Saturday, March 31, 2007

I'm never buying cream puffs again.


Not like I buy them often actually. *counts calories in head* But after actually make them myself, the ingredients that go into these puffs (or profiteroles as I shall call them from now on, sounds so much more sophisticated hehe) are actually really basic. And after mastering the choux pastry base which is the "puff" itself, you can actually fill it with whatever you fancy. Pipe in your favorite custard or cream mix. Or for something savory, stuff in some tuna mayo and you have easy to make yet impressive looking finger food. Oh and you can mess around with shapes too. This base is supposedly suitable for making eclairs as well. Yum.

Got the choux recipe from the April UK edition of delicious. Made my own fillings though, go wild with your own!

Choux "puffs" recipe (I managed to make around 50 puffs with this recipe)

100g butter, cubed

200 ml water
110g plain flour (about 1 cup), sifted
3 medium eggs, beaten

Yes, 4 ingredients. Imagine the profit margin of the cream puff selling industry. Lol. Anyway, moving on with the recipe.

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180 fan forced. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
2. Melt the butter in the water in a pan over very low heat. When the butter's melted, turn up the heat and bring the water to a rolling boil.
3. Quickly tip your flour into the water and beat vigorously over the heat until mixture comes away from the sides of the pan. Take the pot away from the heat and let cool for about 5 mins.
4. Add the eggs into the mixture, bit by bit, mixing until combined after each addition. You should end up with a glossy, slightly stiff paste.
5. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a plain 1cm nozzle. (I used a ziplock bag with a hole cut in a corner) Pipe walnut sized balls onto the baking sheets, well spaced apart. Trust me, these things will expand.
6. Bake for about 20-25 mins, until puffed up and pale golden. Using a small knife, make a small slit in each puff. Put back in the oven and bake for another 10 mins with the oven door ajar. Take out, allow to cool, and fill with whatever you like!

Before going into the oven
I made a simple chocolate cream filling, a 200 ml pot of whipping cream, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 4 tablespoons of icing sugar. Put everything in a bowl and whisk till the cream reaches the desired texture. Pipe cream into puffs.


I'm so not meant to set up a blog. A computer-savy person I'm not. Making template changes is so confusing... Aaaaaa..

Baking paraphernalia. (or lack of)

I'm a university student. Who tries to keep the amount of items I have to put away into storage every summer at a minimum. Hence the number of kitchen items I actually own are few. For baking I usually use; 1. a large mixing bowl (to throw all the ingredients in), 2. a sieve (for sifting flour, cocoa and all the powdery stuff), 3. a cheapo hand-held mixer (it's a Kenwood one, but the most basic), 4. baking trays of various sizes, 5. accomodation office provided pots and pans, 6. the kitchen oven and stove, and 7. an old wooden spoon. Until recently, I had no weighing scales, I relied on my trusty little measuring cup, scouring online for measurement conversions whenever I needed them. Yes, I'm too much of a cheapskate to buy a set of scales. But my flatmate just bought one, what a rugby player would need a set of kitchen scales for I'm not sure. But I'm not complaining =)
As for other what I consider to be non-essential items, I improvise. Don't have a rolling pin? Flatten the dough with a baking tray or my hands. No piping bag? Pfft. Cut a hole into a ziplock bag and pipe from that. Of course, it may not work for all recipes but I've been pretty selective over the recipes that I've opted to mess around with so far.
Haven't really decided what I'm going to do with this blog yet, it'll most probably be food photos with a few random recipes when I feel like it. But if I do post recipes up, rest assured that they'll be more or less fail proof, I have to illusions about being a good cook. But I do have fun trying.

The beginning..

.. of yet another food blog.. As if there aren't enough out there already. Ah well, the more the merrier =D