Now that they sell passionfruit at my local, that’s me done - the passionfruit recipes aren’t going to stop. I have to make up for four years of passionfruit deprivation all in one go. Hahahhaha. I’m kidding, but it is really just my fave.
I’ve had this one rolling round in my head for a while now since I saw these lemon cream puffs on Pinterest. I love everything about cream puffs, particularly when they have a disc of cookie dough like craquelin on the top, which kind of melts down in the oven to form this perfect, crackly top. Cream puffs without the craquelin tend to bake up a bit lumpy and bumpy (but still taste super yum), but the craquelin ensures that it rises in a perfect circle, which is not only super satisfying, but makes it super easy to fill - you just pop the top off with a sharp knife, and fill away.
I filled these with a super delicious and fairly easy filling. It’s technically two components - a passionfruit cream a passionfruit whipped cream, but the part that makes it easy is that the passionfruit whipped cream is literally just passionfruit cream folded through some whipped cream. So by making the passionfruit cream, you’re really making the base of both the filling components. If you haven’t had passionfruit cream before (or lemon cream), it’s essentially a curd, but instead of cooking everything down together like a curd, you leave the butter out and then emulsify it in at the last step, giving you something with a little more stability than a curd. Same ingredients, different process. Science is the best. The passionfruit cream is perfectly smooth and tart, and then the whipped cream is also amazing - it still has the flavour of the passionfruit from the cream, but also adds some smoothness to help cut through the tart flavour.
These would make an incredible wee dessert to take to a dinner party or something - it’s not too hard to make loads of them (this recipe makes 24), and they look like they are way more effort than they are. I love using the choux as a base and making up different fillings - they are amazing just filled with a vanilla bean whipped cream!
A few wee tips:
I have included an extra 'just in case' egg in the ingredients. The reason that this is in there, is that sometimes you need to add extra egg to the pastry if necessary. You want the mixture to be at a consistency where if you dip in the beater of the mixer, the batter will form a 'v' shape and eventually break off. If it is too stiff, and breaks off very quickly, you may need to add another beaten egg, and mix again, before performing the test.
I can only do one tray of these at a time because of my oven, so I pipe all of them, then add craquelin to one tray, bake it off, then add the craquelin to the second tray before I bake it.
The passionfruit cream takes a while. Make sure you bring it right up to 180˚f / 80˚c. This will make sure that it is thick enough so that when it cools, it gets super thick. Ideally it needs overnight to cool and thicken. It will look sloppy when you are done, but just give it time to chill overnight and it will thicken nicely.
Choux Freezes! Freeze the cream puffs just after they have been piped out, then once solid, place in a ziploc bag in the freezer. Bake off as usual - do not add the craquelin until just before you bake.
Choux au Craquelin - Cream Puffs with Passionfruit Cream and Passionfruit Whipped Cream
- Makes about 24 buns -
230g passionfruit juice (I whizzed passionfruit pulp in the food processor then strained to remove the seeds)
15g Lemon Juice
4 large egg yolks
4 large eggs
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
350g Unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120g all-purpose flour
120g dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
125g whole milk
110g unsalted butter, cubed
5g Kosher Salt
5g vanilla bean paste
165g All-purpose flour
240g eggs, lightly beaten, plus more if required (see tips)
Passionfruit Whipped Cream
375g Heavy Cream, Cold
1 tsp vanilla bean poaste
250g passionfruit cream
- PROCESS -
Create a 'double boiler' by placing a medium pot of water over a medium heat, and bringing to a simmer. Place a heatproof glass or stainless steel bowl over the pot, making sure that the bowl does NOT touch the water.
Combine the passionfruit juice, lemon juice, egg yolks, eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste in the heatproof bowl, whisking together immediately to stop the sugar from cooking the egg yolks.
Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it reaches 180°f / 80°c. This may take some time (approx 15 minutes). Be patient, and make sure you do bring it right up to the required temperature.
Remove the bowl from the heat, and set aside, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is 140°f / 60°c. Strain through a sieve into a clean mixing bowl. Add the butter, a chunk at a time, blending well with an immersion blender until completely combined before adding the next chunk. Alternatively you can do this in a blender. The cream should be pale and thick by the time you are finished.
Transfer to an airtight container, press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the cream, and cover. Refrigerate overnight, or until ready to use.
Place all ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium until combined. Turn out the dough onto a large piece of parchment paper, and top with a second piece. Roll out to 1-2mm in thickness. Place the dough, still between the parchment sheets, in the freezer for an hour, or until ready to use (Can be made ahead).
CHOUX AU CRAQUELIN
Preheat the oven to 400˚f / 200˚c. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a cooike cutter, trace 1 3/4” circles on each baking sheet using a pen or a pencil, leaving some room for spreading (about 2” between each), then flip over the baking sheet so that the side with the drawing is facing downward.
Fit a large piping bag with a large round piping tip.
In a medium pot, combine the milk, water, butter, salt, vanilla bean paste, and sugar. Place over medium heat, and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture has begun to boil. Remove from the heat, and add the flour all at once, mixing quickly with a wooden spoon to combine. The mixture will form a thick paste.
Return to the heat, and, stirring constantly, cook the mixture for 2 minutes to help dry it out. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute to help cool down the mixture.
With the mixture running on low, slowly stream in the 240g egg. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until the egg is fully incorporated. Test the consistency of the batter by dipping in the beater and pulling up. If it forms a v which eventually breaks off, you are good to go. If it seems too stiff, slowly add another beaten egg and mix to incorporate.
Transfer the choux pastry to the prepared piping bag. Using your traced circle as a guide, pipe mounds onto the baking sheet, ending each with a little flick of your wrist. If the choux has left a point, you can flatten down with a wet fingertip. Repeat with the second tray - you should end up with about 24 mounds.
Remove the craquelin from the freezer, and peel off the top piece of parchment. Using the same sized cutter you used to trace the circles on the parchment paper, cut out circles of dough. Place each carefully on top of a mound of choux, pressing lightly to adhere. If you are baking one tray of these at a time, ensure that you only put the craquelin on one tray worth at a time - put the craquelin on the second tray just before you bake them.
Bake the cream puffs for 15 min at 400˚f / 200˚c, then turn down the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c, and bake for a further 20 minutes, until the puffs are deeply golden. Remove from the oven and poke a small vent in the side of each using a paring knife or chopstick, to help the steam escape. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely. If baking in two batches, return the oven to 400˚f / 200˚c, and repeat the baking process with the remaining buns.
PASSIONFRUIT WHIPPED CREAM
Place the heavy cream and vanilla bean paste in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on medium speed until stiff peaks form, then fold in the passionfruit cream. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with an open star tip - I used an Ateco #827.
Transfer the remainder of the passionfruit cream to a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
Using a sharp bread knife, cut the tops off the cream puffs, about three quarters of the way up.
Pipe passionfruit cream into about the bottom third of the cream puff, then top with a swirl of the passionfruit whipped cream. Top with the choux lid you cut off earlier.
Finish with gold leaf if desired. Chill until ready to serve. Store remainders in the fridge - I like to keep them loosely tented with plastic wrap rather than in an airtight container to stop them from going soggy.