As wonderful and summery as these cream puffs are, I am totally not feeling the summer right now because it is pouring ran and kinda chilly. Like, summer is officially here and I am still wearing jackets and boots. What is this, Vancouver. Seriously. We had some nice weather back in May, but the past couple weeks have been crap weather so get your shit together, summer!
At least there's some nice summer produce in the markets so I can pretend it's nice and sunny and summery. Strawberry and passion fruit are a great flavour combo - they compliment each other so well. Sweet, tart, fruity, acidic, it's got it all goin' on. And then a bit of greek yogurt in there for extra creaminess and a little tangy goodness. I love acidic flavours and I tend to incorporate them into everything I make, sweet and savoury. I always have lemons and limes in my fridge! Lemon juice on everything, basically.
You could definitely use a lemon curd in place of passion fruit curd here, but I highly recommend using passion fruit because it is such a bright and delicious flavour that is a little out of the ordinary for most people. Fresh, local strawberries are key here, too. Try to get them when they're in season in your area, when they're red on the inside and sweet and juicy - that'll make the best purée and the best flavour in the mousse.
Strawberry, Passion Fruit, and Yogurt Cream Puffs
Cookies for Choux
Recipe from Bouchon Bakery
180 g light brown sugar
150 g all-purpose flour
30 g almond flour
85 g unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
Pâte a Choux
Recipe from Bouchon Bakery
250 g water
125 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2.5 g kosher salt
138 g all-purpose flour
250 to 275 g eggs
Passion Fruit Curd
200 g granulated sugar
200 g eggs
160 g passion fruit purée
2 g gelatin sheets
300 unsalted butter, at room temperature
Strawberry Fluid Gel
100 g strawberry purée
50 g water
2 g agar
Greek Yogurt Chantilly
100 g heavy cream
25 g greek yogurt
10 g icing sugar
Strawberry and Yogurt Mousse
150 g strawberry purée
100 g full fat greek yogurt
150 g heavy cream
Fresh strawberries, cut into 1/4 inch dice
Passion fruit curd
First, make the cookies for the cream puff. Place the brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and use a fork to break up any lumps. Add the all-purpose flour and almond meal.
Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on low to combine the dry ingredients. Add the butter and pulse the mixer on the lowest setting to begin incorporating and breaking up the butter. Increase the speed to low and mix for about 3 minutes, until the butter is broken up and completely incorporated into the dry mixture; the mixture will begin to come together in large crumbles but will not gather into one uniform mass.
Place two pieces of parchment paper on the work surface and divide the crumbles between the sheets. Using your hands bring the crumbles together to begin to form a dough; it will still be crumbly. Then top each potion of the dough with another piece of parchment paper and roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to the back of a sheet pan, stacking one on top of the other, and freeze for 5 to 10 minutes.
Working with one sheet at a time, continue rolling, freezing the dough again as it softens, until it is 1/16th inch thick. During this process, the dough will crack and gaps will form; parch them as needed with bits of dough. Do not worry if the edges are a bit rough; the cookie will be cut with a cutter.
Freeze until cold before cutting out cookies. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month.
For the choux, prepare your sheet pan. Line a sheet pan with a silpat or parchment paper. Use a template underneath the silpat/parchment to help with spacing and consistent size. I used a 2.75 inch diameter template.
Alternatively, if you have a 2.75 inch (or similar diameter) demi sphere silicone mold, this is the perfect use for it. It will create consistently even and level cream puffs. For these cream puffs, I used my silicone mold and it produced near perfect cream puffs. For just $12, these silicone molds are worth the money even if you just use them for cream puffs. It makes a big difference.
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Combine the water, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan, place over medium heat, and stir as the butter melts. Once the butter has melted, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, then remove the pan from the heat and, with a stiff heatproof or wooden spoon, stir in all of the flour. Continue to stir for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture has a paste-like consistency, then place over medium heat and stir rapidly for 1 to 2 minutes, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and the bottom of the pan is clean; the dough should be glossy and smooth but not dry.
Immediately transfer the dough to the mixer bowl and mix on low for about 30 seconds to release some of the moisture. Slowly begin adding the eggs, about 50 grams at a time, beating until each addition is completely absorbed before adding the next one. Continue adding the eggs, reserving 25 grams, until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl when pulled with the paddle but then grabs back on again.
Increase the speed to medium and mix for 15 seconds to be sure all of the eggs are incorporated. Stop the mixer. When the paddle if lifted, the dough should form a bird's beak - it should hold its shape and turn down over itself but not break off. If the dough is too stiff, add the reserved egg.
Transfer the dough to a pastry bag and chill the dough until cold, about 20 minutes. Pipe the dough on the silpat or parchment using the templates.
If you are using a silicone mold, pipe the choux into the molds, level off the surface with a small offset spatula, and freeze until hard. Unmold onto a silpat or parchment.
Cut out a cookie that, when baked, will cover not just the top of the puff but the sides and bottom as well. Place a cookie on top of the choux and press down a tiny bit, just enough to secure it to the choux.
Put the choux in the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 350 F and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Lower the oven temperature to 325 F and bake for about 10 minutes, until the puffs are light and feel hollow. Break one open if necessary: the centre should appear completely cooked.
Set the pan on a cooking rack and cool completely before filling.
For the passion fruit curd, place the gelatin sheet in ice water to soften. Combine the eggs, sugar, and passion fruit purée in a bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water. Cook the curd, whisking constantly, until thickened and the temperature is about 82 C.
Remove from the hot water bath and whisk for a minute to cool it down. Squeeze the excess water from the softened gelatin sheet and add to the curd, whisking for another minute to ensure it is dissolved. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh strainer.
Using a Vitamix or an immersion blender, blend on low speed for a few seconds, then add the butter 2 to 3 pieces at a time, blending until incorporated. Let the curd cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 3 hours.
The curd can be used at this point or transferred to a covered container. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
For the strawberry fluid gel, combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 10 seconds, then remove from heat and pour into a container. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
Once the gel is set, use a Vitamix or immersion blender to blend the gel until completely smooth and slightly warm. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and reserve in the fridge until ready to use.
Before you start the mousse, ensure all your cream puffs are completely cooled. Use a toothpick to create a small hole in the bottom of the cream puff. Reserve them on a tray at room temperature. Place your passion fruit curd in a piping bag fitted with a small circular tip.
For the yogurt chantilly, combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large circular tip.
For the strawberry and yogurt mousse, combine the strawberry purée and greek yogurt and whisk together. Whip the heavy cream to medium peaks. Gently fold the cream into the strawberry mixture in 3 additions. Immediately transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small circular tip.
To assemble, pipe a small amount of passion fruit curd into the cream puff and gently shake it so that the curd settles into the bottom (you are holding it upside while you do this, so the bottom is actually the top of the puff). Repeat with all the cream puffs. Pipe in the strawberry mousse until you feel resistance and you cannot pipe any more in. Repeat with all the cream puffs.
Pipe the yogurt chantilly onto each puff and top with a few dots of strawberry gel, passion fruit curd, and fresh strawberry cubes. Serve immediately.