Chou a la Crème シュークリーム
Chou (pronounced shoe, some spell choux) means cabbage in French. This sweet is named after the vegetable because the shape looks like a tiny cabbage (mine didn’t come out quite right but that’s another story). Americans call this ‘cream puff’ but that is not exotic enough name for me. When I went into ‘norecipe’ site for Mark’s Mont Blanc recipe(2009) via PlanJapan blog recently and Mark mentioned about Choux a la cream. Also when I was Spring cleaning a few weeks ago, I rediscovered this recipe I kept since 2001. I had some hesitation as to whether I should make it or not but it’s a sign! I must make this Chou a la cream!
This is from a professional Japanese patisserie’s basic Chou a la Cream recipe and I like it very much. My problem is that this recipe uses many pans and gadgets for 10 small cream puffs! I could double this recipe but I’m afraid I mess up, Who is going to clean those dirty dishes anyway? Honey! Honey? Where did he go? It must be that reason I don’t make this often and tucked away in a box? Anyway, the shell is not soft but a little firm and saku saku texture (sorry, I don’t know the English word for it) like in cake shop.
Basic Chou Shell
Makes about 10
- Unsalted butter 55g
- Whole milk 120ml
- Weak power flour (薄力粉）70g sifted.
- Eggs 2 maybe 3. 2 eggs scrambled.
- A pinch of salt
- In a medium pan, using wooden spatula combine butter, milk and salt on medium heat. Turn off the heat when the butter is completely melted.
- Put flour in the pan all at once and quickly mix until smooth.
- Turn the heat on again and stir until white thin film start coating on the bottom of the pan.
- Heat oven to 380 F.
- Transfer flour mixture to large bowl, then start adding egg at little at a time and mix well each time.
- Stop adding egg when the batter is lifted with wooden spoon and and falls forming a triangle shape. I did not use all of 2 eggs. Batter should be just the right consistency - not too runny and not too stiff. Add 3rd egg slowly if it hasn’t reach that texture.
- Put the batter in pastry bag with a round tip. Twist the bag so that the batter does not run out as you put it in.
- Hold the pastry bag perpendicular to the cookie sheet and squeeze out the batter without moving the tip – make about a 2 inch round. Leave about 2 inches between the puffs.
- Wet finger with water and push the center to smooth the point.
- Spray with a mister evenly from about a foot away.
- Bake shells for 15 minutes at 380 F then lower the temperature to 340 F and bake for 10 more minutes. Turn off heat and leave it in the oven for 5 minutes to dry out . Do not open the door until then.
Basic Custard Cream
.Equipment-strainer, pastry bag with round tip
- Whole milk 250ml
- 3 egg yolk
- Sugar 60g divided in half.
- Weak power flour (薄力粉) 20g sifted
- Vanilla essence 1 teaspoon
- Unsalted butter 10g
- Combine milk, 1/2 of sugar and vanilla in a sauce pan then heat over medium heat. Turn off the heat when sugar is dissolved.
- In a bowl, combine egg yolks and rest of sugar and flour. Using the whisk, mix well.
- Pour milk mixture into the bowl of egg mixture slowly. Mix well.
- Put the egg/milk mixture back into the pan and heat over high. Constantly stir with wooden spatula. Be careful not to burn, the center bottom and edge is especially susceptible.
- When small bubbles appear on the surface-only take 1 minutes or so, turn off heat and add the butter. Stir until butter is melted.
- Immediately, turn into a small casserole dish and put plastic wrap over it.Put the wrap directly on the mixture so that a skin won’t form. After it has cooled little bit chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
Strain the chilled custard (This process makes the custard ultra smooth but may not be necessary) and put it in the pastry bag with round tip. Whip 200g of heavy cream and 2 tablespoon (or more) of sugar until soft peak. Cut off 1/3 of top of shell and squeeze custard cream into it, then the whipped cream. Dust with powdered sugar if you like. I wished I had doubled this recipe because I ran out of custard.
Instead of custard, fill in with vanilla or chocolate ice cream or chocolate pudding will be also nice. Sprinkle toasted nuts to add texture. Mmmmm.
What labor to make this little delight. But its worth it when I hear the word “oishii” (美味しい）delicious from my loved ones. Honey, I will help you with the dishes of course.
Note to my fellow bloggers: While I’m away for a month in Hawaii my husband will be subbing my blog. I’m sure he is making something starchy. I will be checking your blogs while I’m gone so I can be inspired by your awesome dishes. Mahalo!