Saturday, March 5, 2011

Choux and Shoe: Strawberry Cream Puffs



So what's up with the title? Firstly, the word "choux" is pronounced as something similar to "shoe". Secondly, I do have something to say about shoe.

Let's first talk about choux. So far, I've had relatively positive results with baking puffs with my old oven. But I have yet to try it out with my new oven. After seeing Shirley's strawberry cream puffs and in conjuction with the "Fruity March" theme for Apsiring Bakers #5, I have decided to bake a batch with this new oven using back the same old recipes for choux pastry and pastry cream.



No major hiccups, but one side of my oven is hotter, so some of the shells came out looking lopsided. Perhaps I should place my tray away from that side. Pastry cream cooking is not as well as previous times as I ended up with several lumps. But well, since it's going to be inside the shells, I can't really be bothered.



The most challenging part of the whole process? The assembly. Clumsy me had to make sure the cream don't leak out, the chocolate don't get smeared all over, the shells don't crumble in my hands...blah blah blah. For more variety, I filled some with strawberries and some others topped with chocolate. Of course, mine looked nowhere as pretty as Shirley's but I had fun baking these.

I'm submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #5: Fruity March (March 2011) hosted by Jess from Bakericious.

Ingredients (makes 6):
Choux Pastry:
35 g flour
1/4 tsp caster sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
28 g unsalted butter
60 ml water
1 egg, lightly beaten

Filling:
200 ml milk
2 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean pod
30 g sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp corn starch
Strawberries
Icing sugar for decoration

Method:
Choux Pastry:
  1. Preheat oven to 210 deg C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Set aside
  3. Place the butter and water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
  4. Remove from heat and, with a wooden spoon or spatula, quickly add the flour mixture. Return to heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball (about a minute).
  5. Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and beat on low speed a minute or two to release the steam from the dough.
  6. Once the dough is lukewarm start adding the lightly beaten eggs gradually and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick paste.
  7. Spoon 6 mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, spacing them a couple of inches apart.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 180 deg C.
  9. Bake for a further 30 to 40 minutes or until the shells are a nice amber color and when split, are dry inside.
  10. Turn the oven off and, with the oven door slightly ajar, let the shells dry out for a further 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
Filling (Pastry cream):
  1. Add sugar to egg yolks and beat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Sift in plain flour and corn flour and mix until smooth.
  3. Scrape out vanilla seeds and mix in with the milk in a pot.
  4. Heat the milk, together with the vanilla pod and seeds, until bubbles appear at the edge of the pot.
  5. Remove the vanilla pod. Pour in hot milk to egg mixture slowly, whisking vigorously.
  6. Strain mixture back into pot.
  7. Cook the mixture over medium flame while whisking vigorously to prevent lumps from forming.
  8. Cook until the mixture becomes thick and the mixture is bubbling.
  9. Transfer into a bowl and use cling wrap to cover the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
  10. Let cool before chilling in the refrigerator.
To Assemble:
  1. Split the pastry shells in half and pipe with pastry cream.
  2. Placed halved strawberries on top of cream. Dust with icing sugar.
Choux pastry recipe adapted from Joyofbaking Cream Puffs.


Now, let's talk about shoe. I know it's not a good idea to place pictures of shoes right after pictures of food. It just doesn't go together, so I've minimized the size of the pictures.



After 4 years of abuse from me, I'm finally bidding goodbye to my Kayano 12. This pair of shoes has served me well and is way beyond its lifespan. Typically for a pair of running shoes, it can last about 1000km (according to the salesperson and online information). Well, this pair has probably gone through more than 2000km of pounding. My sister asked me if I bear to throw it away. To be honest, no. LOL. I had used it to train for 2 half marathons and even though I had decreased my mileage these couple of years, I still use it very frequently. Nevertheless, 舊的不去, 新的不來, it has to make way for my new Kayano 17. Perhaps it's time to start training with this new pair...no?

4 comments:

  1. to me, it looks good and yummy! (:(:

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  2. the choux is simply mouth watering themed with the strawberries and cream!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Jasmine and Jess!
    The puff tastes really quite good. LOL. I'm tooting my own horn...haha.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi,
    These look so good!
    Can I make the puffs a few days before n the filling the day of?
    Will the puff taste differently?

    ReplyDelete