Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Recipes : Cream Puffs and Italian Creme Potatoes

Been thinking of making delightful cream puffs for a few weeks already. Sometimes we need to have the right mood before we embark on a baking session. A friend ordered a chocolate cake with whipped cream topping, heavily sprinkled with pistachios. I had to buy a whole box of cream and there were times when I had to throw it all away because I did not have time to make anything with it.

Certain baking ingredients are very costly now. And cream cannot keep well so I decided to be a little hardworking. My friend Latifah simply loves cream puffs. Hope she liked the ones I made.

Choux Pastry for Cream Puffs

Bring to boil 150 ml water.
Add 2 oz butter
Once its melted, remove pan from heat and immediately
Add in 2.5 oz sifted plain flour

Stir very quickly with wooden spoon to combine mixture to a
smooth paste . Cool it slightly for around 2 minutes.

Place the dough into cake mixer and turn mixer on briefly to cool the dough.
Beat 2 eggs and gently pour in the egg mixture little by little, with the machine running at slow speed. Increase speed a little after each addition of eggs.
Do not use large eggs as mixture should not be too soft runny.
Do not overbeat if using machine. The paste should have a nice shine, not dull and dry.

Now place batter in a piping bag with a very large star nozzle so you can pipe out the pastry. To save time, you can make little mounds or short straight lines for eclairs.

Place puffs well apart on dampened baking sheets, lightly greased sheets or line with silicone sheets.

Bake at high temperature of around 200 deg C or 400 deg F for 45 to 50 mins. Do not underbake or pastry will deflate and be damp in the center. After its nicely light golden brown and firm, remove and split the puffs halfway horizontally with a sharp knife to release the steam.

Whip some fresh cream or make some delicious custard to fill the puffs.
Dip the tops in melted plain chocolate if desired.

Yesterday I visited a friend and had a delicious meal there. She generously taught me how to make some Italian Potatoes. Maybe you can make them for your family - really quick, easy and delicious too! I made them this morning as I happened to have extra cream. Here it goes :

Italian Creme Potatoes

Peel and boil 3 large potatoes. Cut them in 2 if you are in a hurry.
Meanwhile slice a large onion, 3 pips garlic and fry in some olive oil.
Add a few pinches of sea salt and pepper to taste.
Now add the boiled and drained potatoes to the fried onions and garlic.
Mix it up gently with wooden spoon and add around half a cup of cream.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and mix lightly.
Bake in the oven to brown it if desired.

I did not do that as I was in a hurry to go out. It was nice and moist. Had it for brunch with onion and tomato salad, baked beans and fried nuggets with veggie filling on the side. That's my version of a quick brunch, though fried nuggets are not too healthy.

You can also add a little minced meat when you brown the onions.
For a change, sprinkle finely chopped parsley or scallions.
Serve with bread and salad for a quick meal.

Thank you Doctor C Noraini for sharing!

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