Friday, September 30, 2011

Crispy Shell Cream Puffs Recipe (Pai-Shuu)

Today I made some Pai-Shuu (Cookie Crust Cream Puffs, also written Pie-Shu)
My husband's family loved them so I couldn't wait to share my recipe.  In America, Australia and some Asian Countries you can get Shu-Cream a little similar at Beard Papa's.  These Pai-Shu cream puffs have a real pai-shu cookie crust, a bit like some the pai-shu or cookie-shu cream puffs in Japanese Patisseries.
Pai-Shuu Cream Puffs (20-24 large)
(Australian Metric 1 cup=250 mL) Click here for my recipe with American measurements


Cream Puff Pastry (Choux)
120 g butter
3/4 cup water
1 1/3 cup plain flour, sifted (must be sifted)
5 eggs (60g each egg)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Custard Cream:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
3 cups milk
30g real butter
1/2 or 1 vanilla bean OR Vanilla extract
+/- a cup of whipped fresh cream


Pai-Shuu Crust:
30g butter
1/3 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
1/3 cup SR flour    (OR plain flour with 1/2 tsp baking powder (or a pinch bicarb soda))

  • STEP 1:  Make Custard Cream several hours before or the day before
  • STEP 2:  Prepare Pai-Shuu Crust Dough if desired
  • STEP 3:  When everything's ready, make the Cream Puff Shells
  • STEP 4:  When Cream Puff Shells are fresh out of the oven, fill with cold Custard Cream and serve. (Or within 24 hours if possible.)

Custard Cream
1. Using a whisk, Combine flour and sugar, 
2. Add:  4 egg yolks and about 40mL of the milk, whisk until combined.  Add remaining milk and scrape in vanilla pod.
3. Stir over medium heat, till it thickens (Often scraping the bottom). When it's thick and bubbles start to blob up, remove from heat.
4. Stir in 30g real butter

5. Allow to cool with plastic wrap on surface to prevent a "skin". Refrigerate until cold.
+/- 6. If you like, fold a cup of whipped fresh cream into the cold custard cream.

Pai-Shuu Crust
1.  Gently melt butter (microwave or small saucepan)
2.  Stir in Sugar and Flour.


Cream Puff (Choux) Pastry
1. Place butter, salt, sugar and water in a large saucepan over high heat.  When butter is melted and it starts to boil, remove from heat and...
2. Immediately tip in flour all at once, and beat into a firm dough with wooden spoon.
3. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk 5 eggs.  Add approximately one egg to the dough at a time, beating well in between with a wooden spoon.
4. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe directly downward onto paper-lined tray.  If you like, use chopsticks or fingers to pull pastry upwards on the sides, to make them taller and rough-surfaced.
5.  Place discs of Pai-Shuu Crust Dough on top.
6.  Immediately bake in a very hot oven 210-220 degrees Celcius, 25-30min until well puffed and browned then down to 100 degrees C for 40 min or more to dry.
7.  Allow to cool (the puffs will firm up and become strong) before peeling the baking paper from the bottom of the puffs.



**oven MUST be well pre-heated, esp for big cream puffs.  And don't turn the heat down too early, or they might fall. Wait until they're well puffed and the colour is fully developed.
 
TIPS:
  • Custard Cream can be made the day before, but Cream Puff shells are best made the day they will be served.  If you need to make them the day before, leave them out on a tray or plate in the open air or in the oven (switched off, of course).  Placing them in a lidded container or in the fridge will allow the shells to loose their crispness as the inner moisture equalises with the outer crispness.
  • Fill cream puffs as close as possible to serving time, to preserve crispness.
  • If storing shells in the fridge or freezer, freshen them before serving by placing in a moderate oven for 5 min.  They will come out crisp and delicious.
  • If you want them really dry and crisp (like Beard Papa's) leave them in a cool oven (100degC or less) for longer (1 hour or more), until just before you serve/eat it.  Put the cold filling in right before serving.
  • Cream Puffs can be made using margarine, but the custard cream needs real butter if you want the flavour just right.
  • Vanilla Beans: I got excellent quality vanilla beans from India on ebay, sooo cheap!
  • Custard Cream: If you prefer a lighter, velvety custard cream, whip 1/2 cup fresh cream and then fold into the cold custard cream.
QandA
1.  Q) My cream puffs turned out flat.  What went wrong?

A) Actually it's pretty easy to do. In my early shu cream experiences I did that a few times and I think I know just about every mistake that can possibly be made. There are a few points that are vital to getting the cream puff magic right.

  1. Add the flour to the butter/water mixture when it's still at boiling temperature, and as you mix, it slightly cooks the flour and makes it a very firm ball. 
  2. Beat in each egg really well before adding the next egg. 
  3. I use eggs from the fridge, they cool the mixture slightly as you beat them in. 
  4. As soon as you've piped the pastry onto the tray, place it in the very hot oven immediately (so that the pastry blobs don't droop), and quickly, so that the oven temperature doesn't drop. 
  5. If you've done everything else right it must just be the egg size is different. I used 58-59g eggs. If the volume of egg is too much it may make the pastry too runny. When you get to the 4th egg, consider "will adding one more egg make it too runny?" If so, leave it out or add half an egg. 







2. Q)  did you add fresh whipped cream to yours or not? 
A)  No, I didn't add whipped cream this time as fresh cream is so expensive in Japan! It doesn't really need it, but it does make the custard cream lighter (maybe more like beard papa's?).
Another thing that some Japanese Patisseries do is "pair cream": Put in mostly custard cream and then pipe whipped cream on top. Oh, there's so many variations...



If you don't have a piping bag:
I used to fold a sheet of cooking paper into a cone shape, cut off the end, and fill it with the entire batch of pastry. Make it a decent sized hole, as the pastry's quite thick.  You won't get quite so many cream puffs because some of the pastry will stick to the bag and be wasted. 
OR Just spoon the pastry onto the tray.

(22 Oct Update: Now I use disposable plastic pastry bags because I discovered them 8 for 100yen at daiso!)

56 comments:

  1. thanks for sharing Jane, i have some friends coming over tomorrow, so i might give it a try! :-) it looks yummy!

    xx

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  2. thanks for sharing :) my friends and i gonna bake this lovelies tomorrow,hope it will turn out right just like yours. :D

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    1. You're very welcome! Make sure you follow the steps well, and please let me know how they turn out! You can post a photo on our facebook wall if you like☆

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  3. Thanks for sharing! May i ask if these puffs will come out hollow? If yes, do i just poke a hole and squeeze the pastry cream inside? Thanks so much!

    =)Ems

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    1. Hi Ems☆ Yes cream puffs certainly should come out hollow! As long as you follow the steps correctly. As for filling, at Beard Papa's that's exactly what they do, poke a hole and pipe the custard cream inside. I don't have piping tips, that's why I cut them and spoon it in.

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    2. Thanks a lot,Shinobu.. i'll try it soon and will let you know what happens!

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  4. Hello Shinobu! I already tried it and it turned out quite well except:
    1. it came out in different sizes, haha, because i was in hurry to spoon the batter so i can immediately transfer it in the oven as you've instructed...LOL;
    2. some fell flat and the others rose quite well;
    3. the bottom burnt a bit and was so thin it got separated from the pastry and it looked like a bowl without the bottom, hahaha;

    Otherwise, the taste, texture and crispiness is just the way i liked it. The custard came out very delicious..it would have been almost perfect if not for #'s 1 to 3...LOL!

    I'll certainly be trying it again, but before that, may i ask you for some help again?

    1. I only used 4 eggs because it was a bit runny already & the moment i spooned the batter onto the sheets, it went flat immediately. Maybe because it was still a bit warm (even if i used cold eggs as you've suggested). Is it possible to cool the cream puff pastry a bit before baking?
    2. Why do you think the bottom got so thin that it got stuck in the parchment paper? =)
    3. What is your technique in making the same-sized pastry?

    Thank you so much for the help!

    Ems=)

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    1. Hi Ems, To be honest even after making dozens of batches of cream puffs, choix pastry is still a mystery to me! Other choix pastry recipes actually have higher egg/water/butter to flour ratios, like (US Recipes) 4 eggs to 1 cup flour. I could only make small profiteroles with those recipes as the batter was quite thin, that's why I used 5 eggs to 1.5 (US) cups four, and reduced the butter and water also. Using fewer eggs than this makes a thicker batter, however it also makes thicker cream puffs, not so light-as-air. So I'm not sure why already a few users of my recipe are needing to use only 4 eggs to 1.5 cups flour...as I said, mystery!

      1. I allow the flour/butter/water hot dough to cool slightly before adding the eggs. Maybe allow it to cool longer at this stage.
      2. When I make a batch of cream puffs, I always have one or two that get a hole in the bottom when I pull them off the paper. So I try to peel the paper off the cream puffs rather than the other way round, that works better. If the bottoms were overcooked I can only guess that your oven is different to mine, as I've never had that problem. Does your oven have an exposed heating element on the bottom?
      3. The easiest way to get same sized cream puffs is piping them. Or maybe it's also because I've made them so many times! Practice makes perfect!

      Anyway, my recommendation to the beginner choix pastry chef is to first make basic cream puffs, and don't bother yet with the crispy shell topping, as it adds extra steps.
      Thanks for trying my recipe, and good luck next time!♡

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  5. Hi!

    I found your cream puff recipe on Google. I can't tell you how happy you've made me! I had these Japanese cream puffs at a local bakery and found them so much more addictingly delicious because of those crunchy stuff on the top. I can't wait to try your recipe. Thank you thank you thank you!!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer☆ Yes I love the crunchy stuff on top too! And who would have thought it's as simple as a layer of cookie dough on top. Enjoy your Pai-shu!♡

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  6. Hi hi hi.
    I am so glad i found your site. Been wondering abt how they make that crunchy thing at top and of course the dryness of the puff. However I found it hard to make the pai-shuu crust into a disc and ended up like an apple crumble instead. So tmrw i am going to up the butter content a bit and see how it goes. the puff puffed up nicely. and just to add a bit of tip...i saw this on another website...i actually sprayed water on my parchment paper....it helps from the sticking thing and adds water to the "steaming" and "puffing" process.

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    1. Hi Norsie, I haven't tried spraying water on the paper, but good luck!

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  7. Just wanted to tell I have been using this recipe for countless times after I found it last year! Puffs turn out to be delicious, every time!
    Thank you so much!

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    1. You're welcome! I'm so glad you're making great Cream Puffs!♡

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  8. The recipe is perfect! My puffs came out very nice. A few things I would do:
    1. Get an oven thermometer to check if your oven temperature is right. Choux pastries need the hot to rise
    2. Dont vopen the oven at all, the blast of cold air will deflate the puffs. I baked mine at 405f for 13min, turned down to 210f for 20 min without opening the door at all. As shinobu said don't turn down the temperature until puffs have fully inflated.
    3. Don't put more then I layer/tray of puffs in at a time, the extra layer is extra moisture therefore extra steam and the pastries will not rise properly.
    4. I baked mine on silpat (silicon baking mat) and it was great. The bottom did not stick, if you allow the pastries to cool a bit before removing them, they will come off easier.

    Hope this helps.

    Experienced baker

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    1. Thanks for the tips, Experienced baker!☆
      (4)Of course, leave them to cool before removing from the paper. I'll add that to the recipe! I use the cheap (non-silicon) baking paper in Australia, and it was fine as long as I peeled the paper off the puffs, not vice versa. Of course the silicon baking paper that I use in Japan is even easier (and I'm sure, the silpat, too!).
      (3)I've always baked two trays at a time, but maybe because of my oven type it wasn't a problem(?)
      Happy Baking!

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  9. Hi!

    I found your site yesterday and immediately made a batch of cream puffs since every ingredient was readily available from my pantry! Its my first time making cream puffs and it turned out great, i have a few questions though. My puffs rose but when i sliced them open they were less aerated than i had hoped, some were a little bread-like, what can i do to make them more airy, thin and crisp? :) Thank you!

    Sam

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    1. Hmm, getting steps 1, 2 and 3 right is really important. Was the water/butter at boiling point when you added the flour, and did you add the flour all at once and stir so it all cooks slightly and turns into a firm ball? Did you sift the flour first?

      Perhaps you could use more egg. More eggs make lighter, thinner cream puffs, but make the batter thinner, so it's a tricky balance. Egg size and quality may be different in different areas, from what people have said.

      Also, make sure the oven is hot enough. When you put the trays in, make sure you do it very quickly so the temperature doesn't drop, or preheat to 10 degrees hotter, and turn it to the required temperature after placing the trays in the oven. And make sure they are well puffed and browned before you turn down the heat.

      Good luck!☆☆

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  10. Hihi. Just wanted to say that this is the most amazing puff pastry recipe EVER! I shalll swear upon this recipe to all my bake loving friends. However i have encountered a problem with my puffs. The base seems to have raised together with the puff, in other words it doesnt stick to the baking sheet but raises up together... Any advice to remedy this problem?

    Awesome blog by the way tooo shall try out the sushi rolls one day <3

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    1. Thanks for your comment! ☆
      As for "the base rising together with the puff", I'm not exactly sure what has happened, sorry, I don't think I've experienced that. Where your puffs not very hollow? If so, make sure you carefully follow steps 1-3 of the Cream Puff Shell Method. Good luck!

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  11. Hi...just wonder that why bottom of my puff will stick on the baking paper after it was done? any advice for this ? thanks

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    1. Hi Peisee, make sure you leave your puffs to cool before removing them from the paper. Once they've cooled down, they'll become firm enough to remove without tearing. Peel the paper off the puffs, rather than the other way round. Other than that, using silicone-coated baking paper helps, if you don't have that, grease your baking paper with a little butter, oil or cooking spray. Good luck!

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  12. This is awesome.........I will try but not today it needs some of my precious time...and the result will be worth it I guess.

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  13. Hi Shinobu-san, I don't have oven at home. Will this work with microwave oven? Please reply. Thank you :)

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    1. Sorry Alicia, microwave oven won't work for cream puffs ><;

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  14. Hi I made a batch of cream puff today but I'm not using your recipe and I needed advice so I hope you can help me.
    The results:
    1)The surface of the puffs burned, the colour is brown not dark brown or light brown, just brown with burned taste. It's edible though.
    2)When I cut the cream puff in half after let it cool down, its hollow but the inside is kind of wet. I want to know how is it the inside of the puff suppose to be? Please reply thanks

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    1. Hi, Sorry, but I don't know what happened there, or what kind of recipe you used! Have a look at step 6 in my recipe. Start with your oven very hot, but when they have puffed and are the right colour, turn the heat down to 100C or so, so they won't burn, and leave them there for a while so they can dry out some more.

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  15. Hi, I made the recipe yesterday but I'm not sure where I had gone wrong. I think for some reason the filling went a little runny and it looks like there was some kind of cream puff murder in my kitchen when I tried to do the filling using the piping bag. I don't think it was solid enough to be piped correctly. I kind of lost half of the filling dripping on my kitchen counter! The flavor was great, though. Any advice on how I should maneuver it if I were to use a piping bag?

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    1. Hi Tari!☆ Sorry, I don't know what went wrong either! 1/2 cup flour and 4 egg yolks should make quite a thick custard of 3 cups whole milk... unless, the flour didn't dissolve properly and there are lumps in it?
      To pipe the filling in, first you need to poke a little hole in the side of the puff, then insert the tip of the piping bag into it. Good luck next time!

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    2. Yep, did that, followed your recipe to the t! It is quite a thick custard and tasted very nice (I added 1 Tbsp of rum in it, gave it a nice depth), and folded some whipped cream into it, but it was still a little bit too runny, I think. Maybe next time I will follow what you do and just spoon it into the choux pastry shell. Anyways, thank you so much for the recipe!

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    3. Shinobu, just one quick question regarding the pie-shuu crust - the steps as you wrote:

      Pai-Shuu Crust
      1. Melt Butter in a small saucepan
      2. Stir in Sugar, then flour.

      Question: what happened after step 2? Should I roll it out and make discs out of it before letting it sit?
      Yesterday I didn't do anything after step 2 and it became hard. So I ended up smashing it with a mortar and pestle and then sprinkle it on the creme puff pastry right before baking it. The result was OK, but not like yours I'm afraid...

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    4. Hmm, that happened to me once before. I think it was because the melted butter was hot.(?) I guess make sure the butter is just warm or even cooled down before the sugar and flour go in. After step 2, I just leave it as it is until I'm done piping out the choux (Cream puff) pastry on the trays. Then I just scoop a teaspoon at a time, flatten it in my fingers and place it on top of one, and keep going. But really, you could roll it out too - however you like!

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    5. Thank you, Shinobu.I will try it again next time. You're right the butter was hot. I will make sure the butter is not so hot next time and let you know how it goes!

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  16. Hi Shinobu,

    I'm so happy that I found this receipe! I love Beard papa's cream puff! I have a question, I made the custard filling but it turned out to be too solid like a dough. It wasn't smooth and runny like yours. Did I leave on the stove for too long? Is that plain flour or corn flour that I need to use? I used plain flour but have seen many receipes call for corn flour.


    Kristie

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  17. Hi! I am encouraged to try this recipe because of the simple ingredients. However there's only my sister and me to eat whatever I make. Do you think this recipe halves well? I could go for smaller/fewer eggs since your gave the approx weight, so I guess what I'm really asking for is your vote of confidence! :D

    Oh! and also, is the pai-shuu crust the same as that on top of melon breads?
    Thank you very much! :D

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  18. Hi,Shinobu l have been trying to make cream puffs many time but always turn flat and soggy after baking but after trying your advice on the time it came out well and hollow in the middle,thanks so much.

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  19. i just made these and the cream puffs were FANTASTIC! The choux balls were beautifully upright, custard was delicious (even without the whipped cream), and it tasted great without the crust. This is now my go-to cream puffs recipe. Tastes very similar to Beard Papas. Thanks so much!! I'm thrilled.

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  20. The best recipe for cream puffs ever! Hands down! Just treid them today and I was in awe of how beautifully choux pastry rose, supre light and cripsy texture on the outside!

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! Its amazing how this worked after one trial ( normally choux pastry takes a while to get used to but this definitely was worth every minute of my time... just cant get over how gorgeuous they turned out!)

    One question for Pai Shuu :

    My pai shuu came out very crumbly.. they were falling apart and I wasnt able to roll them out on one piece, so i drizzeld these crumbs on top of the chouz pastry.. NOt sure what went wrong there however once baked they did the job! Created a cripsy outer layer.. just wished I had more of it !

    Please share with me what you think might went wrong .. I assure you I followed your directions.. maybe I stirred the butter to long over high heat..?

    Other than that. this recipe is a winner! TRY IT AND YOU WILL BE SURPRISED!

    THANKS SHINUBO YOU ROCK!
    Elisa - BAKER

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  21. Hi Shinobu,

    I've tried out the above recipe.. The taste is very perfect.. Do visit my blog here to view my entry on d above recipettp://ogyep-yummy.blogspot.com/2012/12/japanese-cream-puff.html

    May b I need to improve on the choux pastry.. cos the hollow inside is not so deep..
    TQVM for d recipe..

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  22. Have been craving for beard papa's for days!! and found your recipe, tried it, AND LOVED IT SO MUCH. Made one batch of it and its gone in half an hour. Couldnt wait for the custard to cool off hehe i bet if i wait a bit longer it would be yummier. Certainly going to bake this again tomorrow :) Thanks!

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  23. The batter was very nice. I don't know about the crust but mine didn't come our right the first time. The second time around, I just used a regular cookie dough and it came out great. Instead of the cream filling, I stuffed it with ice cream and the kids loved it.

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    1. Great! Cream Puffs stuffed with Ice-cream are called "Shu-ice" in Japanese!

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  24. Thanks for the recipe..
    may i know, how long can i keep this creampuff after i've filled in the filling?
    Ifvi put in the fridge, will it lose the crispiness??

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    1. Yes, if you put them in the fridge they will loose their crispiness. They only stay crisp for several hours, as the inside is still a bit moist after they are baked. By the next day, they will have lost some crispiness, but will still be yummy.

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  25. U did mention that we need to put the choux pastry immediately into the oven after piping it to the tray..
    so, how would u suggest if we want to do several batches of the pastry. Do we have to wait for the pastry to almost cooked, then we pipe it to the next tray (so that we can immediately put it into the oven), OR we can just pipe it to the 2nd tray and wait (for about 1 hour) for the 1st batch to cook?

    Thank u in advance for ur kind reply.. =)

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    Replies
    1. I've always cooked two trays at once in a fan-forced oven, and never had any trouble. However, if you need to cook them in separate batches, I think it is best to wait until the first batch is nearly cooked before piping out the second batch. Otherwise, the piped blobs may loose some height while they are waiting. Good luck!

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  26. Hi, ive been wanting to do this. but i have a question to ask.

    * actually what type of flour is being used in making the filling? is is plain flour/ SR flour/ Custard powder/ cornstarch? thanks

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  27. Thanks for sharing this ...may I know 1 cup of water / flour / sugar = ? gram (in your recipe)?

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  28. Hi thank you for sharing your recipe. I adjusted the temp to 200 for 24 mins n switch to 180 for 20 mins n also see only 4 eggs.

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  29. Hello. Thanks for sharing your recipe... It went nice though when I first tried it but the pastry keeps becoming hollow at the bottom. So my pastry shell has a big hole beneath. Do you have any idea how to prevent this? What could be the reason that my pastries turned out this way?

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  30. HIhi

    Thanks your for your inspiration. I made mine today, the first batch was burn. temp:220 C, i sprinkled water to create stream so it rise bigger, but the top was burn and it did rise big and has a shallow shell, but not that crispy after cooling down. Second batch worest, not rise just soft at the base and i didnt cook long. Please advise??? Thank you

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  31. Your recipe is awesome! Although the pai-shuu is a little bit crumbly and hard to deal with. Everything else is perfect and super tasty, especially the custard cream! Thank you for sharing! :D

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  32. How to prevent paishuu part for over cook. The cream puff form well but the paishuu part is too dark. Any tips?

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  33. Thanks for this wonderful recipe. It is the perfect recipe for me. Love the way the puff turns out crunchy n crispy. Really very similar to beard papa puffs.

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  34. Aish mine out like burned flabby little melon pans haha
    But the problem is most likely my lack of skills haha
    Firstly, I let them burn. Secondly, I accidentally added whole eggs to the creme filling. Thirdly, it seems it took me too much time to put all the batter onto the tray and the puffs sunk down. Man, I didn't think it would be this hard. But I will give it another try next week. Actually, I wanted to bake these babies for a friend (birthday) but I'll just show them, covered in creme so you can't see the burned surface, to her and say something along the lines 'it's the thought that matters' haha

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