Now, if any of you have seen my baking bucket list, you would probably call me out or being a liar or just a huge procrastinator due to all the things I’ve crossed off the list, yet with only 1 recipe of the 10 being posted (not including this one). The truth? I’m a huge procrastinator – at least when it comes to posting recipes.
Number 8 on that list (I’m not following order) are cream puffs (or profiteroles)/eclairs. Beside it says August 6, 2015. If you look at the date today, it says January 9, 2016. So yes, it’s been 5 months now, but the recipe is finally here!
The pastry cream in this recipe isn’t quite like the ones you see for traditional French eclairs or anything. Firstly, you’ll notice an absence of egg yolks, which is often used as a thickening agent. In this recipe, the thickening agents include a bit of gelatin, cornstarch, and whipped cream, resulting in a lighter cream as opposed to the denser, traditional pastry cream. Thus, I do recommend filling it as in the photo below as opposed to cutting them in half and filling them as the photo below the photo below.
I probably should’ve made a classic eclair or cream puff to start off with, but it’s always more interesting to bring in an extra flavor, no? Ironically, I made classic eclairs a couple days ago (who knows when that recipe’ll be published?), and I have to admit, this recipe is quite different from that one. Most importantly, none of the eclairs exploded like the way one of these matcha cream puffs did, but that’s just because I overfilled it. It was my first time filling cream puffs, okay? Jeez, give me a break. Anyways, these cream puffs seem to feel lighter. The pastry cream flavor isn’t as evident, allowing the faint flavor of matcha to shine through. Also, I dusted these with powdered sugar as opposed to dipping them in chocolate, which paired beautifully with the matcha. All in all – this one’s a keeper.
Matcha Cream Puffs
For the Choux Pastry
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 5 large eggs
- Egg wash: 1 yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon milk or cream
Matcha Pastry Cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
- 2 tablespoons water
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups full-fat milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons matcha powder
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Powdered sugar, for finishing
- *For the choux pastry, preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, milk, water, salt, and sugar over medium heat until just boiling. Add in the flour and baking powder and beat together with a wooden spoon over the heat until the mixture resembles a dough that doesn’t stick to the sides of the saucepan. This should take a 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or into a bowl using an electric mixer. Start the electric mixer and beat in the eggs one at a time until fully combined. The dough should be smoother and less doughy.
- Transfer the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet, pipe mounds about 2 inches in diameter. Brush the tops with egg wash and bake for 30-35 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Allow to cool.
- *For the matcha pastry cream, in a small dish, sprinkle the gelatin over the water to soften
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and sugar. Add in the eggs and whisk until smooth.
- In a large saucepan, heat the milk, butter, and salt until almost boiling. Whisk in matcha powder
- Pour about 1/2 of the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until fully combined. Add the rest of the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until fully combined. Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan and heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbling.
- Pour the mixture onto a plate or bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold
- When the mixture has cooled, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, and gently fold the cream into the matcha mixture. Transfer the matcha pastry cream into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip.
- To assemble, pipe the matcha pastry cream into the choux pastry and dust with powdered sugar.
*You can make either the matcha pastry cream or the choux pastry first. Both of them need to be cooled, though the pastry cream may take longer to cool. Also, separately, they can be prepared a few days in advance (without the heavy cream, for the matcha pastry cream). Filled, it’s best to eat them the day of, or within 3 days. Keep refrigerated.