Strawberry Cream Puffs with Grand Marnier Custard Filling
There was a surprised baby shower in the office for our dear friend, V, on Wednesday. The baby is due on late April-early May and this week will be her last week at work before she's gone to her 5-month leave and we want to send her off and wish her a healthy baby. I was initially given the responsibility to make a cake but this plan got changed last minute because I didn't have enough time to make one big cake, so I offered to make just a small and simple dessert. It took me quite some time deciding what I would make, this part is one of the longest parts in making cake for me (the other one would be the deciding how to decorate it) until on Monday evening, my friend asked me on gchat about eclair. Right at that time I knew that cream puff is what I'm gonna make. I don't know what took me so long deciding, I was thinking macarons, mini lemon tarts, and some other over-the-top stuff, but not one time did I think about cream puff, which is weird since this was my first dessert of choice whenever I'm pressed with time. Well, it has been quite a while since I made my last cream puff too and so I was set.
I really recommend you making it soon if you need something special for a party/gathering, but yet simple and satisfying.
Pate a Choux:
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk (can be substituted with water or combination of both)
1 cup all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 400F
Melt the butter, milk, and salt together in a saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil. Add the flour all at once and stir with wooden spoon until it forms a ball. Remove from heat and mix until slightly cool. Add the eggs one at a time, completely incorporating the previous egg before adding another.
Place a spoonful of batter or use piping bag on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350F and continue baking for about 30-40minutes until the top is golden brown. Let cool. You can make this one day in advance and keep it in an airtight container until ready to use.
I used instant Jell-o pudding (reduce the amount of milk a little to make it thicker)
Grand Marnier, to taste
pastry cream (I'm not suggesting using instant Jell-o pudding for durian filling)
Topping (for the strawberry cream puffs):
Slightly-sweetened whipped cream
Grand Marnier, to taste