Tag Archives: pastry cream

Chocolate Cream Puffs


Each time Joe goes to visit his Grandma, I often try to make an effort to bake something. I have never met this lady although Joe and I have been together for over 4 years now.She sounds so adorable and funny. She is a pretty hardcore Republican, though. This much I know.

I enjoy baking cakes but the kitchen has to be spotless before I would consider embarking on a major baking project. It almost feels like I need my mind to be uncluttered before I can start baking especially if it is something challenging. Otherwise I fall apart and so does my project.

I had a pretty exhausting work week, involving a Seattle turn, an Aruba turn, a Montego bay turn and the crew desk even threw in a Baltimore turn in there just for fun. So yah, that was what I did the last 5 days.

So the apartment is a little dishevelled and plus Joe had  made cabbage rolls last night and the kitchen was not in the pristine condition that I often like it to be.

After flipping through a few cookbooks and numerous websites, I decided on cream puffs also known as profiteroles.

I made the pate choux (choux pastry)  and baked the shells the night before. Choux pastry needs to be baked immediately so that it will rise nicely.

This morning  I intended to make the both chocolate pastry cream and vanilla pastry cream. Unfortunately, due to time constraints I only made the chocolate pastry cream.

The chocolate pastry cream is so easy to make it is just like making the standard pastry cream and the only difference is that you add melted bitter sweet chocolate just as your pastry cream start to thicken.

Once the filling was ready, I filled the shells generously.

I later drizzled the cream puffs with chocolate glaze.

Chilled the cream puffs for an hour and BAM! Tender custard-like shells with and explosion of chocolate goodness in each bite.


The joy of baking


I was in a mighty fine mood yesterday. Joe had pampered me with an in house spa day the day before. Unfortunately my hormones got the better of me and I got cranky after all the effort he went through to pamper me. I slept really well that night. I woke up really refreshed and happy. I felt bad for being mean to him the night before. Sometimes when he is not being annoying he really is a sweetheart and I am so blessed to have him.

Anyway, I figured today would be a good day to bake. Joe makes really good blueberry scones. We use the same recipe but some how his scones always turns out better than mine. He is more precise in his  measurements and techniques  where as I adopt a more laissez-faire  approach.

Joe had bought a bunch of blueberries a week ago with the good intentions of baking scones but his procrastination probably got the better of him and so the blueberries have been taking up prime refrigerator real estate and threatening to shrivel up into blue raisins if i did not use them today.

There were also kiwis and strawberries in there. I am just as guilty.

It is winter here in Chicage and the weather outside indeed is frightful but strangely we have a fridge full of summer fruits. Thank you Mexico?

So it was decided then, I would first make a tart dough and refrigerate it. Then I will proceed to make the scones. While baking the scones I will roll out the tart dough and place it into the tart pan and refrigerate again. Make the pastry cream. Delicious! I can just sit and eat spoonfuls of pastry cream every day and get even fatter.  Let the pastry cream cool. Scones come out. Let it cool. Place the tart shell into the oven. Coincidentally both have the same baking temperature of 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Perfect. Joe wakes up just in time. Make coffee for Joe.

Breakfast is served to my honey.

I said sorry for being crabby the other night. “You are getting your period! I love you” He said. I love him.

Tart shell is out and cooled. Time to put the fruit tart together. My favourite part. Yay!

And here it is.

I was really happy with all the baking I had done that day and I was in a mighty fine mood. Something about baking and the endorphines that it releases into my brain when all turns out well. Happiness.

I feel blessed to have a job in this economy and a very easy job that takes me to different places and puts me up in nice hotels, at least most of the time. But my true yearning is to bake. My worry is that what if I choose to bake full-time and it starts turning into a tremendous chore and the pituitary gland halts endorphin production during baking. Worst still, what if I am not good enough?

I digress.

Anyway we ended up sharing the tart with our neighbours. We had bumped into them while shopping at the supermarket and decided on an impromptu get together to watch the Golden Globes and have some cheap bubbly. Note to self when serving the tart make sure you take it out from the fridge a few minutes ahead of time so that guests do not have to struggle with their forks to cut into their tart or another solution sharper forks?

The tart was lovely. The crust was perfect once it had sat out for a few minutes.

Now with all those egg whites I have in the fridge….what next? Macarons? Genoise? Souffle?

Can’t wait.