Durians Are In Season, Let’s Make Good Use Of It!..–Durian Cream Puff (榴莲泡芙)

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INTRODUCTION

Durian cream puff is definitely not something difficult to do. It may be slightly difficult to prepare the choux pastry, however with few pointers. I am sure most  readers will be able to succeed.

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It is extremely cheap to prepare the durian cream puff. My advise is there is no need to buy overly expensive durian like Mau Shan Wang , Red Prawns, D24 species etc. Cheaper durian like Sultan King or those that were sold in a plastic pack of 3 for SGD10 will suffice.

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Since you need the cream to smoothen the texture of durian flesh, therefore, you will not need those highly price durian flesh. Of course, if you want, you definitely can and if I wanted to use such good durian, I will not add cream to the mixture, I will have a pure durian flesh puff.

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The amount of cream to durian flesh is for your reference. Jokingly, if you want to sell, you may want to have more cream than durian flesh since cream is cheaper, however, if you want to prepare it for home consumption, possibly you would like to have more higher grade durian flesh with less cream and again, in the extreme, no cream is required if it is a good grade of durian.

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There is nothing much to write about this well liked snack in Singapore and Malaysia. It is just some localization of fresh produce with the famous French choux pastry. In my humble opinion, it had been well over priced in the market and you can easily prepared these at home for a fraction of cost.

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The weather is extremely hot during my photo taking session. My cream starts to melt in the photo session. Pardon me for the rather runny durian cream inside the  profiteroles.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: Prepared About 50 durian cream puffs (depending on size of puff)

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Durian Cream (Not in picture)

  • 200 grams of net durian flesh (after de-seed and sifting)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cream for whipping

Assuming a recovery rate of 40%, you will need at least 500 grams gross weight of durian with seed for sifting purposes.

Choux Pastry

  • 4 eggs
  • 125 grams of unsalted butter
  • 125 grams of plain flour
  • 250 grams of water

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • In a sauce pan, place water and butter. Bring to boil. Take away the sauce pan and sift in flour. Stir until well mix. Put it back to the stove and continue stirring until the dough leaves the side of the pan and forms a ball.

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  • Transfer to the whisking bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the dough for about 30 seconds to release the heat. Add in one egg at a time and continue to whisk until the egg are well mixed. Repeat the same for the other 3 eggs.  Do not add the eggs too quickly, otherwise, your dough will be very runny. If it is too runny, beat for several minutes or until thickened again. The end result of the dough should be glossy but not runny (refer to the next picture).

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  • Transfer the dough to a large piping bag fitted with 1.5 cm plain nozzle. Pipe the dough in a 1.5 cm diameter balls leaving rooms for expansions.

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  • Bake at 200 degree Celsius for 10-15 minutes and reduce the oven temperature to 175 degree Celsius for another 10 minutes or until golden and firm.  Do not open the door during the first 15 minutes as it may deflates the puff when temperature changes and you do not need to open the door when you reduce the temperature.Once ready, take out from the oven and use a toothpick to poke a small hole on both sides of the puff to let the trapped moisture to escape. Cool completely on a wire rack .

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  • De-seed the durian and put it in a sift. Use a metal spoon to rub against the sift until all the flesh become some meshed durian.  Remember that 200 grams is the net weight and you may have to purchase at least 500 grams of durian with seeds. Put your sifted durian in the fridge as it can oxidize rather quickly. Alternatively, you can just add one scoop of fresh cream that you have whipped and mixed with the sifted durian, it will reduce the tendency to get oxidize. Oxidize will render your colour darker and therefore would have less appeal to your guest. Alternatively, you can use a blender to blend the durian until fine.

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  • Beat the cream until soft peak. Fold the cream to the durian flesh until well mixed. Transfer to a piping bag with some simple piping tips of your choice.  If the cream are too soft, you can chill in the fridge for 10-20 minutes before piping.

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  • Halve the puff and pumped the durian cream into the puff. Best served when chilled. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator and best eaten within the day of preparation.

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CONCLUSION

Durians are in season now. It is definitely cheap and not difficult to prepare some durian cream puffs for your family members.  If you are using good grade durian, use as little cream as possible and ideally, no cream is added if the durian cost above SGD30 per kilogram as it can be safely assumed that the durian flesh are smooth and creamy enough to be on its own.

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If you do not like durian, just whipped up some cream, drizzle with chocolate sauce and it will become another cream puffs for your family.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 21 March 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit this blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE .  

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Another Profiteroles Bake – Christmas Croquembouche (圣诞泡芙塔)

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UPDATED POST ON 21-11-2014

Last year’s croquembouche was done late at night and it was quite a disaster and this year, I have decided to prepare another croquembouche for this purpose.. This croquembouche is rather tall. 2 feet high with about 100 profiteroles. It is the full recipe of 4 eggs as stated in this post. There is no change in the recipe but I have change the method of assembly and assembly of the profiteroles.

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  • Build a cone support as the centre. I use some white paper, roll it like a cone and cut off the bottom. I wrapped with aluminium foil and in the centre, I place a jar of the same diameter such that it is stable.

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  • No caramel sugar were prepared this time. Instead, I used the melted chocolate to stick to the cone. Assembly starts from the bottom and gradually went up to the top.

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  • For the profiteroles, I have prepare 3 types – original, one is coated with white chocolate with some dark chocolate stripes and the last one is dark chocolate coated and sprinkled with some baked almond meal. To make the chocolate coating, one of the easiest way is to melt the chocolate in microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minutes. You can also melt it over stoves using water bath method.

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  • No fillings were done this time as I do not forsee we are able to finish the profiteroles . In addition, I do not want my kids to have too much cream loaded bakes. The plain profiteroles with the chocolate coating is nice on its own.

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Re-prepare this is to let readers aware that croquembouche is possible to be prepared at home without much expertise required. It cost a bomb because it is slightly laborious. It took me about 2.5 hours from baking to finishing the whole croquembouche . Of course, a bit of planning is required. Most of the time is wasted in waiting for the chocolate to dry up. Why not try to prepare this for the coming Christmas dinner..It will be a centrepiece of the dinner.

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INTRODUCTION

The name Croquembouche sounds so jargon and technical. However, it is nothing more than a piling of profiteroles (puffs) in a 3 dimensional cone shape. It is  a French term and the pastries are usually served and in important occasions, parties and gatherings.

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Per Wikipedia,

A croquembouche or croque-en-bouche is a French dessert consisting of choux pastry balls piled into a cone and bound with threads of toffee. In Italy and France, is often served at weddings, baptisms, and first communions. The name comes from the French phrase croque en bouche ‘(something that) crunches in the mouth. A croquembouche is composed of profiteroles (choux pastry balls) piled into a cone and bound with threads of toffee. It may also be decorated with sugared almonds, chocolate, flowers, or ribbons. Sometimes it is covered in macaroons or ganache.

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The basic pastry is choux pastry and the puffs or profiteroles can be decorated in many ways. It can be caramelized, dip in chocolates and/or ganaches, macaroons, fondant icings and etc. Depending on the type of exterior decorating agents used, the interior of the puff can be plain or piped with custards, whipped creams or fruit flavour whipped creams. It can be as elaborated as you want it to be. In Singapore, a 28cm (diameter) x 37cm (height) fully decorated with colourful and beautiful icing croquembouche can cost as much as SGD400-500. For a party of 30-40 persons, it will cost about SGD10 per persons for the pastry.

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For purposes of this illustration, I have prepare the croquembouche in the shape of a Christmas tree since Christmas is approaching. Utilizing 4 eggs, I have managed to prepare at least 70-80 profiteroles with about 1 gram per profiterole. This batch of profiteroles is a rather satisfactory batch with solid crusts and hollow internally. However, I did not do any elaborated decoration to the choux pastry as I am sure we are unable to finish and impossible to give all to friends unless it is in a party setting. I also did not pipe in any custard or creams for the same reasons. However,  I have taken a few (about 10 of them to coat with white and dark chocolate for purposes of picture taking..

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The making of choux pastry is exactly the same as the recipe for Chocolate Éclairs’.  As for the toffee, my toffee is not perfect and slightly too dark as I am using a type of pan with capsule base and the toffee continue to get “cooked” despite I off the heat when it is just light brownish in colour. Therefore, readers are reminded not to use any pan with capsule base for this purpose.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings : about 70-80 profiteroles

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Choux Pastry

  • 4 eggs (please disregard one egg in the above picture)
  • 125 grams of unsalted butter
  • 125 grams of plain flour
  • 250 grams of water

For toffee

  • 300 grams of white sugar
  • 150 grams of water

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat oven to the hot 200 degree Celsius.

  • Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper or lightly grease the baking tray.

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  • In a sauce pan, place water and butter. Bring to boil. Take away the sauce pan and add in flour. Stir until well mix. Put it back to the stove and continue stirring until the dough leaves the side of the pan and forms a ball.

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  • Transfer to the whisking bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the dough for about 30 seconds to release the heat. Add in one egg at a time and continue to whisk until the egg are well mixed. Repeat the same for the other 3 eggs.  Do not add the eggs too quickly, otherwise, your dough will be very runny. If it is too runny, beat for several minutes or until thickened again. The end result of the dough should be glossy but not runny.

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  • Transfer the dough to a large piping bag fitted with 1.5 cm plain nozzle. Pipe the dough in a 1.5 cm diameter balls leaving rooms for expansions. Bake at 200 degree Celsius for 10-15 minutes and reduce the oven temperature to 175 degree Celsius for another 10 minutes or until golden and firm.  Do not open the door during the first 15 minutes as it may deflates the puff when temperature changes and you do not need to open the door when you reduce the temperature.

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  • Once ready, take out from the oven and use a toothpick to poke a small hole on both sides of the éclairs to let the trapped moisture to escape. Cool completely on a wire rack .

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Preparing the Toffee

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  • Put the sugar and water in a pan. Stir over low heat without boiling until dissolved. Simmer over low heat without stirring until the toffee is light golden brown. Note that I have used a pan with capsule base. Even though I off the fire like is seen in the picture, however, the syrup or toffee continues to cook and by the time I used it about 15 minutes later, it become rather dark coloured.  Therefore,  it is advisable that readers do not use this type of pan for preparing the toffee.

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  • Note that if you want the puff to have fillings like custard or whipped cream or you want to coat your puff with fondant icing, chocolates etc., you have to pipe and/or decorate it before you continue with the next step. I have purposely coat a few of the puffs with white and dark chocolate for this illustration purposes.

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  • Have a serving plate and place a piece of baking paper in shape of serving plate. Begin with the larger puffs, dip the base in the toffee and place in the baking paper in a circular shape.

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  • Gradually build up into a cone shape with the smaller ones at the top. If you prefer, you can decorate the puff tree by drizzle the leftover toffee in a circular pattern on the puff trees.  Let it dry and decorate with your Christmas ornaments if prefer.

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CONCLUSION

Readers can use your creativity to decorate your very own croquembouche. Be it exterior or the interior. Remember, for this illustration, I am using the basic decorations in order to avoid wastage, feel free to pipe in custard, durian cream, whipped cream and etc. if you have adequate guest. If you want to impress your guests, after piping, decorated every puffs with beautiful fondant icing or chocolate patterns before you assemble the croquembouche. It sure will impress your guests. Before I end the post, you can always use the same pastry for making of durian puffs, custard puffs etc. without assembly into the shape of a croquembouche. Hope you like the post today.  Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 20 November 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

 

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My Chocolate Éclairs Are Ugly But Possess Awesome Internal Beauty.. Chocolate Éclairs

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INTRODUCTION
 
DON’T BE SHOCKED BY MY UGLY CHOCOLATE ECLAIRS!!! My chocolate éclairs looked like the Chinese dough fritters (you tiao) and I do not know exactly the reasons! I tends to believe that it was due to my uneven pumping techniques.
 
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Because of these funny shapes, my chocolate coatings became  uneven and in fact, it look “ugly’ from certain angles and I am not really happy with the results. Besides these imperfections, I am extremely happy with the choux pastry, it is light and hollow in the centre, ideal for pumping creams or custards…
 
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Éclair essentially uses the same type of choux pastry used for the making of cream puff. It is supposed to be light, have a crispy outer skin but hollow internally. As per Wikipedia: “

“An éclair is an oblong pastry made with choux dough filled with a cream and topped with icing. The dough, which is the same as that used for profiterole, is typically piped into an oblong shape with a pastry bag and baked until it is crisp and hollow inside. Once cool, the pastry then is filled with a vanilla-, coffee- or chocolate-flavoured custard (crème patisserie), or with whipped cream, or chibouks cream; and then iced with fondant icing. Other fillings include pistachio- and rum-flavoured custard, fruit-flavoured fillings, or chestnut purée.”  (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89clair)

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from Page 180, Essential Baking Book  – Chocolate Éclairs

Servings : about 30 éclairs

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Choux Pastry

  • 4 eggs (please disregard one egg in the above picture)
  • 125 grams of unsalted butter
  • 125 grams of plain flour
  • 250 grams of water

Chocolate coating and whipped cream

  • 200 grams of dark chocolate
  • 300 ml of cream, whipped

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat oven to the hot 200 degree Celsius.

  • Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper or lightly grease the baking tray.

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  • In a sauce pan, place water and butter. Bring to boil. Take away the sauce pan and add in flour. Stir until well mix. Put it back to the stove and continue stirring until the dough leaves the side of the pan and forms a ball.

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  • Transfer to the whisking bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the dough for about 30 seconds. Add in one egg at a time and continue to whisk until the egg are well mixed. Repeat the same for the other 3 eggs.  Do not add the eggs too quickly, otherwise, your dough will be very runny. If it is too runny, beat for several minutes or until thickened again. The end result of the dough should be glossy but not runny.

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  • Transfer the dough to a large piping bag fitted with 1.5 cm plain nozzle. Pipe to your desired length (about 8-10 cm) into the baking trays leaving room for expansions. Bake at 200 degree Celsius for 10-15 minutes and reduce the oven temperature to 175 degree Celsius for another 15 minutes or until golden and firm.  Do not open the door during the first 20 minutes as it will deflates the puff when temperature changes and it is unlikely you will need to open the door. You don’t need to open the door when you reduce the temperature.

  • Once ready, take out from the oven and use a toothpick to poke a small hole on both sides of the éclairs to let the trapped moisture to escape. Cool completely on a wire rack .

  • Meanwhile, whipped the cream until firm peak and set aside for later assembly.

  • In a microwavable bowl, put the dark chocolate and microwave using high or medium heat for 1 minute until the chocolate melted. Set aside for later assembly.

  • When cooled, split each éclair and pump in the whipped cream. Spread/dip with melted chocolate. If preferred, chilled for about half an hour before serving.

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CONCLUSION

This is such a sinful indulgence. It is soft, light, creamy and full of chocolate fragrance. For purposes of serving my kids and family members, I have opted to cut it into one bite size.. it is addictive and one is definitely not enough for me..

Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.  

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For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit this blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE .
 

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If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 250 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD

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