Monday 26 February 2018

Turtle Matcha Custard Cream Puffs

This one of the creative Choux pastry bakes that I had in mind and couldn't wait to use up the excess egg yolks in preparation for a macaron bake!

Turtle cream puffs filled with Matcha custard and topped with Matcha Craquelin!

Here's another view of the fella behind showing his face :)

And I just have to take a close up photo of the smooth and creamy Matcha custard!

Crisp outer shell and smooth, creamy insides full of Matcha goodness. Yums!

My elder kid who is not a fan of cream puffs loved this pastry and wished there were more! I sold most of it to a friend, along with some Rilakkuma vanilla custard cream puffs (will post in the future). This is the first sale I am making for creative choux pastry so I am excited about opening up another avenue of cute and creative bakes!

I am still testing out various recipes to see what I would like to use as a long term default. I adapted the recipe for Choux pastry case and matcha custard (pastry cream) from Little Miss Bento, and the recipe for Matcha Craquelin from here.
I didn't follow exactly the ingredient portions and method from the sources.

Recipe for Matcha pastry cream (custard)
200ml milk
35g caster sugar
18g cornflour, sifted
5g Matcha powder, sifted
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
10g softened unsalted butter

1. Whisk together egg yolks, cornflour, Matcha and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Heat milk in saucepan until boiling. Remove and pour into egg yolk mixture in a slow and steady stream while whisking the egg yolk mixture continuously.

3. Pour the mixture back into saucepan and heat over medium-low heat while whisking continuously. Keep an eye on the mixture as it will start to thicken suddenly. Take it off the heat to continue whisking if necessary to prevent the custard from becoming lumpy, then put it back on the heat again. Keep heating and whisking until consistency is like smooth curd.

4. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Sieve the custard into another bowl and place a cling wrap over the surface, touching the custard. This is to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until ready to fill the Choux pastry cases.

I made Matcha and plain pastry cream. I love the smoothness of the cream!

Recipe for Choux pastry cases

This recipe is similar to the recipe I used previously but this one has more butter, salt and sugar.

Ingredients (makes about 12 turtles):
Matcha Craquelin
50 unsalted butter, softened
55g caster sugar
55g plain flour
1.5 tsp Matcha powder (preferably bakeable type to retain a more vibrant green colour)
Pinch of salt

Choux pastry case
75g water
50g milk
62g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
35g bread flour*
40g plain flour*
2 eggs, lightly beaten (may not use all)

* You may use either bread or plain flour only. Bread flour makes the pastry more crispy and stronger in structure but plain flour gives it a more delicate bite.

1. Prepare the Craquelin first. Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale. Add sifted flour, salt and Matcha powder. Mix well with a spatula until a ball of dough forms. Roll between two baking sheets until thin, about 2-3mm thickness. Freeze the dough until firm (about 15 min). Use a round cookie cutter to cut out disks and place on another baking sheet to freeze until ready to use.

I tried making crisscross patterns using a bench scraper but it didn't turn out too clearly post baking so it's optional. You could try making deeper indents but it is a challenge on such a thin cookie dough

2. Use the same round cookie cutter to trace out circles on a baking sheet. Make sure that there is at least 3-4cm between the circles. That will be the body of the turtle. Place the baking sheet under a silicone mat non your baking tray. You may just use baking sheet if you don't have a silicone mat.

3. Preheat oven to 180℃. Prepare the Choux pastry case. Place water, milk, salt and sugar in saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Once it reaches a roiling boil, pour mixture into the flour.

3. Use wooden spoon or spatula to mix well until a ball of dough forms. Return to saucepan and continue to stir over low heat for 2-3 minutes to cook the dough. Do not brown the dough. Remove from heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes.

4. Add egg a little at a time and mix well with each addition. Towards the end, test the consistency. It should fall off the spatula slowly and leave a streak that doesn't collapse on itself in the batter.

5. Transfer batter into piping bag with a hole cut at the end. Pipe circles according to the template drawn. Pipe the head, legs and tail. Use a finger wet with water to tap down any peaks, especially the small piped parts.

Turtles with Rilakkuma heads

6. Remove the frozen cookie dough from the freezer and gently place each one on top of the turtle.

7. Bake at 180℃ for 20 min followed by 160℃ for another 20min. Turn off the oven and leave it in there for another 10 min. Do not open the oven door during baking as it may cause the pastry to deflate. Use an oven thermometer at all times if possible

Pierce the pastry case with a skewer to release any steam. Cool completely before decorating.

Melt some dark and white compound chocolate with a bit of vegetable shortening. Pipe or paint on the face with a toothpick.

Fill a piping bag fitted with a small piping tip (about 2-3mm) with Matcha pastry cream. Poke a hole in the pastry case and fill with the pastry cream.

Keep refrigerated. Best eaten fresh!

With love,
Phay Shing

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