Monday, 29 July 2013

Cream Puffs | Singing Dog Vanilla

Posted by Kejia:

Recently FTC has had the honour of Singing Dog Vanilla, a company specializing in vanilla goods, to send us some jars of vanilla bean paste. I made some cream puffs recently to try out SDV's vanilla bean paste(which was awesome, by the way. Read more below!). Choux pastry is easy and fool-proof, and goes well with different fillings and jams. I decided to make some vanilla custard to fill the cream puffs, and god, these were the best cream puffs ever. Both recipes were from Alison Thompson's "BAKE"(If you've been following our site you would know that I absolutely LOVE her). The choux pastry stayed tender and delicious even after a few days, and the vanilla custard was thick yet not overwhelming or overly sweet. And must I say, the vanilla bean paste made a HUGE difference. I've made these cream puffs with an actual vanilla pod before, and this batch of cream puffs using SDV's VBP tasted exactly the same(or even better) than the previous one. This shows how pure the vanilla from SDV is. No artificial preservatives or chemicals. How Awesome! :-)

Many thanks to Marty(Co-founder of SDV) for the kind gesture(we really appreciate it!). As you all may know, I'm obsessed with vanilla bean paste(click here). And no doubt, the vanilla bean paste from Singing Dog Vanilla is of excellent quality. The vanilla taste is strong, and I can even see a significantly higher amount of vanilla bean specks in my baked goods than the previous brand I used. Did I mention that they're gluten-free and organic as well? I am definitely not disappointed and instead so SO pleased. Thank you to Marty again! Everyone, please do visit Singing Dog Vanilla's site here. You can purchase excellent vanilla goods on the site, and there are also vanilla recipes! They sell amazing products like lip balm(which Marty kindly sent us as well), vanilla coffee(gosh that sounds delicious), vanilla salt, vanilla infused tea, and also vanilla gift sets. Affordable and of such high quality, Singing Dog Vanilla is one company you would want to check out. Calling all baking enthusiasts, check out Singing Dog Vanilla!(We loved it, and so would you!)

Anyway, back to the cream puffs. They are soft and tender, and when filled with the vanilla custard, ah, there are no words to describe how amazingly delicious it is. You have to try it for yourself. I was really happy with the result! Time and time again this recipe has not failed me. You need to make these cream puffs. Really.

Recipe from Alison Thompson's BAKE
Choux pastry ingredients:
7 tablespoons milk
2/3 cup(150ml) water
2/5 cup(90g) unsalted butter, diced
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
1 cup(150g) plain flour, sifted
3-4 eggs

Choux pastry directions:
1. Combine the milk, water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Immediately remove from the heat and add the sifted flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and comes away from the sides of the pan. Return the pan to the heat and continue mixing over low heat for 2 minutes.

2. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the eggs to the bowl one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon between each addition - all of the eggs may not be required. After adding the third egg, check to see if the mixture is thick, smooth and shiny; if it is, it may be ready. (To test if the pastry is ready, dip a clean finger into the mixture and pull it out, then point your finger upwards. If the peak of pastry stands up straight, the mixture is too stiff and requires another egg. If the peak folds over slowly, the pastry is ready. If the peak flops over completely, the pastry is too wet and will not rise properly.)

It will slowly come together. Be patient and continue mixing!

3. Pipe in any desired shape. After piping, dip your finger in water and press down gently on the tips of the choux to prevent them from burning.

Vanilla custard ingredients(makes 1 1/2 cups):
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup(60g) sugar
1 tablespoon custard powder
3 teaspoons plain flour
1 cup(250ml) milk
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste of good quality(like SDV's)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Vanilla custard directions:
1. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, custard powder and flour in a bowl.

2. Heat the milk and vanilla bean paste in a small saucepan until hot. Pour the hot milk into the yolk mixture and whisk to combine. Return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk constantly over low heat until the custard thickens and boils, then cook for 1 minute more. 

3. Remove the custard from the heat and add the butter. Stir well to combine.
4. Pour the custard into a clean bowl and press a plastic wrap onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Do not worry if the custard is not very thick now - it will thicken as it cools. 

Look at all the beautiful vanilla bean specks!

All in all, I'm really happy about Singing Dog Vanilla's vanilla bean paste. Hope you guys will check them out HERE because they really do deserve the support. My thanks again to Marty! :-) 



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