We have had moody weather lately here in Sydney, where some days it would reach up to 38 – 40 C degrees then suddenly dropped to 20s C degrees the next day for a couple days then gradually gets to higher temperature and the whole circle starts again. I don’t usually enjoy summer here that much, for the heat and insects (especially flies that always come near your mouth); but must admit I love those fresh fruits available in this season such as varieties of berries, cherry, mangoes, plums, nectarines and the list goes on.
Anyway, it was finally cooled down a bit on the weekend after a very hot Friday and I felt slightly experimental. I saw a modified choux recipe on youtube and imagined it would be like those Beard Papa’s choux pastries. While we were in the airports in Indonesia, there were always a Beard Papa’s counters available and there were usually some queues. So, out of curiosity we decided to give it a try; we bought two different flavours namely durian (of course I chose this because I love durian and we certainly don’t get to eat this often) and coffee mocha flavour. On the first bite, I thought “Wow, this is some serious durian kick!” and then as I ate through the whole thing, I noticed the pastry is nothing like your usual choux pastry. It felt crispy on the outside and yet very light on the inside, a very nice combination. Seeing that youtube video made me think of those yummylicious Beard Papa’s choux and I wanted to try make them too.
So, basically to achieve the crispy outer skin of the pastry is by adding a layer of thin sugar cookie dough on top of each choux pastry and bake them together. As they are baking, the choux pastry will expand and as the result is cracked cookie crust covering the top part of your choux pastry and these are the crispy bits. Think of it again, it reminds me of Roti Boy – the exact same logic: bread dough covered with thin crispy cookie layer, right? (☞ﾟ∀ﾟ)☞
I assembled mine using 3 sources: the cookie dough from here, the custard filling from here, and the choux pastry from here. I will copy the recipes from those three sources down below for easy reference, but please do head to their websites or videos for more detailed instructions 🙂
Cookie Crust – Ingredients:
- 30g Butter at room temperature
- 1/3 cup Icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1/3 cup SR flour (OR plain flour with 1/2 tsp baking powder (or a pinch bicarb soda))
- I added a small pinch of salt as well
Vanilla Custard Cream – Ingredients:
- 400ml Milk
- ⅓ Vanilla Bean Pod (I used 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract)
- 4 Egg Yolks
- 100g Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Cake Flour
- 2 Tbsp Corn Starch
- 100ml Whipping Cream with 36% fat (3.4 fl oz)
- ½ Tbsp Sugar
- Rum or Brandy (optional)
- I made some with green tea matcha flavours, so I replaced the vanilla extract and rum to 2 teaspoon of matcha green tea powder
Choux Pastry (for 8 larger pieces) – Ingredients:
- 120ml Water
- 50g Unsalted Butter
- 60g All-purpose Flour
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- 2 Eggs
For the cookie crust: whisk butter and sugar until fluffy before adding the flour, mix well and place in between two baking paper sheets, use a rolling pin to flatten the dough to about 2 mm thickness and use the back of a knife or cookie cutter to cut 8 equal pieces. Put this aside on the freezer while making the other two elements.
For the custard cream: whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until all sugar dissolves, while heating up the milk. Once the milk is hot enough (not boiling), pour some of the milk to the egg yolks mixture while keep whisking. Then add in the rest of the milk, sifted flour and corn starch and vanilla extract, mix well. Pour the mixture back in the pan through a sift again to remove all lumps. Heat while stirring constantly until it is thicken, transfer to a clean bowl and place a cling wrap covering the custard directly, set aside to cool and place in the fridge.
After the choux pastry shells are in the oven, I will whip the thickened cream and a bit of sugar until stiff peak, then fold through the cold custard cream we made earlier, add rum or brandy for extra kick.
For the choux pastry shells: boil water with sugar, salt, and butter until it reach simmering stage, that take away from heat and mix in sifted flour until all combined. Return to heat again while keep mixing for further 2-3 minutes until the dough leaves a thin layer on the bottom of the pan when you mix everything together. Transfer to a clean bowl and wait a bit until it is not too hot before adding in the eggs, one at a time and make sure to mix well before adding in the next egg. Transfer to a piping bag and snip off the end (no need to use a piping tips).
I bake mine at 210 C degrees for about 30 minutes then lowered the heat to 100 C degrees for another 40 minutes. When it is done, place the choux shells in cooling rack, poke a small hole with chopstick on the bottom side of each shell and let cool. Only fill in the custard cream before serving to avoid
Some (hopefully) useful tips:
- For the amount of choux pastry I made, I only need about half recipe of the cookie crust. I guess the cookie crust can be tightly wrapped and placed in a freezer for future use, but if you don’t want to keep left over, just make half recipe. Although it is nice to have lots of crispy bits, don’t be tempted to leave the cookie crust too thick as it could impede the choux shell to expand when baking.
- Try not to pipe the choux pastry shells to close to one another so they can expand fully in the baking process
- Absolutely do not open the oven door while baking, especially when you can see the tiny bubbles form around the surface of choux shells.