Durian Cream Puff

We grew up on cream puffs that my mom got from a mom-and-pop bakery in the older side of town where an elder couple has been doing this for years and years. We LOOOOOVED them so much!

One thing though… they only sold one flavour. Basic custard filled creem puffs. That’s it. Being someone with attention issues, I need a change every once in a while. Straight up custard is amazing but what if I wanna put other stuff in it?

And making choux pastry isn’t all that difficult too. When I was clearing out my freezer, I happened upon a box of frozen durians. Guess what I decided to do with them?

Choux pastry isn’t that difficult actually. It does take a few steps but nothing too hard to decipher. In fact I first learnt to make this using a word-only recipe pre-Internet boom era and it turned out decently.
Durian Cream Puff 1

Only thing is the little bit of elbow grease needed to stir in the eggs one at a time until fully beaten in.
Durian Cream Puff 2

You can absolutely use a wet spoon and spoon the pastry onto a lined cookie sheet pan but come on. Star tip? Always wins.
Durian Cream Puff 3

Yes, the picture on top was taken on a different day when I made some for my parents to try. Just thought I’d include it cos… star tip!
Durian Cream Puff 4

Poofy puffs!
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Star tip gives the pastry a really pretty shape and gives it a little more structure.
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These are waiting to be filled.
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What better than durian cream, right? hahahaha… sorry, durian haters. Go for chocolate cream if you prefer. Or even Gold Kiwi Cream if you’re adventurous!
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Have you seen anything more luscious (and sinister)? 
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Some like their durian custard lumpy but I prefer mine smoother and creamier. Don’t want too much textural variety in the cream.
Durian Cream Puff 10

Fill only when ready to be eaten!
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This was sooooooooo amazing!
Durian Cream Puff 12

Soft eggy pastry encasing naturally sweet silky durian custard.
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How many can you pop in one sitting?
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 Definitely a great way to savour durians if you have so much that you can’t figure out how else to enjoy them besides straight up out of the skin. Oh, and I’ll be featuring another durian dessert recipe very soon so stay tuned! Who knew this is turning into a durian party.

#durianparty

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“And unto man Hhe said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” {Job 28:28}

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Durian Cream Puff
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10 large puffs (or 20 medium, or 4 dozen mini cream puffs)
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (appx) Durian Flesh, fresh or thawed okay
  • 1½ cup Milk
  • 2 tbsp Custard Powder**
  • 1 cup Water
  • ½ cup Butter (4 ounces)
  • 1 cup Flour
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 4 large Eggs
Steps
  1. To make the durian custard, add durian flesh, milk & custard powder** into a medium sauce pan.
  2. Try to mix durian flesh into milk as best you can before turning on flames.
  3. Bring mixture to a light simmer on MED LOW heat, stirring constantly until it thickens & coats the back of a spoon well. This will happen very quickly so keep stirring to prevent burning. Remember that custard will continue to thicken when cool.
  4. Once satisfied with viscosity, remove from flame & strain with fine mesh strainer/colander.
  5. Cool completely then cover with cling film touching surface of the custard to prevent formation of a skin. Store in the refrigerator, preferably overnight, before ready for use.
  6. To make the pastry, preheat the oven to 400F or 200C.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together flour & salt.
  8. Bring the water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan over MED HIGH heat. Add the butter.
  9. When the butter has melted, add flour mixture all at once & stir vigorously.
  10. Cook & stir until mixture forms a ball that doesn't separate nor sticks too much to the sides.
  11. Remove from heat and cool slightly (about 1 minute).
  12. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one until the dough is smooth. Take time to do this.
  13. Transfer dough into disposable piping bag fitted with star tip. Press out about 1 tbsp worth of dough, 2-inches apart onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheet pan. Alternatively, drop heaping tablespoons of dough with wet spoons.
  14. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown and puffy. If the puffs are medium-size, bake for about 22 - 25 minutes, and if the puffs are mini-size, bake for about 17 - 20 minutes.
  15. Remove the cream puffs from the oven and cool on a cooling rack.
  16. When ready to serve, carefully slit the pastry horizontally and fill with durian custard. Serve immediately as they go soggy if left out too long.
Notes
**If you don't use custard powder, substitute with equal amounts of corn starch and 1 tsp of Vanila Extract.
*Prep time seems long but most of it is the chilling time of the custard.

Try a variety of fillings and let me know how creative you got!

Recipe adapted from: Rachael @ La Fuji Mama

Single Serving Granola

I love granola lots and lots. If I can have homemade granola every day of the week, I might just go for that! (if there were grilled cheese sandwiches lying around, I might get distracted though. Shhhh….)

You know what I can’t seem to keep up with, though? Making more granola to keep up with the sonic speed consumption. I bought about 4 packs of rolled oats via Groupon but NEVER EVER got down to making granola. If you’ve been on my Instagram page, you’s see I’m taking the easy way out.

One particular day some time ago, I was particularly craving for granola and had none in the pantry. And then I figured, may as well make a tiny single serving batch that’d take no time. I walked around like I was a genius that day. ;-)

Since granola needs some fats to brown, I used a pat of butter in my rolled oats & oat bran.
Single Serving Granola 1

When the pan is hot and the oats are smelling nutty, drizzle in a bit of homey for some sweetness. It helps to get the oats a little more crunchy too!
Single Serving Granola 2

When it is to the brownness you like (I had to run to work so I couldn’t let this brown as long as I could), toss in your favourite dried fruits/nut mix. I used some craisins, dried kiwi, raisins with random pecans & pistachios I had at the bottom of my fridge.
Single Serving Granola 3

If you have time to let this cool, please do. Either that or use super cold milk. 
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I had to sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on just because.
Single Serving Granola 5

Breakfast?
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I’m not really going to share a recipe seeing as this is pretty much a dunk and toss sorta thing. only thing is, make sure to use a nonstick pan. We don’t need the stress of scraping our breakfast out of a burnt sticky pan in the morning.

Think of this as a concept. A strategy. To beat the clock in the morning when you’ve woken up a little too late but feel tremendously hungry. Been there?

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“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” {Revelation 3:11}

Beef Fennel Stirfry

Not 2 recipes ago when I tried a recipe with an ingredient I had never cooked with before. Today we’re at it again. Well, more like a couple months ago when I made this dish with fennel. I’ve used it once before but I dare say I felt more confident using it now seeing as I sorta know how it reacts to cooking.

The previous time I used fresh fennel, I roasted it. I have to say, though, that dry roasting fennel is not to my taste. Maybe the one I bought previously was a little too stringy and tough. This time, however, I picked a smaller younger bulb. I think I did it justice too!

With this simple stirfry, we only need Fennel, Sirloin Strips, Carrot, Tomato & Garlic.
Beef Fennel Stirfry 1

With any beef stirfry, the sauce is NUMBER ONE! It’s all about mixing and balancing the various sauces. Like roulette!
Beef Fennel Stirfry 2

When everything is minced, sliced, stirred, marinaded & prepped, let the action begin.
Beef Fennel Stirfry 3

I feel it’s very important to sear the meat and cook the other ingredients separately. No organic chewing gum, people.
Beef Fennel Stirfry 5

In the very same pan, the veggies get wilted and cooked in that immensely sweet & savory sauce.
Beef Fennel Stirfry 4

I kinda like Jamie Oliver’s tip (and probably every chef out there) to keep the fennel fronds to toss over top.
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It kinda helps with colour and also to freshen up the rich flavours.
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Who knew the liquorishy and sweet fennel goes so well with beef!
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Get your bowl of rice ready, y’all!
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 Let me know how else to use fennel! I’m all ready to experiment :-)

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“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” {Matthew 2:11}

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Beef Fennel Stirfry
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Chinese/Fusion
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 small bulb Fennel, outer layer discarded & thinly sliced
  • 1 Carrot, cut into strips
  • 1 Tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 6 oz Sirloin Steak, cut onto slices against the grain
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1tbsp Mirin
  • 1 tsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Water
Steps
  1. In a bowl, stir steak strips with a pinch of salt & pepper. Set aside.
  2. Preheat a oiled heavy bottom, high sides pan on HIGH heat.
  3. In a smaller bowl, stir together oyster sauce, soy sauce, mirin, fish sauce, balsamic vinegar & water. Taste and adjust to preference. It may seem like a lot of sauce but there are a lot of vegetables to coat.
  4. When the pan is hot, sear steak strips in batches. It'll take about 30 secs per side. Dish out & set aside.
  5. Lower heat to MED. Add a bit more oil if it seems a little dry.
  6. Toss in fennel & carrot. Cover and leave to soften for about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add in tomato & garlic. Toss for a bit.
  8. Pour in sauce & simmer for 1-2 minute until slightly thickened. Adjust seasoning.
  9. Add in seared beef strips & stir until well coated by sauce.
  10. Dish out & serve immediately with a big bowl of rice!
  11. Garnish with fennel fronds if desired.