To my dearest Mama: Happy Mother’s Day!
This is her favorite dessert. She loves custard puffs. Yesterday, after having our Mother’s Day lunch celebration with my sister and family, we visited Meidi-Ya supermarket. My mum was looking at the cream puffs on sale and commenting how expensive they were. Well, they were imported from Hokkaido, so the price is twice that of a normal cream puff.
She likes cream puffs, though her preference is custard puffs. But between a slice of cake or a puff, I know she will eat the puff, whether it is cream or custard filled.
I had already planned to make her some custard puffs this weekend, as a Mother’s Day gift. I had spotted and bookmarked the pâte à choux from Bisous A Toi. Her recipe is from David Lebovitz.
Pâte à Choux (adapted from David Lebovitz: Ready for Dessert!)
- 250 ml water (I used whole milk)
- 115 grams unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 140 grams all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp whole milk
- Preheat oven to 220 C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a saucepan, place milk, butter, sugar and salt. Melt butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Once butter melts, add in flour all at once, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it forms a thick paste and leaves the side of the saucepan. Scrape paste into the bowl of a standing mixer.
- Using the paddle attachment, turn the mixer speed to low. Beat for 2 minutes to cool down slightly.
- Add in eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next one.
- Scrape dough into a piping bag fitted with a 1 1/2 inch plain nozzle or any design you desire.
- Pipe whatever design you desire onto the baking sheet, leaving a space of 3 inches in between each puff. To make attractive puffs, you need to pipe them at least 1 1/2 inches tall. I made some large puffs, some small puffs and some huge eclair-like shape that turned out to be an odd shaped whatever (I was aiming to make a large eclair and it puffed way beyond the shape of a normal one..oh well..).
- Gently glaze the top of the puffs/eclairs/whatever, if using, taking care not to drip the glaze near to the base since it will hinder rising.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown all the way around. Mine were very brown in some parts by the 20th minute, so do keep a close lookout. I had to cover the puffs with foil around 15 minutes into baking, since my oven is not the large kind. As clearly stated by David Lebovitz, do not under-bake. Under-baking will cause the puff to collapse when it is cooling.
- 250 ml whole milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 45 grams castor sugar
- 12.5 grams all-purpose flour
- 10 grams corn flour
- Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- Whisk egg yolks with sugar until pale and thick.
- Add in flour all at once and whisk until combined.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, bring milk combined with vanilla bean seeds to a boil.
- Once milk mixture boils, turn off the heat and let it sit for 30 seconds.
- Drizzle milk mixture into egg yolk mixture and whisk until combined.
- Pour mixture back into saucepan, turn on to medium heat and whisk constantly, until mixture has thickened to the consistency of custard. It should coat the back of a spoon.
- Scrape custard into a bowl and cover with cling wrap, making sure the wrap touches the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Let it cool down for 30 minutes before chilling in the fridge for 2 hours.
The taste of the puff is rich, with the wonderful fragrance of butter and eggs. The sweetness of the custard is just nice. The smell of the vanilla…ah…heaven!
Homemade custard puffs usually beats those purchased from bakeries, in terms of cost and quality. Though the steps seem like a lot, making these are pretty straight-forward and if you follow the directions, achieving success is not difficult.
Wishing every Mama a Happy Mother’s Day! 🙂