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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Strawberry Cream Puff

Strawberry Puff 10

Strawberry Puff 3

Strawberry 2

Strawberry 7

Strawberry Puff 1

Strawberry Clan.... a term that is used in Taiwan to refer to those precious youth born in the 80's into small single child families. This is a generation that is born into a relatively affluent society where the pressure on survival and living is not as prevalent as during the more tumultous times experienced by our parents or grandparents. This generation generally demonstrates lower threshold for hardship and setbacks.. they bruise easily at the slightest pressure and wilt quickly in adverse conditions... fragile creatures that don't last well.... just like Strawberries!

I now fully appreciate the analogy. I had gushed about the strawberries I ate in Korea last week.... pretty, garnet ingots that were bursting with sweet flavours. When I raved about the strawberries to L over messenger, he was skeptical. I can't quite blame him, for indeed most of the imported strawberries we get in Singapore/ Malaysia are mild in taste at best and unappealingly sour as they get worse.... The Wednesday morning I was to leave for the airport, I bought 2 punnets of the ruby red fruit, taking care to choose the less ripened ones so that they would last a little longer. The store assistant was quite adamant that they wouldn't be able to last till Saturday - I foolishly chose to ignore her believing that my super intelligent Panasonic fridge would be able to preserve the fruits well. True enough, when I took them out today, I can already spot wilting signs on the pock-marked berries.... a touch of yellow on the calyx, a small smudgy bruise at the tip....
Now I understand why the strawberries we import are usually tasteless... to ensure that they travel well, they must have been harvested before they have a chance to fully develop the sweetness in them...

As I wondered what to do with the strawberries, I had been reluctant to pulp or puree these gorgeous fruits. I had wanted to keep the fruits intact without processing them too much. 2 options came into mind : a strawberry cheesecake topped with fresh strawberries and/or a strawberry choux cream puff. I woke up this morning knowing that I no longer have the luxury to dither and opted for the very basic choux puff pastry and vanilla pattiserie cream. The whole puff was light and refreshing. I had deliberately chosen the butter free pattiserie cream from Bourke Street Bakery's Berry Tart. This was easy to prepare and the simple vanilla custard allowed the strawberries to take center stage.

Strawberry Puff 7
As I looked at the cream puff photos, I realised there was something 'bare' about them... then it hit me... I should have dusted a little powder sugar over the puffs... well, nothing's perfect but I am contented.

Strawberry Puff 10(100)
Recipe :

Choux Puff Pastry
All Purpose Flour                 30g
Bread Flour                         30g
Unsalted Butter                    40g (cubed)
Water                                 100ml
Castor Sugar                       2g
Salt                                     1g
Eggs                                    2

Pastry Cream (Please refer here)

Method :
1. Preheat oven to 200C.
2. In a heavy saucepan, place water, sugar, salt and butter. Heat until butter is melted and mixture just starts to boil.
3. Remove from heat and add flour. Using a spatula blend flour with butter liquid until a dough is formed and is well mixed.
4. Return dough in saucepan to heat. Continue heating and stirring dough to evaporate moisture.
5. Continue heating dough until dough becomes sticky and forms a thin membrane at the bottom of saucepan.
6. Remove from heat and bit by bit , add beaten eggs into warm dough and mix until well combined.
7. Using a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round piping tip, pipe 3 small rounds side by side on to a baking sheet.
8. Lightly brush the dough mounds with egg wash. (or mist lightly with water spray)
9. Bake at 200C for 30mins. Cool completely and split 'eclair puff ' horizontally.
10. Pipe in custard (pastry cream) and garnish with strawberries.

30 comments:

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I have never heard of that term strawberry clan before! how fascinating :) Your strawberry puffs look so good and I was just gifted with some gorgeous strawberries that I could use!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Beautiful photos as always! And the puff looks good and wonderful.

edith said...

Though I never tasted strawberries in Korea but those that I bought last week that NTUC imported from Korea were sweet and juicy.

Now I am dreaming about your strawberry Cream Puff.

Zurin said...

I have yet to taste strawberries that I like. They are always sour. I went to a strawberry farm in England once somewhere in Kent eons ago but I cant remember what those strawberries tasted like..sweet or not....I was not yet a foodie obviously.

The puffs look perfect Shirley and I LOVE the background! gorgeous shots!!!

oh interesting story about strawberry clan. I never knew ;)

Jean said...

these puffs are the cutest I've ever seen! with strawberries sandwiched in the middle, they seem to be screaming 'EAT ME!' to me :)

La Table De Nana said...

THank you for the Strawberry Clan story..I LOVE your woodgrain base.I have been coveting and looking..makes things look so good..not that your little puffs need it:) So cute ..

grub said...

omg these are so cute! vanilla custard with ruby red jewels, a perfect winner!! so yummy, i crave for some now :)

Wen said...

Lovely strawberry puffs you baked! Always inpress with the way you photographed your bakes! Nice job!

The Sweetylicious said...

i know, is cao mei yi zu in mandarin (: those puffs look so lovely and DELICIOUS!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

:) exactly! 草莓族。

travellingfoodies said...

Just as I'd anticipated! Yours look better, Shirley! :)

Is there a means of contacting you? Would like to ask for your advice on photography.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@travellingfoodies, Thanks! I kept it very simple, really. Please feel free to email me at kokken69blog@gmail.com

j3ss kitch3n said...

looks really good! had not done puffs before will try it soon!

pickyin @ LifeIsGreat said...

When you told me about the puffs through Twitter, I actually imagined choux puffs filled with strawberry cream. You were right not to puree them, that's the best way to respect such priced produce.

I had some Korean strawberries topping a cup of panna cotta today and now am so tempted to go look for these sweet things at the supermarket.

NEL, the batter baker said...

Gorgeous puffs and gorgeous photos, Shirley. My first (and until now, last) attempt at choux was a total flop! Hope to get a chance to sample your puffs one of these days.

Anonymous said...

@pickyin , the panna cotta sounds good! You should try it. I am just thinking about making verrine with the rest of the strawberries...

@NEL, the choux is one of the basics in pastry. It is not difficult...you probably made some wrong measurements. Try again!. You've made more difficult things so this should not be a problem.

Cooking Gallery said...

How pretty...! They look like little jewels!

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

I love choux and I love the way you did them today.
Looked so cute to be linked :)

pigpigscorner said...

Gorgeous!
It took me awhile to figure out how they came about that term!

Maria said...

They look so cute! Choux is great with both sweet or savoury fillings :-)

Lisa H. said...

oh so yum....
and beautiful click too :)

Von said...

I love these photos! These strawberries do look gorgeous! And so do these puffs :)

My parents were just telling me about the term stawberry clan a couple of days ago...haha :) I personally don't really think our generation is as bad as people make it out to be but then again, I haven't really met that many people....

Kulsum@JourneyKitchen said...

SO beautiful. puff, cream and strawberry, life doesn't get better than tht.

P.S. - lovely pictures :-)

DG said...

Another pretty petit four from you :)

noobcook said...

your photos are fantastic! they are easily one of the prettiest cream puffs I have seen.

Sneh | Cook Republic said...

Beautiful puff! Love choux pastry, daunting to make for me, co I love it from afar :-). Your pictures are gorgeous!

tigerfish said...

Awesome! You are very generous with one whole strawberry in each cream puff! ;)

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Lovely shots, Shirley! Really liking this background color against the red of the strawberries. And of course these look so tasty.

Mei Teng said...

Love the look of the puffs. Yummy! :)

Mary said...

CaliforniaGreekGirl loves strawberries...this is so creative and looks amazing!

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