May 16, 2010

For my Mom

For Mother's Day this year, I think I made a really clever decision by asking mom what would she prefer me to bake for her, instead of making creamy, sweet cakes that she might not really enjoy.

I was surprised when she said she wanted cream puffs... such a shame cos' I didn't know she actually likes cream puffs. :P I'd bought durian puffs for her but she said she found the fillings too thick and heavy that she don't enjoy the puffs. She prefers cream puffs with pastry cream that isn't too sweet. She described cream puffs as "egg tarts fillings wrapped into the pastry like a ball". How cute!

This was my first successful cream puffs that puffed up nicely with a hollow centre for piping in the pastry cream. A labourious task it was indeed, because it involved more cooking and using the stove which i wasn't that good that. The recipe for the pastry cream called for 3 egg yolks but i ended using 6 or 7 because I used small eggs! So one lesson I learnt and to be remembered always is that I must always buy large eggs for all recipes. I think I knew this but still I thought it wouldn't make much a difference.

See the flowers? I bought her a bouquet and I could see she was pleasantly surprised and happy. Hehe my first bouquet for her.
Having brought up from a traditional family, we are not used to expressing our love for each other in words or through physical actions such as hugs and kisses like we younger generations do now. Even though sometimes I may be spending not enough time for her, find her naggy or being too blunt to her in my words that I may have hurt her feelings. But deep in my heart, i love her. I knew she won't be reading my blog so it's ok. :P
An overdue post so I'd keep it short here. Recipe from "Okashi Treats" by keiko ishida, a book a really like. :) If you would like the recipe, drop me a comment. :)
I was lazy yesterday so I just ended my post abruptly. I thought since this is such a successful attempt after my previous failed attempts, I should share this recipe with you all. If I can do it, so can you guys!
75g water
50g whole milk
50g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
a pinch of sugar
a pinch of salt
3 egg yolks, at room temperature, lightly beaten (Please use large eggs)
75g cake flour
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Sift flour once. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine water, milk, butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then immediately remove from heat.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, quickly stir in the flour until combined, and mixture forms a ball. Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture leaves the sides of the saucepan and a film forms on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Transfer mixture to a clean bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  5. Test the batter by taking a scoop of it using a spoon or spatula. When you coat the spoon with it, batter should hang and form a smooth triangular shape. If batter is not able to hang down, this means the batter is too thick and you need to add more egg yolks (that was ow I increased mine to 6).
  6. Pour choux dough into piping bag fitted with the plain piping tip. (I just cut a small hole). Pipe out 5-cm circles onto tray and gently smoothen out the pointed peaks with moistened finger.
  7. Bake choux puffs for about 20 minutes at 200°C, then reduce temperature to 180°C and continue baking for another 20 minutes. (this is en essential step because baking them at high temperature for the first 20 minutes allows choux paste to rise to maximun height and reducing the temperatue thereafter helps to dry them completely - adapted from the tips). That was how I got mine puffed up nicely.
Recipe for pastry cream
200g fresh whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (you may use 1/2 vanilla bean)
3 egg yolks
50g castor sugar
20g cake flour, sifted
  1. Add milk, vanilla extract to a suacepan and bring to a boil.
  2. In a clean bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until mixtureis pale yellow in colour (can use hand whisk). Add flour and mix well.
  3. Add hot milk to the egg mixture and fold through. (if using vanilla bean, remove the vanilla pod from the mixture).
  4. Return egg and milk mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until mixture becomes smooth and glossy. Remove saucepan from heat.
  5. Transfer pastry cream to a tray, cover with cling wrap and place in the freezer to cool, but do not freeze it.
  6. Before use, gently beat cream with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy (sound tedious isn't it? But it does give me a smooth pastry cream). ;)


Melissa said...

It's really nice of you to bake something for your mummy! I wish I could bake something nice for her too =)

Btw, it would be lovely if you could post this recipe because from the pictures, I can tell that it sure looks very tasty! I love egg tarts but I've never heard of cream puffs with egg tarts filling =p so i really hope that I could give this a go. Thanks babe! =D

daphne said...

how sweet!! I love how golden and light these puffs look too. Well done aimei!

Aimei said...

Hi Melissa,

Oh actually it's not egg tart fillings. Its a pastry cream, its more of a creamy..texture those custard cream which is made mainly of eggs so my mom described it as such... lol.

I've posted the recipe if you are interested to try it. ;)

Thanks Daphne! :D

sherlyn said...

Your puffs looks yummy. Your mother must be so happy.

Cream puff also my fav... hope to find a time to try this too (since u say tedious .... keke)

Aimei said...

Sherlyn, it's actually ok lah, but involves alot of stove work, cos' i'm not good with cooking.. and washing... that's the tedious part to me... :)

sherlyn said...

cooking is ok to me, it is the washing part .. the before and after cooking that is killing .. if only someone prepares the ingredients, and wash up, and i just do cooking, you know, like nigella and rachel allen .. phew, cooking and baking will be such a breeze.