And so, I decided to play around with non-dairy Choux pastry shell recipe instead of my usual butter and milk recipes. This is not the first time I am using a non dairy recipe but the previous designs are possibly items that may go into the book so I am withholding it first. The shells tend to be really delicate and melt in your mouth yet crisp with an audible crunch when you bite into it. Not as flavourful as the butter versions but it's not a big loss because when paired with rich and creamy custard, it is perfect! The colour of the shells is also a lighter shade of brown than the recipe with butter. Here's my humble attempt at making Ufufy Winnie the Pooh with raspberry custard!
Hubby says they look like they are lining up for a gang fight...
...And this looks like the aftermath of the fight 😆
It's my first time playing around with modelling white chocolate to coat the pastry shells. I think I prefer my previous white chocolate-shortening combination but if I don't try this, I won't know. Or maybe I just need more practice working with modeling white chocolate for Choux pastry. I will not touch fondant for deco as chocolate tastes much better. I am sure you will agree!
I will provide the basic recipe but not detailed steps for making Pooh design so you may still try this out and enjoy a delectable dessert at home.
Raspberry custard filling recipe
Not a fan of raspberry? You may replace with strawberry, blueberry or blackberry.
2 egg yolks
4g freeze dried raspberry powder ( leave this out if you don't have freeze-dried fruit powder. Add more chopped fresh fruit instead)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Frozen thawed or fresh raspberry chopped (25g or any amount you like)
10g unsalted butter, room temperature
1. Whisk together egg yolks, cornflour, sugar and raspberry powder to form a thick paste. Set aside.
2. Heat milk with vanilla until it starts to bubble. Slowly pour into egg yolk mixture while whisking continuously. Pour mixture back into saucepan.
3. Heat the mixture over medium low heat while whisking continuously. Once it starts to thicken, remove from heat and continue to whisk. This is to prevent the custard from turning lumpy. Return to heat and continue whisking until the custard thickens to the consistency that you like. Some like it rather runny, thickened until it is able to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Some like it so thick it is able to hold a firm peak.
4. Remove from heat and sieve the custard into a bowl. Add butter and mix well. Fold in the chopped raspberries.
5. Press a cling wrap over the surface of the custard and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
Recipe for light, non-dairy Choux pastry shell
Ingredients (makes about 18-20 small puffs):
50g olive oil or vegetable oil
60g bread flour, sifted twice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten (about 100g, may not use all)
Yellow gel food colouring (optional. I added to give the pastry a more yellowish hue)
1. Preheat oven to 190℃ set oven rack to middle or second lower position. Line baking tray with silicone mat or parchment paper
2. Place water, oil, salt and sugar (and gel food colouring) in a small saucepan. Stir continuously while bringing to a boil.
3. Once water is boiling, remove from heat and pour the flour in all at once. Quickly use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix the flour into the liquid until a dough forms.
4. Return back to low heat and cook over the stove for another 2-3 min to let some of the water evaporate. The dough should be smooth, free from lumps of flour.
5. Remove from heat and transfer into another bowl. Use a spatula to knead it for a minute or so and then leave it to cool to at least body temperature.
6. Add half of the beaten egg and mix well until mixture is homogenous using a spatula. Add the rest of the egg a little at a time and mix well between each addition until the mixture is firm but shiny and smooth, and falls off the spatula slowly when scooped up, leaving a letter "V" hanging from the spatula. The mixture should not be too runny or your choux pastry will not rise properly.
7. Transfer batter into piping bag fitted with a large round piping tip or open star tip if you like. Pipe rounds that are slightly smaller than ping-pong ball size, leaving about 5cm between piped rounds.
8. Wet a finger to tap down any peaks in the piped batter to prevent it from burning. Dab some droplets of water into the parchment paper around the piped batter. This is to create some steam to help the pastry to rise more in the oven.
9. Put into oven and reduce temperature to 180℃. Bake for 30-35 minutes. If it is browning too much, you may reduce the temperature to 160℃ for the last 5-10 min of baking time. Do not open the oven door too early to prevent the pastry shells from collapsing. Turn off the heat at leave it in the oven for another 10 min to dry out the shells. Cool completely before filling.
To fill the pastry shells, you may poke a hole at the base and then pipe the filling in. Alternatively, you may cut it in half and sandwich the filling in between. Some like to add in whipped cream to lighten up the texture but I find it optional. Depends on your preference :). Choux pastries taste best when freshly filled so try to keep the pastry shells and filling separate for as long as possible!