Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Black Sesame 'Koala in Distress' Choux pastry

Bushfires are a common thing in Australia during summer. But the one that razed Australia end of last year went on at an unprecedented scale and is still not over to this date. Many homes and lives were lost and countless wildlife affected. I am sure you have seen in the news so I shall spare you the details.

Many years ago, my family visited Australia and I had the chance to carry a koala. I was smitten by how cute they are and was surprised by how solidly heavy they are too. It is really heart wrenching to see them lose their habitat, get injured or even killed, along with other animals. I decided to make a choux pastry creation to reflect the sad state of affairs.

Injured koala in a barren landscape. It looks so sad it makes me want to cry too 

I chose black sesame as the filling flavour and worked with what I have at home at the moment. I have some 100% black sesame powder with no sugar added. As I wanted something lighter to compliment the richness of black sesame, I used whipped cream as the base instead of pastry cream.

Choux pastry filled with black sesame whipped cream

You may refer to this post for details on how to create the choux pastry and the craquelin that goes on top of the grey pastry cases. I piped 2.5cm diameter circles for the koala head and body, and used a 3cm diameter craquelin. I used a 1cm diameter open star tip to pipe some slanted éclairs for the tree trunks. As for baking conditions, I preheated the oven to 210°C and reduced the tenperature immediately to 190°C once the tray is in. I baked for 10 min before reducing temperature to 180°C and bake for 10 min. Reduce temperature to 170°C and bake for another 10 min. Reduce temperature to 140°C and bake for 20 min with fan mode on to thoroughly dry the pastry cases.

Piped batter and with craquelin on grey cases

I piped the pastry pieces for the branches and koala ears, limbs and tail. These were baked at 170°C for 10-18min depending on the size of the pieces.

I used royal icing to decorate as well as join the parts together.

Recipe for black sesame whipped cream
Feel free to adjust or substitute the ingredients. You may use all whip topping or all dairy cream. You may scale the recipe up or down too. You may use black sesame paste instead of ground black sesame if that is your preference.

120g whip topping (non dairy whipping cream)
30g double cream
Pinches of salt
60g black sesame powder (or according to taste)

1. Place chilled whip topping and double cream in a mixing bowl and whip until firm peaks with electric mixer.

2. Add pinches of salt and mix well. Add black sesame and mix well.

3. Transfer into piping bag and keep it chilled until ready to eat. Choux pastry tastes best when eaten freshly filled to enjoy the crisp pastry and cold and creamy filling inside.

Do donate to Koalas In Care Inc., which is run by volunteers over here. Praying for restoration to happen soon.

With love,
Phay Shing

No comments:

Post a Comment