Sunny weather ushers in bright hues of yellow and orange along with the promise of happy new beginnings.
It is hard to shy away from how colours can tint one’s mood. Oh, and weather for that matter.
Bright and sunny weather always make me want to embrace the world. On the other hand, gloomy and grey days tend to get to me in strange ways I cannot fathom.
This passion fruit choux pastry is the epitome of sunny days and happy things. Its intense golden yellow is undeniably cheerful.
It helps that passion fruit is so fragrantly intense, sour (in a positive way), refreshingly welcoming especially on these sunny days.
How I love this happy passion fruit yellow!
Can you make a guess what else I’ll be making with passion fruit?
That’s right! Passion fruit curd.
Here’s to all of you celebrating sunnier days…
and at the same time, let’s not forget to add our own colour to the occasional unfortunate, gloomy days…
Passion fruit creme patisserie ( Passion fruit pastry cream)
The passion fruit cream filling is intense in flavour but lighter than the usual pastry cream as it is lightened with whipped cream.
125g passion fruit puree
125ml full cream milk
1/4 vanilla bean (optional)
50g egg yolks (about two egg yolks from large eggs)
50g granulated sugar
18g butter, cubed
180ml heavy cream, at least 33% fat, whipped till soft peaks
seeds from a passion fruit (optional)
1. Measure out yolks, granulated sugar and whisk until pale and light. Then add in cornflour, whisk until mixture is uniform.
2. Place passion fruit puree, milk and vanilla bean (scrape seeds) in a pot and bring the mixture to boil over medium heat, stirring every once in a while. 3. When the passion fruit puree mixture comes to a boil, pour over the yolk mixture gradually – whisking continuously to prevent the heat from cooking the yolks.
3. Pour the mixture back into the pot and whisk continuously ( and vigorously) over medium-low/medium heat until it thickens and forms a smooth paste. Allow the crème patisserie to cook for at least 2-3 minutes before taking it off the heat. You should see one or two large bubbles forming. That is an indication that the pastry cream is done.
4. Whisk in the cubed butter until it is well incorporated.
5. Transfer the pastry cream, using a scrapper, onto a tray lined with cling wrap. Cling wrap the pastry cream. Cool it down in the fridge before using it.
6. When about to assemble, transfer the cooled pastry cream into a bowl and whisk it up until smooth and lump-free.
At the same time, you can begin whisking the cream until soft peaks stage. Add in 1/4 of the whipped cream to the pastry cream and whisk to lighten it. Do not be afraid to knock out the air at this stage.
7. Then fold in the remaining cream gently, using a spatula in two additions. Fill your piping bag with a star/plain nozzle) and pipe the filling onto the pate a choux shells.
Crumble (for the crumble tops on the pate a choux)
50g unsalted butter, softened
50g granulated sugar
50g plain flour
1. Rub in method: Place sugar and plain flour into a bowl and whisk. Then add in cubed butter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour-sugar mixture until uniform.
2. Place dough between two pieces of baking parchment. Use a rolling pin to roll out the crumble dough to about 5mm thick. Place onto a tray and place it into the freezer to firm up while you make your choux pastry.
Pâte à choux (Choux Pastry) Recipe
Adapted from Stéphane Glacier’s recipe
Makes 20 large choux puffs
Please head over to my post on How to make the perfect choux pastry for tips on making choux puffs.
188ml tap water
65ml full cream milk
100g unsalted butter, cubed
150g plain flour
+/- 150g whole eggs, room temperature
for the egg wash: (or use your preferred egg wash)
1 egg yolk
dash of full cream milk
pinch of salt
1. Prepare trays for baking the choux by greasing it with butter so that they would not stick on the tray.
2. Place water, milk, butter, sugar and salt into a pot and bring it to a rolling boil. It should be bubbling furiously.
3. Remove the pot from the heat or turn down the heat and pour in all the flour at once and stir immediately and vigorously with a wooden spoon/spatula. Ensure that there is no lumps of flour in the *panade. Cook out the mixture over low heat for another 2-3 minutes. You should have a glossy panade that can be formed into a ball that comes away from the sides of the pot easily.
4.Remove the panade and place it into your machine mixer bowl. Using a paddle attachment, put the machine on low speed in order to cool the panade down for about 5 minutes.
5. When the panade is not hot to touch, with the paddle attachment still on, start adding the eggs one at a time at medium speed (speed 4 on the Kitchenaid mixer). The mixture may look like it has cuddled and split at first but be patient and allow the machine to do its job to emulsify the mixture. It will come back together in a while.
6. Continue adding the eggs until you get a smooth, thick, glossy paste. When you lift up your spatula, it should fall after roughly 3 seconds. It should be able to fall from the spatula on its own but not be too wet that it can’t hold its shape. You may/may not require the entire amount of eggs as stated in the recipe, depending on the consistency of the choux paste.
7. Place choux paste into a piping bag with a plain nozzle/star shaped nozzle. Pipe them as evenly as you can in blobs (like a teardrop).
8. Remove your crumble dough from the freezer and use a round cookie cutter (about the size of your choux puffs) to cut the crumble dough into discs and place it onto the top of the choux pastry. The crumble dough does get sticky under warm kitchen conditions so you have to work fast. Otherwise, just scoop the crumble dough and divide them evenly amongst the choux puffs.
9. Egg wash the crumble and puff. Bake immediately at 180 degrees celcius in a pre-heated oven for about 1 and a half hour to 1 hr and 45 minutes (for choux pastry of this size. Smaller ones will be done faster). Choux pastry must be thorougly baked.
10. You can check if the choux pastry shells are properly baked by removing a shell from the oven and tear it apart to see if the insides of the choux is dry. Only remove the entire batch when they are dry.
11. Fill these choux pastry with crème patisserrie only after they have cooled completely.