Good morning. It has been a while since I made Cream Puffs for the Hubs. What prompted me to make the Cream Puffs was three fold. (a) I saw the All Stars Australian MasterChef 2012 recently where the past MasterChef participants had to do a Croquembouche basically making Cream Puffs & stacking them like a tower & the cream puffs were coated, I think it was, with some sort of caramel, perhaps a Toffee Caramel & finally the whole tower of cream puffs were encased in swirls of spun sugar; (b) I have not made Cream Puffs for the longest ever; a year or two give or take & it would make a lovely tea for the Hubs. I wanted to see whether I had lost my mojo as there are a few techniques involved in making the choux pastry; one the pastry had to be purrfect for piping & we were told by the Chef when we attended the Cream Puff class that under no circumstances were we to open the door of the oven during the first 10 minutes that we were baking as the cream puffs would then collapse & they were basically baked for 20 minutes +- depending of course on your oven heat & we need to know our own oven well ie as to the heat of same. For me the right time would be 19 - 20 minutes when they are golden brown; I take them out & turn it upside down to see the color of the bottom of the cream puff; for me within that time frame of 19 - 20 minutes, the golden color would be divine & the texture of the cream puffs were soft, lovely & virtually melts in the mouth & then for the Hubs' portion, I bake it slightly longer; perhaps 2 - 3 minutes to get a slightly browner color; (c) I needed to bring something for Pot Bless.
After baking them & being happy with them :) I decided that I wanted to up my game!!! I normally either make a Banana Mousse filling or a Custard Filling for the cream puffs. On the spur of the moment & this time I wanted to be simply "wicked" & concorted a Durian Filling; after all I had a basic recipe for a mousse filling as in my Banana Mousse filling so all I needed to do was to jiggle here & there a little & both the Hubs & my cell mates would be, sort of, my guinea pig as the Hubs just bought some D24 Durians so away I went tinkering in my kitchen; holding my breathing, praying to God to let the Durian mousse filling work because if it didn't work & was too watery to pipe in the cream puffs then I am toast as I did not have time to make another "safe" filling and I didn't know whether the gelatine in this durian filling would be too much or too little!!!
Just to give you some of my thoughts here; 10 years ago I would not have dared to step out of my own comfort zone. I have learnt baking & of course, the spin off, various kinds of cooking for 26 years. 10 years ago & before I retired, I would go for a safer bet ie follow the recipe rigidly!!! Then after I retired 10 years ago, I started trying to come out from under the wings of the various Chefs that I had learnt from. Trying to jingle a little here & there in order to get something that is basically my own interpretation; succeeding sometimes & failing at times but ultimately, haha, never trying to give up my dream to one day be an icon in what I loved the most, baking!!! Yes I have pure Passion running in my blood & the one thing that gives me encouragement is when I see the Joy reflected in people's face be it whether they ordered a cake from me or when I brought some tip bits for tea or supper.
For those of you who are "aching" to try some Cream Puffs; check out my Cream Puff recipe in my blog & I am amazed how come a simple thing like my cream puffs would elicit nearly a 1,000 hits & there you would also find my Banana Mousse filling.
Love the color!!!
Will upload the recipe for the Durian fillings after I have finished making the gum paste decor for a 1 month baby for collection on Friday & need also make some gum paste Carrots also for a Carrot birthday cake on Saturday.
Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia