Creamy Cream Puffs-Chou Cream

Creamy chocolate custard fills these cream puffs
The last couple of months were busy so apologies for no posts. I was baking just not enough time for blog updates.

A new year has started with high hopes for an interesting & fun new year!!  Let's start baking.

Tokyo's winter isn't dreadfully cold so if we can survive Jan & Feb, then the worst is over.  Many blossoms start blooming in the warmer parts of Japan in late Jan and early Feb so looking forward to seeing them.

Actually, winter is the best season for cooking with chocolate so I like to use these months to bake all of my chocolate recipes and creamy mousses.

Cream Puffs (Chou Cream)

60 grams butter (cut into pieces)
60 grams water
60 grams of milk
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
35 grams flour (sifted)
40 grams bread flour (sifted)
2 eggs (room temperature)

1. In a sauce pan, combine the butter, water, milk, salt and sugar and keep on a low heat until the butter melts. When butter melts turn up the heat so that the mixture is lightly boiling then turn off.
2. Add the flours to the sauce pan and mix with a spoon and until it is well combined. Put back on a low heat for about 2 minutes.
3. Put the mixture into bowl and add the eggs in portions. Mix well each time the eggs are added. Keep adding the eggs until the mixture can just drip from the spoon - it will be thicker than pancake batter.
4. Put the dough into a pastry bag and use a wide nozzle (opening about 1 cm in width).  Squirt the dough to about to about 4.5 cm circles. Makes about 12 - 13 pieces.
5. Lightly tap down the top of each piece and spray with water VERY lightly.
6. Bake at 200 Celsius for 20 minutes; reduce to 180 degrees and bake for 15 minutes; reduce again to 150 degrees and bake for 10 minutes. Pastries should be well browned but not burned.

Chocolate Custard

60 grams flour
80 grams sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
480 grams milk
70 grams bitter chocolate (chopped)
1 teaspoon cooking brandy

1.  In a bowl, mix the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla then add the flour.

2.  In a sauce pan, heat the milk until just lightly boiling. Add the milk to #1 above and mix then add back to the sauce pan using a strainer. Heat on a low heat until the mixture thickens to a consistency of pudding.

3.  Take off the heat and add the chocolate in portions and mix with a spatula. Add the brandy. Put in a bowl and cool over ice water.

Putting together

1. Poke a small hole in the bottom of each of the puff pastries.
2. Put the custard in a pastry bag with a small nozzle and fill each of the cream puffs from the small hole.
3. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving as well.