I seemed to be in a baking frenzy this year and especially recently, baking bi-weekly or even weekly (that's a lot considering I only bake once in a blue moon in the past years) and attempting to try out all the recipes learnt at Shermay's Cooking School.
Somehow, baking is therapeutic. The mind is totally focused while preparing the ingredients and seeing the baked products turn out successful gives a great sense of satisfaction. Furthermore, the baking process is a test of patience, precision and planning. I learnt the hard way having had some failures due to impatience, laziness and poor organization. Now I know and I'm trying to improve my work flow.
It's been a few months since I attended Chef Christopher's Retro High Tea class. Have wanted to try the custard cream puff but kept putting it off. In fact, I bought the Bird's Custard powder soon after the class but the can was idling on my shelf for 3 months now.
Finally made up my mind to try it today and it's not that difficult after all :D Was a little apprehensive, especially when the puffs didn't 'puff' up as expected based on the recipe after 10 to 15 mins of baking. In the end, I adjusted the baking time based on gut feel and the puffs turned out alright :) Perhaps my old little oven wasn't hot enough.
Instead of piping large puffs, I decided on mini bite-sized ones that can be popped into the mouth. Piping required some effort though and hubby commented that my puffs looked like a pile of dump but hey they turned out pretty cute ok?
The custard was relatively easy to make but silly me forgot to add vanilla extract, but the custard still turned out yummy :) I quite enjoyed the process of piping the custard into the puff because as you squeeze the custard, the puffs 'ballooned' :p
Instead of 24 custard cream puffs (based on the recipe), I ended up with double the quantity. The mini custard puffs turned out to be quite addictive, I had to resist the temptation to pop one after another into my mouth with the rich and sweet creamy custard oozing out from the puff.
So now, should I try the rough puff pastry so that I can make curry puff and chicken pie? I should, one of these days...