Wednesday 11 January 2023

Rabbit Pineapple Creampuff

 Lunar New Year is just around the corner and many bakers are baking pineapple tarts. I have decided to share a creampuff version of this well-loved pastry in cute bunny form to welcome the Year of the Rabbit!

I made the pineapple jam from scratch using the Ninja Foodi Power Blender Ultimate System from Ninja Kitchen Singapore. I was amazed at how easy it was to get pineapple puree that is so evenly blended at the touch of a button! There wasn't a need to manually pause & scrape down the blender multiple times. See it for yourself in the video below! It was super easy to clean too as the blade is removable.

Please use my promo code: PSCB402 to enjoy $150 off original price of $499 for the blender! Visit Ninja Kitchen Singapore's website if you would like to make the purchase.

I used the pineapple jam on its own & added a sieved portion to whipped cream as filling for the creampuffs.

1kg fresh pineapple flesh, cut into chunks (about 2 pineapples)
120g caster sugar
30g brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 cinnamon stick

1. Blend pineapple chunks
2. Cook pineapple puree with rest of ingredients over low heat till reduced to half (500g).
3. Discard cinnamon stick
4. Store in airtight glass jar in the fridge until ready to use.

Baker's Notes:
- Jam for pineapple tarts is reduced to 20% original weight of puree. But for choux pastry it's reduced to 50% for a softer & moist filling to complement the whipped cream & light, buttery pastry case. Taste isn't compromised! It tastes like a creampuff version of pineapple tarts!
- Adjust sugar according to taste & tartness of pineapples
- Add lemon juice if you like it really tart
- Add cloves/vanilla if you like
- Extra jam can be reduced further for making pineapple tarts 

Please refer to chapters 7-9 on my YouTube channel on the basics of choux au craquelin for more details on the technique involved. Over here for chapter 7 on craquelin, over here for chapter 8 on basics of choux pastry batter, and over here for chapter 9 on piping and baking choux buns. I will just briefly describe the steps in this blog post.

Ingredients (makes about 18 mini choux buns):
21g unsalted butter, softened
18g sugar
21g plain flour, sifted

Choux batter
1 egg, lightly beaten (about 50g)
30g plain or bread flour, sifted 
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
55-60g water
20g butter 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Toasted almond slices
Dark chocolate couverture/chips
A little shortening or oil

1. Make craquelin. Briefly cream butter and sugar together. Fold in flour. Roll the dough to thickness of 2-3mm between parchment paper. Freeze until firm. Cut out 3cm circles and place on lined baking tray, and freeze the cutouts again until ready to use.

2. Preheat oven to 200C(fan)/220C. Line baking tray with perforated mat (preferable) and 2.3cm circle template. You may line with parchment paper if you don't have the mat. Perforated mat helps choux pastries to retain better shape and have a flat base.

3. Make choux batter. Place water, butter, salt, sugar and vanilla into small saucepan. Heat on low heat to melt butter while stirring. Once butter is melted, quickly bring to roiling boil, stirring occassionally. Remove from heat and pour all the flour in at once. Stir until a ball of dough forms. Make sure all lumps of flour are mixed in. Cook on medium-low heat until some water from the dough is cooked off for about 2-3min (about 10% reduction in weight of dough). Transfer to bowl to cool for 10min.

4. Add half of egg and mix well until batter is smooth. Add half of remaining egg. Mix until batter is smooth. Add the remaining egg a tsp at a time, mixing until smooth with each addition, until batter is able to fall off spatula in 3 seconds.

5. Transfer to piping bag fitted with a 8mm round tip (Wilton #12). Pipe batter onto prepared tray. Dab some water around the piped batter. Carefully place craquelin on top of piped batter.

6. Put tray in oven. Immediately reduce temperature to 180C (fan)/190C and bake for 20-25 min. Reduce temperature to 140-150C and bake for another 20-25min or until thoroughly crisp. We need it crisp all the way as we are adding decorative pieces on the choux case. Do note that baking temperature and time may vary as each oven is different so adjust accordingly.

7. Cool completely before decorating by cutting the top one-third off. Carefully pierce 2 slits on the top piece before inserting almond slices for the ears. Paint or pipe on the eyes and nose of the bunny cap using melted chocolate with a little oil or shortening. Addition of shortening or oil helps the chocolate stay in piping/painting consistency for a longer time. Store in airtight container while preparing the pineapple whipped cream.

Honestly I would prefer using pineapple diplomat cream to pair with the pineapple jam in the middle for filling but it would be conflict of interest to share my class material here. I chose to share a simple filling that is much faster to make and uses less ingredients so that you may be encouraged to give this a try!

150g Whip Topping (non-dairy whipping cream)
50g heavy cream (35% fat dairy cream)
80g sieved pineapple jam

*You may choose your preferred choice of cream depending on climate and where you are serving the pastries. Full dairy cream tastes the best and you may use double cream (45% fat) if you wish. Use stabilizers like gelatin and add a little sugar if using dairy cream. Singapore is very warm so I use non-dairy whipping cream with some dairy cream mixed in. Non-dairy cream is very stable and is pre-sweetened but doesn't taste as good as pure dairy cream. Adjust amount of sieved jam according to taste too.

1. Whip whipping cream of choice until firm/stiff peak. Be careful not to overwhip if using purely dairy cream. 

2. Whisk/fold in sieved jam a little at a time.

3. Transfer a little cream into small piping bag with a small hole cut or Wilton #7 tip attached. Transfer the remaining cream into a large piping bag fitted with a large round tip (e.g.  Wilton 1A which is around 13mm in diameter)

1. Fill the choux pastry with whipped cream until about half to three-quarters full. Use the rounded base of a half teaspoon to push the cream against the base and sides of the pastry case to create a well.

2. Fill the well with a heap of pineapple jam.

3. Pipe a generous mound of whipped cream over the jam from large piping bag for the bunny head.

4. Use cream from small piping bag to pipe on the paws, snout and ears. 

5. Add eyes using melted chocolate. Add rosy cheeks if desired. I coloured a little whipped cream with pink gel colouring for the rosy cheeks but you may use natural sources of food colouring like beetroot or red yeast if you like.

I was in a hurry racing against the sunset as it was getting a little too dark to take good videos and photos! I was also multi-tasking by working on this and cooking dinner at the same time 😆😅.

6. Place top piece of pastry case on top of bunny head and you are done!

Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for a month in airtight condition. The frozen pastry tastes like ice-cream filled creampuffs, and the chilled version tastes like creampuff version of pineapple tarts!

I tried to keep the design simple and artificial colouring minimal so that you can give this a try!

Please see my second reel below for making of the choux pastry, pineapple whipped cream and assembly:

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