choux à la crème

chouxalacreme440.jpg

i slept most of the day yesterday, so i felt much better today. lucky enough, today was paul’s birthday.

i went to buy tiramisu at calories (a cafe & bakery), but they didn’t have any today. a woman suggested trifle instead saying they’re basically the same thing, but i wanted tiramisu. i gave her my asian smile to say “no, thank you” and i left.

as i was cooking dinner, i was in a bit of a panic-mode. it’s a birthday. you’re supposed to have a cake. but i’m not a baker myself. i don’t usually bake cakes so it seemed rather risky to bake a cake from scratch just two hours before paul’d be home.

then it hit me: “shu-kuri-mu! (chou cream)”

i remembered seeing a cooking show featuring “choux à la crème”. it looked very simple, like something i could make myself.

in french, it’s “choux à la crème”, but we drop the “à la” in japanese. it all comes down to how good it sounds. english teachers in japan used to make fun of their students saying “shoe cream”, but it’s actually “choux”, which means “cabbage”. i guess the pastry is cabbage-shaped? little cabbages are cute…

anyhow, i used to buy choux à la crème from cake shops in japan. they are very popular. most of the cake shops in japan sell french style sweets, which i like. i don’t see any choux à la crème in canada yet. probably you can buy them in montreal.

i wasn’t expecting a perfect result. because it always looks easy to produce perfect food on tv. but to my surprise, it was easy. all you have to be careful is to stir well!

i finished cooking 20 minutes before paul came home. i had some time left to make a birthday card. i made a card with both sides folded to the middle, like double doors. i cut out a heart shape from pink paper and attached it to the inside of the card with a spring. the heart was supposed to spring out! as he opened the card. unfortunately, the spring wasn’t powerful enough and the heart was too big. it just kind of hung there… that’s okay. i think he got the idea :D

recipe:

for puff pastry dough:

  • unsalted butter 60g
  • water 80cc
  • sugar + salt, pinch
  • flour 70g
  • egg, 2~3
  1. mix butter, water, sugar and salt in a pan and warm it until it comes to boil.
  2. add the flour all at once and beat very vigorously. turn off the heat.
  3. allow it to cool. then add the eggs one at the time. stir well.
  4. put the dough in a piping bag (i just used a spoon), drop into small balls about 4 cm apart on a cookie sheet.
  5. bake it in the oven for 15 mins at 200℃. and another 15 mins at 180℃. do not open the oven.

for custard cream:

  • flour 50g
  • sugar 80g
  • milk 300cc
  • egg yolk
  • melted butter
  1. mix egg yolk
  2. add sugar and flour and TBSP of milk. stir well
  3. add warm milk (about 50℃)
  4. strain the mixture and pour it into a pan.
  5. add the butter and let it cool.

fill the puff pastry with custard and fruits. i used blackberries and raspberries. sift some powdered sugar on top.

meshiagare! (bon appétit)

Author: yuka

can you see this?

11 thoughts on “choux à la crème”

  1. I remember when I was first in Kyoto that I thought shu kurimu meant ‘shoe cream’ and I thought that this was some wry joke, though I thought that they were delicious anyway and ate them all too frequently. It took a friend from London who looked at me in puzzlement and said “But no, they’re ‘Choux a la Creme'” the name of which, she explained, was based on a French pastry and she said *she* had known what they were long before coming to Japan, but perhaps barbaric americans such as myself had not had the benefit of the cultural exposure to French pastry! Heh!

    Anyway, Yuka, I’ll be there by noon to eat some choux creme!

  2. about how many does this recipe make? they look really cute and i suddenly have the craving for them! thanks for sharing.

  3. mmm… i don’t remember! i think i made quite a few… like 18?? small ones, though. hope it satisfy your craving!

  4. Hey there! I’m American so I don’t use the metric system very much. Could you tell me about how many cups or tablespoons 80 cc of water is? How about 300cc of milk?
    Thanks for your time! The recipe sounds delicious!

  5. so i’m a good 2 years late in a response but i just happened across this post and i wanted to reply ^_^
    yes, you can get chou à la crème in montreal.
    you can get them elsewhere too but in english speaking regions they’re called cream puffs.

    tho i can’t say i particularly like the ones bought in stores as they’re not made with custard but rather with whipped cream or some other white creamy textured thingy.
    but i do love real chou à la crème my mom (in my opinion) makes the best ones (with custard) and they’re super nummy. she is french canadian and i believe it’s been passed down in her family (and we have roots tracing back to the 2nd boat coming from france…so ya i guess they are typically a french pastry ^_^)

    i remember in the 1st japanese class i took my sensei was trying to explain to the class what shu kurimu was and i was like, you know…that really sounds like chou à la crème. right on the ball. it’s weird when you live in a french province but yer the only one in the class who knows it as chou à la crème instead of as cream puff (and the only one whose ever had the real deal with custard and not whiteness)

  6. hi creature::
    oh~ shu-kuri-mu made by mama must be super good~.
    when i went to montreal, i think i saw one, but i didn’t have a guts to order in french… i’ll try again next time.

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