These year’s Chinese New Year bake are these Pineapple Choux Cream Puffs! 🙂 I realize how much I loved making these because of the flavor and design combinations! And people generally quite enjoy these (such as the Lychee Choux Cream Puffs here, which I made a few times). Pineapple ended up quite nice as the tartness balanced out the custard vanilla base, and when served chilled pairs really well with the cookie crust. The green stripe design was a bit experimental but I wanted a graphic look if possible! 🙂 Have also thought of whether I needed to sandwich the green stripe in between the yellow cookie (and make a bunch of log cookies to slice). For these I just piped it on – which creates a 3D effect. Depends on what effect you’d like!
Improvements from this recipe to note – proportions of the choux pastry made 64 cream puffs perfectly, and for the pastry cream, make 2x of the recipe originally stated. This fills exactly…. 62 cream puffs. Haha. Not complaining though. 2 empty cream puffs shells for me to eat / ugly ones to throw out. In the first paragraph of the recipe for the Craquelin cookie layer topping, I wrote about a lazy hack. Essentially, the original recipe requires you to roll out the pastry into a flat layer and cut out neat circles. I got lazy and rolled it out in a log, froze the log, and sliced round circles to place on top of each choux pastry. Pre-oven it looks bad but once inside the oven it spreads out and the edges didn’t matter 🙇🏻♀️. Saves quite a bit of time if you don’t mind the ugly appearance pre-bake.
For the pineapple pastry cream, up to you whether you want to use fresh or canned, as long as you drain it well, and make sure the pulp will mostly be strained out- don’t think fibrous mouthfeels will go well with cream puffs. If you want to intensify the flavor feel free to add a bit of pineapple extract which can be found at Phoon Huat. I also finally invested in a cream puff injector piping tip (similar to this). Ok haha not very invest, it is maybe 1-2 bucks at phoon huat but it made piping these cream puff babies more enjoyable. So yes – piping wise, use a Wilton 1A (or any round piping tip) for the cream puff, small round tip (eg Wilton No. 7 or No. 8) for the green stripe, and a cream puff injector tip for the pastry cream.
I’m quite happy about the recipe and look forward to more flavor variations and designs based on the flavors! Aren’t these pig cookie puffs, Sumiko Gurashi cream puffs, Rilakkuma cream puffs by Euniee Cafe, and these Chip and Dale ones so cute!!! Enjoy and happy CNY 🍍🍍🍍
Makes 64 cream puffs
|Choux au Craquelin recipe from Cloudy Kitchen
Choux Pastry technique from Iron Whisk
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g whole milk
Pineapple Pastry Cream
|To Make Craquelin (aka Cookie Layer Topping)
Place all ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium until combined. Separate a small amount and color it green; place in a piping bag, as this will be reserved for decorations later on. Color the rest of it a sunny yellow.
Turn out the dough between two large pieces of parchment paper and roll out to 1-2mm thick. Place the dough, in the freezer for an hour. Read above for alternative ‘lazy hack’, which involves freezing into a log and slicing it prior to baking.
To make Choux au Craquelin (aka Cream Puff shell)
In a medium pot, combine the milk, water, butter, salt, vanilla bean paste, and sugar. Place over medium heat, and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture has begun to boil. Remove from the heat, and add the flour all at once, mixing quickly with a wooden spoon to combine. The mixture will form a thick paste.
Return to the heat, and, stirring constantly, cook the mixture for 2 minutes to help dry it out. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute to help cool down the mixture.
With the mixture running on low, slowly stream in the 240g egg. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until the egg is fully incorporated. Test the consistency of the batter by dipping in the beater and pulling up. If it forms a v which eventually breaks off, you are good to go. If it seems too stiff, slowly add another beaten egg and mix to incorporate.
Transfer the choux pastry to the prepared piping bag. Pipe mounds onto the baking sheet
Remove the craquelin from the freezer, and peel off the top piece of parchment. Using a cutter or the back of a piping tip, cut out circles of dough. Place each carefully on top of a mound of choux, pressing lightly to adhere.
Bake the cream puffs for 15 min at 400˚F / 200˚C, then turn down the oven to 350˚F / 180˚C, and bake for a further 20 minutes, until the puffs are deeply golden. Remove from the oven and poke a small vent in the side of each using a paring knife or chopstick, to help the steam escape. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely. If baking in two batches, return the oven to 400˚F / 200˚C, and repeat the baking process with the remaining buns.
To make Pineapple Pastry Cream
Blend Pineapple into puree and set aside (use fresh or canned). In a bowl, add in egg yolks, corn starch, sugar, vanilla extract and pinch of salt. Whisk until the mixture turns pale. Set aside. Pour milk into a pot and heat until it starts to simmer. Take 1 cup of the hot milk and slowly pour in the yolk mixture while whisking it.
Pour the whole thing into the pot, together with pineapple puree and cook on medium heat until thickened, whisking continuously. Once thickened, sift the custard into a bowl. Place cling film on its surface, covering all. Leave to cool at room temperature and then chill in the fridge for 4 hours.
When ready to assemble, whisk whipping cream until stiff peaks. Add into custard bowl and gently fold everything together.
Put pineapple pastry cream in a piping bag with a piping tip nozzle. Gently poke a hole at the bottom of a cream puff and pipe the filling in.
These cream puffs are best served immediately after piping the filling in or on the day of! If you leave them too long, they may absorb the humidity of the filling and start losing the crunchiness of the craquelin. But up to preference as some of my friends like it that way as well as they find the texture and flavors marry together better after some time in the fridge. Store in the fridge and serve cold though!