Sophisticated yet funky, the Durian Cream Puff is a wild Asian twist on a prim English dessert. No wonder they’re such a hit in Singapore, the high-tech cultural melting pot with a taste for weird architecture and weirder fruit. Apparently, the durian cream puffs are even more popular than eating whole durian, and for the country with the largest per capita durian consumption, that’s really saying something.
I’ve never had any kind of cream puff, and now that I’m a gluten-free vegan. I probably never will. Is this a sad thing?
Growing up, the only place I’d seen cream puffs was in the colorful pages of Marcel The Pastry Chef, a children’s book by Marianna Mayer. Marcel, the hippo, is a wannabe baker trapped into the lowly position of dish boy (or dish hippo) by a species discriminatory pastry-archy. At night, he practices making cream puffs, eventually gaining a promotion from the king, who can’t sleep but for the wonderful aroma issuing from the castle kitchen.
I’m not certain that the fat king would have been so impressed by the odor of cream puffs with durian.
I’m posting this recipe mainly for those of us not lucky enough to live in the land of the Durian Cream Puff. Singaporeans cook so infrequently that many don’t even own ovens. That’s because the restaurant and bakery scene is wild. With so many venues to choose from there’s very little incentive for the average Singaporean to pull out their oven mitts (or worse, buy an oven).
Those of you who live in Singapore can simply scroll to the end of this post for a list of places to buy durian puffs. For the rest of us, here’s the recipe so you can enjoy your own durian cream puffs. To make this recipe vegan, head over to thewickedgoodvegan.com and simply add durian flesh to the filling recipe.
|picture by bakingmum.blogspot|
Durian Cream Puffs
Makes 15 puffs
- 80 ml (1/3 cup) water
- 40 g (2 tbsp +1 tsp) butter, at room temperature, cubed
- 50 g (1/3 cup) plain flour, sifted
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) of non-dairy whipping cream
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) of durian pulp
- 5 g (3 1/2 tbsp) of gelatin powder
- 1/2 tbsp hot water to dissolve gelatin powder
1. Preheat oven to 385 F (195 C)
2. Place water and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until butter melts and mixture just comes to the boil.
3. Add all the flour to the butter mixture and stir until well combined. Place over low heat and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture forms a ball and begins to come away from the side of the saucepan. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
4. Whisk 1 egg in a small bowl and set aside.
5. Whisk the remaining egg and add it to the flour mixture, beating well with a wooden spoon. Gradually add a little of the reserved egg and beat until the mixture just falls from the spoon but still holds its shape.
6. Lightly brush a baking tray with oil. Spoon 15-16 heaping spoonfuls of the mixture onto the tray, about 1-2 inches (3 cm) apart. Alternatively, use a pastry bag fitted with a 1.5 cm-diameter plain piping nozzle to pipe the pastries onto the baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden.
7. Remove from oven. Using a skewer or a small knife, pierce the base (or top) of each puff to release the steam. Return the puffs to the oven and leave them for 5 minutes to dry out.
8. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
9. Whip whipping cream to a soft peak. Add in durian pulp and melted gelatin powder and mix well.
10. Put fillings in a piping bag and pipe it out into the baked pastry. If you like, you can jsut spoon the fillings into the pastry too. Dust the top of the pastry with some snow poder and leave it in fridge to chill before serving.