Durian Cream Puffs

SINGAPORE

Calling all bakers: if you're looking for a fun project, these cream puffs for you!

SUBMITTED BY

Cass

When I kicked off my recent series on durian dishes around the world, I didn’t expect to encounter a recipe with French pastry. But hey – that’s what makes this dessert all the more interesting. These durian cream puffs are quite the undertaking, but oh so worth it.

This submission comes from Cass who currently lives in Australia, but is originally from Singapore. Indigenous to countries across Southeast Asia like Singapore, durian is often referred to as the “king of fruit” and is featured in a variety of dishes. During the peak season between June and August, the best tasting durian can be found throughout restaurants in Singapore. And if you’re really lucky, you’ll find durian cream puffs on the menu.

However, Cass always thinks of family dinners when she enjoys durian cream puffs. In durian season, a plate of these delicious puffs always managed to appear after big gatherings or family events. If you want to make these for your family though, you’ll need some time, dedication, and patience.

Cream puffs of all kinds require a base of choux pastry, which is a type of dough that you actually cook over the stovetop. You’ll have to mix, and mix, and mix together butter, eggs, sugar, and flour over a medium heat until a dough is formed. Choux pastry is used for tons of things like profiteroles, eclairs, and durian cream puffs. The light and fluffy cream puffs are then filled with a durian mousse for a truly remarkable combination.

The choux pastry manages to calm down the strong, pungent flavor of durian, while still letting it shine through. Plus, they’re the perfect size for when you’re in the mood for just a little something sweet. As Cass says, these durian cream puffs are a great introduction for durian new-comers who are looking for an approachable and delicious way to try the king of fruit.

Watch the Video

Durian Cream Puffs

Ingredients
  

For choux pastry

  • ½ cup cake flour
  • ½ tsp white sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 60 g unsalted butter roughly cubed
  • 125 ml water
  • 2 eggs plus one more for brushing

For mousse

  • 400 g fresh durian de-seeded
  • 100 ml heavy whipping cream
  • powdered sugar for dusting, optional

Instructions
 

To make choux buns

  • In a bowl, sift the flour and set aside.
  • Over medium heat, place the butter, the salt, the sugar and the water in a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Remove the butter mixture from heat and add the flour all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon until it is combined into a dough.
  • Put the pot back onto the heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides and forms a thick smooth dough (about 1-2 min).Transfer the dough to a bowl and let it cool for ~5 min.
  • Once the dough is lukewarm, add the 2 eggs one at a time and mix until the dough becomes a smooth thick paste. (Note: the pastry choux dough will separate and then come together). Continue to mix until you have a stretchy thick paste which slowly falls from a spoon.
  • Pipe a little pastry choux onto the four corners of the baking pan to secure the parchment paper. Lightly brush the parchment paper with some water which will help the choux puffs to rise in the oven.
  • Pipe 16 one-inch button sized pastry choux mounds onto the baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Using the index finger tipped in a little water, pat down any swirly tips so that it does not burn during baking. With a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the each mound with some lightly beaten egg.
  • Preheat oven to 400F/200C and bake at the center rack of the oven for 15 min. Then reduce the oven temperature to 350F/180C and continue to bake for a further 10-15 min until the choux puffs are nice and golden.
  • Turn off the heat and with the oven door slightly ajar, leave the puffs in there for another 5-10 minutes. This is to prevent the puffs from collapsing from any sudden drop in temperature. To test if the puffs are done, split one up and check if it is almost dry inside. If not, turn the oven off, poke a couple of holes in each puff and leave them in the oven to completely cool (and dry out) before use.

To make mousse

  • Blend durian in the food processor.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk cream to stiff peaks.
  • Combine the durian purée and whipped cream. Chill whilst waiting for choux puffs to cool completely.

Assembly

  • Just before serving, do a semi cut and split the puffs open like a seashell.
  • Pipe in a generous dollop of chilled durian cream.
  • Chill the durian puffs for ~ another 30 min so that the puffs are nice and cold when served . Alternatively, if you are making this ahead, freeze the durian puffs. Take it out to thaw in the fridge for an hour before serving.
  • Dust with a little powdered sugar (optional). Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Recipe inspired by The Sugar Crumble
Course: Dessert
Region: Asia

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