Friday, 22 April 2011

ALMOND CREAM PUFFS



It is Easter time and this is my 100th post. Time flies. I always wonder what people would like to see in my blog. To tell you the truth, after 100 posts, I still don't know. The recipes that I hesitate to post prove to be the popular ones. Still, in all, I am really grateful to all the readers, followers and supporters of this blog. May you never tire of reading my posts.



Let me be a bit self indulgent today by posting a recipe of one of my favourite food, cream puffs: choux buns filled with custard and crowned with crisp caramel. I remember trips to the bakeshop with my Mum when I was little. They were her favourite, too, so we would always buy a few. They were such a treat! I seem to remember that they were big. Or maybe I was little and everything seemed big to me. 

My favourite part was the crisp caramel top so I'd bite that off first. The choux bun and the custard had to be eaten together for best taste. It always tasted the same: really, really delicious. 

I haven't seen cream puffs like these for a long time and I really miss it. Is it just done like so in the Philippines, I wonder? They are like the buns that form the ring of the Gâteau St Honoré. The choux buns I see here in London are usually made into profiteroles (filled with cream and served with chocolate sauce) or just filled with cream and sprinkled with icing sugar or just plain and sprinkled with preserving sugar. I just had to make myself the cream puffs that I long for if I wanted to eat them. 

Since it is Easter, I decided to add an ingredient that is traditionally eaten at this time in a lot of countries: almonds.  I filled choux buns with almond custard, draped it with caramel syrup and sprinkled with toasted flaked almonds. As the crisp choux buns and hard caramel crack when you bite into it, the sweet almond custard oozes out. Was it nice? What do you think?



Ingredients for the choux pastry:


1 c. water
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter 
1 c. plain flour
3 eggs

Prepare several greased baking sheets. I lined them with baking paper for ease of cleaning. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F /200°C . 

In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add the salt and butter and stir. When the butter has melted, add all of the flour in one go. Stir the mixture briskly until it starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. 

Cool for ten minutes before adding in the eggs, beating well after each addition with a wooden spoon or an electric whisk. 

Pipe or spoon onto the baking sheets, 2" apart. Smooth the tops with a wet finger so that they don't burn. 


Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown in colour. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F/ 150°C and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until the buns are risen, crisp and golden. 

Poke the sides with the tip of a knife once done to let the steam escape. Cool on a rack before filling.

Ingredients for the custard filling:


2 c. milk
2 tbsps. of corn flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
6 egg yolks
1 c. ground almonds
2 tbsps. butter
1 tsp. almond essence


Method:


In a saucepan, disperse the corn flour in the milk. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the butter and almond essence, and mix with a wire whisk. 

Cook over low heat, stirring continuously until thick. 

Take off the heat and add in the butter and almond essence. Blend and leave to cool completely. 

Transfer to a piping bag or squeezy bottle and fill the buns.




For the caramel glaze and almond topping:


1 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 c. flaked almonds, toasted in the oven for 5 minutes


Combine sugar, water and cream of tartar in a saucepan. Stir on low heat until the sugar dissolves. 

Bring to a boil and leave to simmer on medium heat until golden. 

Spoon over the choux buns and sprinkle with a few flaked almonds. If the caramel sets in the pan, reheat to melt again.

The recipe makes 30 cream puffs.

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23 comments:

  1. Congrats on your 100th post! Time flies by, doesn't it? Your choice of treat to celebrate such an important blogging milestone is the tops. I think I would have been happy inhaling the almond custard by itself but I would also never turn down a cream puff. What a wonderful combination.

    Cheers to many more posts! :-)

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  2. 100 already, times goes so fast. Congrats and here is to many more posts. I love cream puffs I can never see too many of them, love your little chicks on the plate too.

    Happy Easter!
    -Gina-

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  3. yummy looking creme puff.. love the chickens.. and congrats on ur 100h post ! keep rocking...

    new to ur space n happy to follow u for more wonderful creations..
    do visit me when u get time ..
    http://comeletseat.blogspot.com

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  4. These are gorgeous! Congrats on hitting 100. I know what you mean, it's the posts I don't expect to garner much attention that get the most, and the ones I think will be a hit that aren't. But these look so wonderful, I am sure they will be a hit!

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  5. These look delicious! Love all those flavors too!

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  6. These are so pretty! They make me want to pile them up into a croquembouche...Congrats on the hundredth post, and Happy Easter!

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  7. Those look SO amazing, wow....Congrats on the 100th post!! That is fantastic!

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  8. I am so glad that I found you blog. One look at those pastries and I knew I had to follow you! Amazing...yummy...I would like a dozen.

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  9. Congratulations on your 100th post! And these cream puffs look so delicious and cuteeee! My husband loves cream puffs so much, but too bad I can't make these yummy treats like you. He'll be able to eat all of what you made!

    Nami @ Just One Cookbook

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  10. Those look yummy! Congrats on 100 posts!

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  11. Congrats on your 100th post! Cream puffs are my mum's favourite, I am sure she would be happy if I made some for her. Thanks for the recipe :)

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  12. You are incredible. These cream puffs look so professional especially with that crackly caramel all over them. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cream puffs up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/04/sweets-for-saturday-14_22.html

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  13. Hi again, you have been tagged to share 5 Easter recipes. Please feel free to join us :)!

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  14. Whoa, what an amazing creation for your 100th post! These look amazing... I wish I could have some of these cream puffs right now!

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  15. Wow! You are some pastry chef! And now I'm feeling very, very hungry. Congrats on 100 posts :)

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  16. Love the extra touch of glaze on your cream puffs.

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  17. Congrats on your 100th post. :) These puffs are just perfection.

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  18. Congratulations on your centennial! Your posts are always a treat!

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  19. Congratulations! What a tempting treat. Looks yummy too....

    http://treatntrick.blogspot.com

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  20. congrats on your 100th post!

    those almond cream puffs look incredible...i love all the gooey goodness inside them... YUM!

    -Abeer @ www.cakewhiz.com

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  21. Good job. That looks wonderful. Congrats on the 100th post!

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  22. Congrats on the 100th post :) Almond custard sounds fabulous! :)

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  23. YUMMY! These look absolutely fabulous!

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