March 8, 2017

Monthly Mystery Munchies #23: Choux Filled with Light Cream Cheese

The good greatest thing about getting our Monthly Mystery Munchies sorted out way in advance since December last year (!) has been an opportunistic advantage.

Not only did I get to prepare this much earlier and schedule it for later, I also got the chance to perfect it!

We go pretty simple this time: Frosting. The idea is to also be able to use the frosting as fillings and vice versa. Not a bad idea, right? Because by that virtue, if you think about it, making frosting and filling can be made with the same ingredients, measurement and thus is the exact same recipe!

With that as our theme number 23, and only if you are not anal about frosting should not be used as filling or vice-versa, you’ll love me and Gen for this.

If like me, you prefer your frosting and/or filling light, fluffy and still holding a smooth texture without the use of butter, this is one recipe you would want to hold dear. And I love that using mascarpone cheese gives that results.

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The freshly-whipped frosting or filling

The best part of it is that whether it is used for frosting or filling, the overall taste is still oh-so-divine!

So wrong and so much goodness. How could anyone be at war if there’s so much comfort in food?! After several months and many attempts, I’ve perfected the art of whisking and whipping cream.

With the versatility of adding the different flavouring as desired, the cream has made its mark as the frosting on birthday cakes as well as dollops of fillings in my recent obsession in the form of Cream Puff or Choux.  

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Whipped cream as frosting on a cake!
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Cream Puffs made with the same creamy and light filling in both chocolate and vanilla  flavours

Oh! Those Chouxs are heavenly and there is a little back-story as to how they came about.

Several months ago, I had leftover frosting from a birthday cake I made for Silver Bullet. I did not want to waste the leftover by binning it and after mulling over it, I thought I would try making cream puffs.

Now. The things is was, I have always found making cream puffs to be quite intimidating. They look fragile and very difficult to make. Plus, looking at those puffs took me back to a time from way, way back when my mom made lots and lots of them.

Not that they were bad. In fact, on the contrary: they were too good! Mind you, those puffs were all hand-made and my mom made tons of them on a weekly basis for some extra cash. People would specifically place their orders with my mom and they would pay her to make those puffs for them.

Other times, most of the puffs were devoured by us pretty quickly. They were THAT good. Then one day, she just stopped making them. I don’t remember why but for some reason I thought it was because they got too tedious to be made. Somehow I always associated the puffs with sheer, hard work and too complicated to attempt.

Not anymore! As I discovered, they are really easy to make. Yes, really! Both the puffs and the cream. Here we go; have a look at the recipe:

 

Choux (Cream Puffs) with THE PERFECT Cream Filling
Yields 30
A wonderful delight of the easiest and luscious cream puffs filled with the fluffiest, light and creamiest creamed filling you'd ever need!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Filling or Frosting
  1. Half cup (or about 120g) Mascarpone Cheese
  2. 4 tbsp castor sugar
  3. 500 ml whipping cream (cold)
  4. 1 tspn vanilla extract
  5. 1 tbsp cocoa powder (sifted), optional
  6. 1/4 cup grated chocolate, optional
Choux Pastry
  1. Half cup (about 113g) butter
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1.5 tbsp castor sugar
  4. 1 cup self-raising flour
  5. 4 large eggs
  6. Powdered or icing sugar for dusting
For the Filling or Frosting
  1. Beat Mascarpone cheese with sugar till creamy
  2. Add vanilla extract
  3. If preferring a chocolate flavour, mix in the cocoa powder and chocolate bits as well
  4. Add in whipping cream. Beat till the texture is firmed. This should only take a couple of minutes or less. Do not over beat.
  5. Transfer to an air-tight container and refrigerate till ready for use
For the Choux Pastry
  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius
  2. In a deep pan, combine butter water and sugar and bring them to boil over high heat
  3. Then add in the flour all at once, stirring quickly and mix well
  4. The dough should come together pretty easily and form a smooth texture
  5. Turn off heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes
  6. While waiting for the dough to cool, prepare your baking tray. Line with wax or parchment paper and grease it with a baking spray. Set aside
  7. Prepare your mixer and transfer the cooked dough into it
  8. Add eggs one at a time. Make sure the dough is not too hot or you'll get a scrambled egg!
  9. Mix in each till the dough is smooth. Do not over mix.
  10. By the 4th egg, you'll see the texture of the dough becoming sticky and shiny. That's a good sign and your cue to stop mixing.
  11. Use a ziplock bag as a piping bag and scoop the dough into it. Cut a corner of the ziplock and get ready to pipe into mounds on a baking tray
  12. Bake for about 20-25 minutes (depending on your oven) and when the top gets a little golden, use a skewer and poke holes in each puff. This technique allows the steam to escape for the puffs to dry out and ensuring that the insides are baked
  13. Bake for another 5-8 minutes. They should be hollow and golden brown.
  14. Transfer puffs into a cooling rack. Make sure you let the puffs cool completely before filling in with cream or the cream will melt!
  15. When ready to serve, fill each puffs with your home-made chilled filling and dust with powdered sugar on top. Serve!
Notes
  1. I got lazy and instead of using ziplock as a piping bag, I just use a spoon to mound the dough onto the tray. It works just as well and saves me the hassle of scooping the dough into the bag.
  2. The (empty) cooked puffs can be kept in an air-tight container for 2-3 days.
Grubbs n Critters http://grubbsncritters.com/
By now, I have made batches after batches after batches on a weekly basis for several months on end. There’s always a case for choux: there are plenty of leftover fillings left or there are just too many choux and not enough fillings.

It’s a vicious cycle. There’s always a reason to be making those puffs.  I think I have just unleashed a super-choux monster in me. It would be a matter of time before we OD on this. 

That said, let’s head over to my buddy over at Eat, Play and Clove to see what monster she has unleashed for this month’s Mystery Munchies. I betcha it will be good!

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Monthly Mystery Munchies features every first Friday of the month in collaboration with Gen, Author of Eat, Play, Clove. Stay tuned for the mysteries we have up our sleeves in the next coming months!

 


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Comments
  1. Gen

    Mascarpone – how delicious! Your choux are giving me major FOMO right now. Awesome job, Ann! And one of the mot fun challenges to date – I had a wonderful time baking! Thank you for always bringing such dedication to our MMM. Xoxo

    • And…and…and..cream cheese combo! It’s so bad, it’s good! Straight to the waist. Or Butt. LOL. Baking is so wonderful, isn’t. This has been totally fun for me. Every month is a new challenge and nothing beats that! Now, on to the next…;D

  2. Wow, you’ve baked your heart out! That looks awesome! I love Mascarpone! There isn’t much I really don’t like, lol.

    • Stress has been a big factor when I take to baking my heart out. :p But after so many batches of cream puffs, I have stopped for a while now or I’ll get choux-ed out. There is something about mascarpone. And it’s true there isn’t much not to like! Wishing you a good weekend, Jas. x

  3. Oh, I am a sucker for cream puffs and anything with Mascarpone. I’ve never had chocolate. I used to think they were a big deal to make, too, then I discovered how easy they were and for awhile I just constantly made extra and always had them in my freezer – it became too dangerous, lol!!

    • We got suckered! LOL. They are really dangerous and it is so tempting to do a new batch all the time as they are so easy and quick to make. For now, I’ve stopped making them – need to watch the waistline! LOL.

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