanese cake shop classic. Every cake shops used to sell them. (We call it ‘choux cream’.) Usually filled with vanilla custard and whipped cream. Then, some shops had them with chocolate cream, green tea cream, strawberry cream etc… As a child, I was a big fan of ice cream filled choux buns, as I didn’t like whipped cream at all then.
In the UK, profiterole and eclare are popular, usually filled with whipped cream and covered in chocolate/chocolate sauce. But I don’t see many cream puffs. Sometime I really fancy classic custard and whipped cream filled ones and make them myself. (and I made this time to take it to my Japanese friends.)

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Choux pastry can be slightly daunting if you never try making them, or tried and failed once. But it isn’t that difficult once you learn what to look out for.

Choux a la creme

  • Servings: 16
  • Time: 2hr
  • Difficulty: intermediate
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choux pastry

water…………………………200cc
unsalted butter…………..80g
salt…………………………….a pinch
plain flour…………………..100g
egg……………………………..3 to 4

1. put water and butter in a pan, bring to boil and melt butter.
2. Take the pan off the heat, add flour and stir till there is no rumps. 3. Put it back on the low heat, keep stirring well for a couple of minutes.  Pastry will start to stick to the bottom of the pan slightly.
4. Take it out to a bowl, mix in 2/3 of egg with wooden spoon.
5. Add more egg little by little until right consistency is achieved. You may not need the amount of egg the recipe state, or you might need more than the recipe.
I always check this by lifting the pasty with wooden spoon, and dropping the pastry mix. If the pastry drop leaving short zig zag shape, it needs more egg. If the pasty drops leaving a nice triangle shape dough on a spoon, it is ready. If the pastry drops with long draping of the dough, it got too much egg.  (Sorry it is a bit tricky to explain without photo. Check some website please.)
6. Pipe it on the non stick baking paper and spray  or sprinkle some water on top. (you can fix pointy bit of the pastry you get from piping with a wet finger) Bake in the oven 200C for 8 min, drop tempature to 180C and bake furthur 20-25min. Do not open the oven door till the choux is nicely coloured all over, otherwise they will sink as soon as you open the door.
7. Once it is done, take it out of the oven.  They should be crisp and hard to touch. (Some baker make hole and release the moisture. straight out of oven. But I just leave them on wired lack to cool. I think if you bake it well, they are not that soggy. I like them soft than crisp, and they get soft as you fill them with cream later)

Vanilla custard

egg york……3
sugar………. 75g
plain flour…….25g
milk…………250cc
vanilla essence….. a little

1. In a bowl, whisk egg york and sugar until paler and increase in volume.
2. Add flour and mix well.
3. In a small pan, warm milk and add vanilla.
4. Add warm milk to egg. Mix well.
5. Put back into pan. (if you can, pass it through a sieve. )
6. Keep mixing in low heat till it thicken.
7. Once it is thicken, take it out of the heat, and cool it down.

Choux a la creme  : assembly
choux bun…………12
custard……………..quantity above
whipped cream….250cc + some sugar + vanilla
icing sugar…………some

1. cut top 1/3 of choux bun.
2. fill custard in a hole.
3. Pipe whipped cream with star nozzle.
4. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

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Enjoy!

Happy Fiesta Friday!!

Have a nice weekend everyone.

 

Raspberry Meringue Drops

What do you do if you had some egg white in the fridge?

Maybe you can bake pavlova or macaroon, or simply some little meringues.

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Little pink meringue drops with freeze dried raspberry pieces.

I saw a picture of wonderfully colourful meringue drops of Meringue Girls the other day. It was wow! Just bursting with colours (and flavours if I could taste one!), and so cute!

Not sure if meringue drops can be next big thing of baking world after cupcakes and macaroons, but it give me an idea to make those little pink meringue with freeze dried raspberry.

I used simple French meringue method, just whipped egg white with caster sugar, where Meringue Girls seems to use much more interesting method of making meringue.

See their website for their basic recipe; they bake sugar in a tray and spoon into egg white. It’s bit like in between Italian (ie: pour hot sugar syrup into egg white) and French.  Interesting, indeed!

But I just wanted to make quick treat to use up all my egg white, so French way was good enough.

Those little drops are good to eat with coffee just as they are. Very crisp with a little burst of raspberry flavour whenever you hit freeze dried raspberry bits.

Or you can make up a bowl of dessert like this,
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Raspberry meringue drops with strawberry and creme fraiche.

I just had Spanish strawberry bought from a veg shop, so I used that, but fresh raspberry would be perfect if it was in season.
Fresh cream or Greek yoghurt will be fine instead of creme fraiche. Meringue is so sweet that you don’t need to add sugar to the cream.

Raspberry Meringue Drops

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 1hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Egg white……1 egg
Caster sugar….60g
(I had 3 egg white, so use 180g sugar, that gave me plenty of meringue for family and friends!)
Freeze dried raspberry…. as much as you like, about 2g? (they are very light)
Pink food colouring… a few drops

1. Whisk egg white to soft peak
2. Add caster sugar little by little. Whisk till it is glossy and heavy.
3. Mix raspberry and food colouring in.
4. Pipe into small drops using round nozzle. (I tried star shape nozzle first , but raspberry got stuck and didn’t come out well. Just use big round nozzle if you got any bits in!)
5. Bake in the oven, 100C (212F), for about 1 hours till they are dry and crisp.
6. Once cooled, you can eat them now or keep in a airtight container for later. They keeps crisp really well, as long as you bake it completely dry.

Well? My first insertion with recipe shortcode. Learn new thing everyday!
I’ll probably post only the recipe which is I can happily say it is mine and easy to write. I will give you a link if the recipe is based on someone else’s, or just tips and idea as usual.
If you are new to baking, please check other more detailed recipe site as well before you start on my recipe. I jot down recipe, short cutting basics, like preheating, lining, sieving etc…

P1070013 (640x481)Little hands waiting to get some of his share.

Happy Fiesta Friday!

Fair-trade Chocolate Banana Fudge Cup

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It’s a kind of Chocolate Banoffee Pie, but someone might say I am wrong to call this toffee, so I thought I should be honest.

Yes, it is Chocolate fudge left over from my fudge favour factory.
In the process of making little cubes of fudge, I ended up having so many off cuts of fudge.
We ate it so much at trial process, and we don’t want to eat any more fudge.

But I think those left over fudge can be used for different thing.

It’s UK’s  fair trade fortnight now, and this year’s theme is Banana.
(See the detail here. STICK with FONCHO fairtrade fortnight 2014)

So, here it is, dedicated to FT fortnight, FT banana and FT fudge cup!

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Base is usual digestive + butter mix.
About a couple of handful of Chocolate fudge off cuts were soften in microwave slightly, and mixed with 1 table spoon of double cream. (I could put a bit more, as it was a bit thick when I ate it after being chilled.) it’s just a guess work…
Then pushed sliced banana into fudge mix.
Covered the top with whipped cream. (double cream + whipped cream)

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‘Hip Hip Hooray!’ for fair-trade banana, cocoa and sugar growers!
and Hooray, it is Friday! the end of February!!

(Feb 2013)

Mango Coconut Panna Cotta

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A friend invited me to the Thai lunch, so I decided to make something tropical for dessert.

I tried this idea a few week ago, but it wasn’t quite what I wanted.
Mango part was bit too creamy rather being refreshing, and there was fat skin formed on top of coconuts panna cotta.

So, tweaked the recipe and ingredients a bit, and here it was. I am happy with this one.

Mango panna cotta – less cream, but added more orange juice instead. So, it was more like mango and orange jelly.

Coconuts panna cotta – changed from a can of coconuts milk to a can of cream of coconut (which had sugar and salt added). I am not sure if that was the issue but it worked. ( I guess I need to try a few more times to be sure. )

I put diced fresh mango in mango part and also on the top. And a bit of Passion fruits on top.

(Aug 2013)