This recipe is from a Japanese cookery program in which a chef explains his recipe. There are some extra pointers, adaptations and notes from yours truly. They are surprisingly easy to make! Well, the RECIPE is easy… it just takes time and attention to details.
I made them for the first time using this recipe and they turned out perfect.
For the choux pastry:
- water 125ml
- butter 45g
- salt 1 pinch
- extra fine sponge flour* 60g
- medium eggs (beaten) 2
For the custard cream:
- milk 200ml
- vanilla pod 1/4
- egg yolks 2
- granulated sugar 60g
- extra fine sponge flour* 6g (I put about 1 tbsp)
- corn flour 6g (I put about 1 tbsp)
- whipping cream 140g
*A quick note about the flour. The Japanese cookery program asked for hakurikiko.
Hakurikiko is a type of Japanese extra fine plain flour. 薄力粉 is literally 薄 haku meaning little/thin/light/weak 力 riki meaning (in this case) strength 粉 ko meaning (in this case) flour.
You can’t really buy this abroad (or not easily anyway) so I just used extra fine sponge flour. The brand I used (and will continue to use) was Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Extra Fine Sponge Flour. Just so there is no confusion, on the back of the packet it is labelled as Extra Fine Self Raising Sponge Flour. This worked perfectly for me.
Another quick tip, it helps if your ingredients are at room temperature. This prevents curdling, separating, etc.
To make the custard cream (part 1 – before making the choux buns):
1.) Sift the flour and cornflour together into a paper.
2.) Remove the 1/4 of vanilla from the pod.
3.) Put the milk and vanilla in a pan and warm gently on a low heat.
(Don’t let it boil.)
4.) Beat the egg yolks in a bowl and add the sugar. Beat together until smooth and white.
5.) Shoot the flour into the mixture and mix everything slowly to avoid stickiness.
6.) Add 1/3 of the milk and mix gently. Add the other thirds and continue to mix gently.
7.) Pour the whole thing back into your pan through a sieve.
(Don’t worry if there is still some vanilla after straining. It adds to the flavour.)
8.) Whisk the mixture on a low heat, avoiding the side and bottom of the pan.
9.) When the mixture starts to become less liquid, quickly move it to a tray and cover with cling film removing all air pockets. It needs to cool, so either put it over an ice bath or leave it at room temperature till cool enough then put it in the fridge.
To make the choux buns:
1.) Pre-heat your oven to 180°C.
2.) Add the water, butter and salt to a pan and melt them together. Heat on a strong heat until it boils.
3.) As soon as the mixture boils, stop the heat and add the flour. Mix on the hob (still no heat) until the mixture comes together.
4.) Put the pan on a medium heat. Heat slowly and stir constantly. When a skin starts to form on the bottom of the pan move the mixture to a bowl.
(You must cook the flour for long enough or your buns will not puff!! Make sure you don’t rush this part so your flour has time to cook and all will be well.)
5.) Add 1/3 of the beaten eggs and mix slowly in straight lines as if cutting. If you want to, you can keep a tiny bit of the egg to glaze your buns later. Add the mixture in thirds and mix slowly as before.
(When the mix is ready you will be able to hold your wooden spoon horizontally and the mix will hang down in a triangular shape without falling off.)
6.) Pipe the mix onto a greased tray.
(I made mine into profiterole sizes but you can make them whatever size you want. Make sure each circle or shape you pipe has enough area around it to expand as they will puff quite a lot.)
7.) Use a brush to glaze the buns and smooth them flat.
(If they are pointed, the point will burn before the rest is cooked.)
8.) Cook in oven for 25 minutes.
(Keep an eye on them though – if they look done before that, take them out.)
9.) When cooked, remove from the tray to a wire rack and leave to cool.
(Some people say it is best to make a hole in the bottom to stop them deflating, but mine didn’t deflate so it’s up to you.)
To make the custard cream (part 2 – after making the choux buns):
1.) When the custard is cool enough it should come off the tray cleanly and easily in one piece. Move it from the tray to a bowl.
2.) Mix slowly and gently with a spatula. (But don’t mix too much!) The mixture should be thick enough to stick to the spoon.
3.) Whip the cream in a bowl into stiff peaks.
(Don’t mix too much! The cream will curdle! As soon as you see the cream becoming firmer slow down to ensure you do not over whip it.)
4.) Add 1/3 of the cream to the custard. Fold it in gently. Continue to add the cream in thirds.
(Again do not over mix as the custard cream is spoilt by heat.)
To fill the choux buns use a piping bag with a fine nozzle to make a small hole. Then pipe in the custard cream until it feels heavy. Alternatively, cut a lid at the top of the choux bun and fill with a spoon.
So there you go. How to make perfect Shu-Creams. Enjoy!
This recipe is actually on Youtube! There’s no sound though and it’s in Japanese of course. The video is called シュークリームの作り方 and there are two parts, (1) and (2). Here’s a link to part (1).