Thursday, 10 February 2011

What anxiety did to me - Custard Puffs

I received a very important call this week. Ever since then, my heart beat faster and I was so full of anxiety that I needed to do / make something.

Usually, I'd avoid doing / making something challenging before a 'big' event so I could calm myself & relax the mind. But anxiety got the better of me and I went on to make some Custard Puffs. I was craving for them a few days before; the call I received just 'pushed' me to bake the pastries.

I thought of making Chantilly Cream for the filling, something which I haven't done before, but I think I was more craving for custard than anything else. So custard filling it was.

It felt good having my craving satisfied. But I wasn't too sure the puffs drove my anxieties away ; P

Pastry (Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking")

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
8 tblsp unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 tblsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup plain flour
4 large eggs

1) Preheat oven to 220C (425F). Bring the water, milk, butter, sugar & salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

2) Add the flour all at once & mix it in with a wooden spoon, then keep stirring energetically until the dough comes together in a shiny mass. Turn off the heat. Cook the dough for another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, then transfer the hot dough to a bowl of a stand mixer.

3) Using a paddle attachment, beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat the egg until fully incorporated before adding the next one. The dough should be thick, shiny & silky.

4) Spoon / pipe the dough onto the lined baking sheet, leaving some space apart. Bake for 10-15mins; the pastries will start to puff. Then reduce the temp to 190C (375F). Rotate the tray. Bake for another 15mins or until the pastries are brown & firm.

5) Transfer the baking sheet to a rack & let them cool completely before piping the filling in.

Custard filling

2 tblsp custard powder
2 tblsp caster sugar
570ml fresh milk

1) Using a balloon whisk, mix custard powder, caster sugar & 2 tblsp of fresh milk in a saucepan.

2) Pour the rest of the milk & put on fire. Keep stirring the mixture to prevent curdling.

3) Cook until the mixture is thick. Cover custard mixture with clingfilm & cool before using.

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