Cream Puffs

After a week of eating biryani every single day, it feels like a crime to blog about anything but salad. To be honest though, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a vegetable around here. Wedding season tends to be like this in these parts – with an event to attend every single day, your diet, more often than not, consists solely of fried chicken and biryani, and you start to consider the lime pickle served on the side as your vegetable intake for the day. 

There is such a thing as too much biryani though, and I’m presently really excited about eating all the non-biryani things that life has to offer in 2017. Hopefully this will include more actual food, and less instant noodles and KFC chicken popcorn.

The general consensus has been that 2016 sucked, but I think there were some high points too – like getting the Goya Journal off the ground, living on my own and learning to make a cup of coffee that I’m finally happy with. I also made choux pastry with mum in October, which felt like a real milestone in our relationship. It took us the better part of the day, and we needed a nap by the end of it, but it turned out quite nicely and we didn’t murder each other in the process, so it was worth it. 

The process of making choux, although quite nerve wracking, is also quite satisfying – watching the little blobs puff up and become twice their size is gratifying in the same way a grow-a-dinosaur is, only better because you can eat it in the end.

We made cream puffs with the choux pastry and gave them colourful glazes so that they’re more upbeat and party-ready. Cream puffs are a bit old fashioned, but if purple lipstick and chokers are making a come back, surely cream puffs can’t be far behind? Although the sight of pastry so soon after the holidays, newly embarked on your New Year diet, might make you shake your fists angrily at the screen, may I remind you that Valentines Day is only a month and twelve days away? 

Cream Puffs 

(makes approximately 20)

Ingredients

For the choux

1/2 + 1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup milk

3 large eggs

1/3 cup butter

1 tsp sugar

1/8 tsp salt

 

For the glaze

1/2 cup icing sugar

2 tsp water

a drop each of pink, blue and yellow food colouring

 

For the cream filling

1 1/2 whipped cream divided into 3 bowls

1 tbsp candied ginger cut into small pieces

2 tsp honey 

sugar to taste

1 tsp rose water

1 tbsp cream of coconut ( or thick coconut milk)

 

For the topping

1/2 tbsp roughly chopped candied ginger

1/2 tbsp dried rose petals

1/2 tbsp decicated coconut

Method

Combine water, milk, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan.Stir until butter melts, over a medium flame. Remove the saucepan from the flame and add all the flour into it at once and stir till throughly mixed. Place it back on the flame, and vigorously stir till it stops sticking to the sides of the pan and comes together to form a ball. Remove from flame, and let cool for 2-3 minutes. 

Meanwhile, break the eggs into a bowl and lightly whisk. 

Add the eggs slowly into the flour mixture, and beat with a hand mixer or a stand mixer if you have one, till the mixture forms a smooth paste.

Pip with a large round nozzle, into small drops. Wet your index finger and gently press down the tips, so that they don’t burn in the oven.

Lightly dust with icing sugar. 

Bake in a preheated oven at 175 degree Celcius for 45 minutes, or until it is golden brown. 

Remove from oven and gently prick the bottom with a tip of a toothpick to let the steam escape. 

To make the cream filling, add the candied ginger and honey to the first bowl of whipped cream, and fold in gently. Add the rose water to the next and the coconut cream to the last. Taste and add sugar if needed.

Once the shells cool down, make an incision in the centre and fill with a generous scoop of cream. 

To make the glaze, combine all the ingredients to form a thick mixture. Divide it between three bowls, and add a drop of food colour to each bowl. You want the consistency of the glaze to be only slightly thinner than a dough - too loose and it'll slide off the pastry. 

To decorate the cream puffs, gently dip the tops of the puff in the glaze, decorate with the toppings and keep aside for a few minutes to set. 

Store in an airtight container.