Profiterole (choux pastry)

20140517-151423.jpgmaybe some of you didn’t know the difference between profiterole and choux pastry. Choux is the pastry casing, which then when we fill it with creme pattisiere will be called profiterole or cream puffs.
I don’t know whether you know beard papa or not, they are shops from Japan that sells profiterole and I LOVE THEM! I guess i could say that this is the copycat version of beard papa. They use the Japanese recipe that is called pai shuu. The first time i made choux pastry, they were fine when i took it out of the oven but then once they’re cooled, they gone soggy. After much time troubleshooting i found the answer!

Profiterole is not complete without their cream filling. A good creme pattisiere. Oh yeah. I finally get my hands on vanilla beans and i’m so excited! I actually use creme diplomat, which is combining creme pattisiere with whipped cream to get that fluffy, smoother and lighter taste. It is optional, you could go with just creme pattisiere. For the creme pattisiere i use all FULL FAT ingredients. Oh yeah.. As frightening as it sound it taste like heaven. Trust me.. You want full fat milk, cream, REAL butter. No body said that this would be a diet friendly food is it? But seriously, it’ll be worth it.
Let’s get started shall we? First is to make the creme pattisiere.
Creme pattisiere ingredients:

20140518-174633.jpgegg yolks, sugar, butter, cornflour+flour, milk, vanilla pod.
You could of course use vanilla extract if you can’t get vanilla pod.

20140518-211842.jpgfirst thing first split the vanilla beans lengthwise into half and scrape the beans.

20140518-212455.jpgput the vanilla beans and pod into the milk and bring to a boil.

20140518-212757.jpgwhisk the yolks, sugar, corn flour and flour in another bowl. Once the milk has boiled, strain the milk little by little into the yolk while whisking so they don’t scramble. Put them back into the heat while whisking constantly.

20140518-213702.jpgit will get thick and creamy

20140519-230507.jpgcover with cling film (it has to touch the surface of the cream to prevent it from forming a layer) and put them in the fridge to cool.

Next is to make the choux crust. It’s going to be a sweet and crispy crust on top of the choux pastry. Choux recipe usually don’t use this kind of crust, they usually use something called sable. This is the difference between usual choux and pai shuu. But seriously, this crust is waaaaay simpler and it just makes all the difference.
Choux crust ingredients are:

20140520-191940.jpgicing sugar, flour, butter.

20140520-193603.jpg all you need to do is melt the butter and stir in the sugar and flour. Easy peasy.

Now finally let’s get on to the choux pastry shall we?
Choux pastry ingredients:

20140520-193401.jpgeggs, flour, butter, water

20140520-194038.jpgput the butter and water in a pan and heat it until it boils, dump the flour and whisk until they all clump together and the dough comes away from the side of the pan. Take them off the heat and stir to cool them off a little bit

20140520-194942.jpgstir in the eggs one by one. It will look like they won’t come together at first but keep stirring.

20140520-195320.jpgstir until you got a smooth dough.

20140520-195558.jpgfit the dough into a pastry bag and pipe dollops of choux dough. For the pointy top, you could use a wet finger and pat it lightly.

20140520-195815.jpgput the choux crust on top of the choux pastry and bake!

20140520-200034.jpgremember when i said i used to make choux and it turn soggy when it cooled down? This is the answer i’ve discovered. Once the choux is baked, turn down the heat and bake a little longer. It will make the choux pastry dried out and resulting into crispy choux pastry. They even store well too. They could last for more that a week and stay crispy (but not filled with the cream of course).

20140520-200522.jpganyway maybe i should’ve give them more space….

20140520-201053.jpgonce the pastry cream cooled, whipped some whipped cream then stir in the pastry cream to create a lighter filling

20140520-201411.jpgi don’t know why but i just got a thing when i see specks of vanilla bean on cream based dessert…
Fit the cream into a pastry bag with a tip (just to make it easier to pipe), make a hole in your choux on the bottom or side and pipe those lovely cream inside

20140520-202137.jpglook at that…

20140520-202356.jpgAnd a little dust of icing sugar won’t hurt…

20140520-203003.jpgooohh yeah…. That’s the stuff…

Some tips to maintain a crispy choux pastry:
1) don’t put your choux pastry in the fridge. They’ll keep for a good couple of weeks even in room temperature.
2) it is better to fill the cream as close to the time you’re going to serve it.
3) if you want, you could pre heat the choux for a couple of minutes on the oven before serving.

Pastry cream ingredients:
• 300 ml full fat milk
• 3 egg yolks
• 3 tbsp corn flour
• 1 tbsp plain flour
• 100 g sugar
• Vanilla pod or good quality vanilla essence
• 30 g butter
• 250 ml heavy cream
How to make:
1) Split the vanilla pod in half and scrape the beans. Put the beans and the pod into the milk and bring to boil.
2) In another bowl whisk the egg yolks, corn flour,plain flour and sugar until pale and creamy. Pour the boiling milk through a strainer little by little into the egg yolk while whisking constantly.
3) Pour the mixture back into the pan and heat it on medium low heat while whisking constantly until it gets thick. Put it in the fridge to cool, wrap the bowl in cling film touching the surface of the cream.
4) Once cooled, whipped out heavy cream, fold in the pastry cream to the whipped cream and fit them to a pastry bag.

Choux crust ingredients:
• 30 g butter
• ⅓ cup icing sugar
• ⅓ cup plain flour

How to make:
Melt butter, stir in the flour and sugar until it become a crumbly dough

Choux pastry ingredients:
• ¾ cup water
• 120g salted butter
• 1¼ cup flour
• 4 eggs + approximately 1 egg white (i use the leftover whites from the pastry cream)

How to make
1) Put the water and butter in a pan and put it on the heat until it’s boiling.
2) Once boiled, stir in the flour. It will comes away from the pan, transfer to another bowl to cool a bit.
3) Lightly whisk the eggs and egg white, stir in little by little in 5 addition into the slightly cooled choux dough. It will look like they won’t come together at first but keep stirring until it’s creamy.
4) Transfer to pipping bag, pipe blobs of the dough into baking pan lined with parchment paper, using a slightly wet finger dab the pointy end.
5) Put the choux crust on top of the dough and bake on a preheated oven to 220C for 30 minutes, and turn the heat down to the minimum heat setting (mine is 100C) for another 30-40 minutes to dry them out.
6) Let the choux cool, then make a hole on the bottom or the side of the choux, pipe in the pastry cream and you got your profiterole!