I was browsing through my current favourite blog which I have only recently discovered in Tartlette. I can't believe it's taken me this long to check out Helen's blog. I mean I had heard about it for ages and just never bothered to check it out. I've been missing out on numerous fantastic photos, stories and recipes. I'm slowly going through the archives but the first thing that I decided to make was the Strawberry Puffs with Grand Marnier Mousseline. My previous attempt at Choux Puffs were a delicious, if not quite asthetically perfect, treat.
Last time, the choux puffs were a little flat. I believed that at the time, I didn't dry out the batter enough before adding the add. It did look a bit runny. Instead of trying out that recipe again, I decided to give Helen's one a go. I made sure that I monitored the consistency of the batter this time so that it wasn't too runny. The batter looked good, and I piped them all into these little mounds.
However, when I baked them, they rose up nicely, but once I took them out of the oven, they deflated quite a lot and didn't look anywhere near the nice round balls that Helen got. Can a baking expert (Vida, Duncan, Sarah, anyone) tell me what I'm doing wrong? I didn't check the temperature of the oven with a thermometer so maybe it was a little under the required temperature? Or did I not dry out the mixture enough again?
Taste wise, these puffs are amazing. I never thought you could get better than a durian puff, but these are. This puff recipe tastes better than the previous one I made. It's got a nicer more buttery flavour and is also lighter. The Grand Marnier cream with the strawberries is genius. The cream is fantastic on its own, but combined with the crisp flavours of the strawberry, it is indeed "Strawberry Shortcake Crack". Everyone at work chomped these down so quickly that those who were late got none. I ate four myself, such is their tastiness. I must make more soon. I just want to perfect them so they are more puffier. Let me know if you have any idea what I am doing wrong.
Strawberry Puffs with Grand Marnier Mousseline
Makes about 12-16 depending on the size
For the Choux:
85 g all purpose flour
75 ml milk
65 g butter
1 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1. Sift the flour and set aside.
2. Heat the water, milk, butter, sugar and salt to a full rolling boil, so that the fat is not just floating on the top but is dispersed throughout the liquid. Stir the flour into the liquid with a heavy wooden spoon, adding it as fast as it can be absorbed. Avoid adding it all at once or it will form clumps. Cook, stirring constantly and breaking up the lumps if necessary, by pressing them against the side of the pan with the back of the spoon until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan, about 2-3 minutes.
3. Transfer the dough to a mixer bowl. Let the paste cool slightly so that the eggs will not cook when they are added. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, using the paddle attachment on low or medium speed. The dough should have the consistency of thick mayonnaise. Pipe big rounds on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, sprinkle them with pearl sugar and bake at 175C for 15 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and let cool. Split the choux in half.
For the Grand Marnier Mousseline:
zest of one orange
3 egg yolks
25 g cornstarch
115 g butter, cut into small chunks
30ml Grand Marnier
1 tsp gelatin and 1 tbsp water
120ml heavy cream
1-2 cups of fresh strawberries, sliced
1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let stand until ready to incorporate into the pastry cream.
2. Bring the milk to a boil with the orange zest.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until pale. Slowly pour the milk over it. Add a small amount of milk to temper the eggs and make sure all your ingredients incorporate smoothly and them continue to add the rest of the milk.
4. Return the whole thing over medium heat and cook until thick for about 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the butter and the Grand Marnier.
5. In a microwave, dissolve the gelatin for 15 seconds. Quickly mix into the pastry cream. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap (make it touch the cream so it does not let a skin form on top) and refrigerate until cold.
6. Whip the cream to stiff peaks and gently fold it in the pastry cream. Pour into a piping bag and divide among the choux. Arrange some strawberry slices over the cream and put the hats back on.