I love Japanese cream puffs. They are soooo good. Cream puffs has been on my list of things to make but with me trying to go on a diet, have not been baking much. But my friend D baked some and did not like the texture she ended up with. So I told her that I would try to bake some and if my puffs were soft, I would share the recipe with her.
Made them some time ago, and today had a craving for them, so decided to make them again but this time made them bigger to look like those that you get in Japan.
Custard cream filling
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out and put into the milk
1/2 cup of flour and cornstarch combined (or one or the other alone), blended and sifted
2 Tbsp custard powder
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1. Heat the milk with the vanilla bean slowly. (You can also use vanilla extract instead, in which case you'd add about 1 tsp. at the very end.)
2. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and salt with a whisk until the mixture is a pale lemony yellow. This indicates that the sugar has melted into the yolks. Add the flour-cornstarch mixture.
3. Fish out the vanilla bean from the hot milk, and add the milk in dribbles to the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Heat over a low to medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, for about 2-3 minutes until you can't detect any floury taste. Add the butter, and the vanilla extract . Let cool with a piece of cling film on top of the custard to prevent a film from forming on top.
Make the custard filling several hours or before making the choux pastry in advance.
In the meantime, make the choux buns.
For the choux pastry
200ml/7fl oz cold water
4 tsp caster sugar
85g/3oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
115g/4oz plain flour
3 medium free-range eggs, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Place a small roasting tin in the bottom of the oven to heat.
- For the choux pastry, place the water, sugar and butter into a large saucepan. Heat gently until the butter has melted.
- Turn up the heat, then quickly pour in the flour and salt all in one go.
- Remove from the heat and beat the mixture vigorously until a smooth paste is formed. Once the mixture comes away from the side of the pan, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until the mixture is smooth and glossy and has a soft dropping consistency - you may not need it all.
- Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Using a piping bag and plain 1cm/½in nozzle, pipe the mixture into small balls in lines across the baking sheet. Gently rub the top of each ball with a wet finger - this helps to make a crisper top.
- Place the baking sheet into the oven. Before closing the oven door, pour half a cup of water into the roasting tin at the bottom of the oven, then quickly shut the door. This helps to create more steam in the oven and make the pastry rise better. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden-brown - if the profiteroles are too pale they will become soggy when cool.
- Remove from the oven and turn the oven off. Prick the base of each profiterole with a skewer. Place back onto the baking sheet with the hole in the base facing upwards and return to the oven for five minutes. The warm air from the oven helps to dry out the middle of the profiteroles.
- For the filling, lightly whip the cream with the orange zest until soft peaks form. When the profiteroles are cold, use a piping bag to pipe the cream into the profiteroles.
Verdict: Hubby and I both think they do taste like the ones you get in Japan. Yumms.......