Durian Puffs Memoirs 回忆中的榴梿泡芙
I remember during our initial dating days, J and I used to visit the now dysfunct Hotel Pheonix to queue for their durian cream puffs. Not that they were particularly ” to die for” but because they were cheap! The takeaway counter offered a 50% discount to all the foodstuff at 6 pm and very often there would be a queue outside the counter that proliferated all the way to the hotel lobby! Apart from durian puffs, there were whole cakes, curry puffs, chicken pies, fried chicken wings, fried fishballs, small cakes and tarts etc. Quite a good selection really but we only want out durian cream puffs! We would reach there early, i.e. 5+ pm and if there’s no queue we would walk over to Specialist Centre to do some window shopping at John Little or Grammophone. This was sometimes a miscalculation as we would return to find a queue already starting to form! Short but fatal the queue might seem, as it often meant we didn’t get to buy the stuff we’d hoped we would. And durian cream puffs were one of those near the top of our list! Very soon, we picked up the “tricks of the trade” from the “aunties”, one goes to do some window-shopping/toilet while the other stood in the queue. On some occasions we were the first in the queue, taking time to make deliberate decisions on what to purchase. Once, we snapped up all the durian cream puffs (J’s parents liked them too!), much to the dismay of the disgruntled aunties behind us. Revenge is sweet…wahaha… oops!
I had quite a bit of pâte à choux left from baking the Paris-brest. So I baked some profiteroles! simple piping work likening the macaron technique, just that these look more stout!
Nice golden hue fresh out of the oven. Their crust are still crisp and hard. Given a day, they turn kinda soft. Still quite delicious, but just a different texture.
There’re durians in the fridge that my mum bought. How timely! It’s a popular variety called 山猫王. Very creamy and sweet with a hint of bitterness. Nice! It’s only befitting that they should be used to make durian puffs!
The choux puffs are sliced open (read: decaptitate!) about 1/3 from the top using a serrated bread knife. Using my thumb, I gently press down the soft core to create a larger pocket for the cream filling. More the merrier!
The filling is a very simple custard cream filling, minus half the sugar and vanilla pod, and replaced with fresh durian pulp. The concoction is mixed together and left in the fridge for flavours to mature for a couple of hours, and then piped into each puff.
These didn’t last very long, I tell you. Only two small pieces in the fridge for me after I came back from work. And my mum had the cheek to tell me that they are specially “reserved for me”! But but but… but I made them! argh! But that means I get to make them again!
Recipe for choux pastry can be found on the “Paris-Brest with a Twist!” blog page.
Durian Custard Cream filling
250 ml milk
60g (about 3) egg yolk
75g granulated sugar
25g cake flour
heat milk and sugar in a saucepan/milk pot
whisk egg yolks and cake flour in a large bowl until roughly incorporated
when bubbles begin to form on the sides of the pot, pour the milk very slowly into the bowl of egg yolk-flour mixture and mix thoroughly
return the bowl contents back into the pot andcontinue to whisk at a very low heat
turn off the flame and take the pot off the stove when the cream just begins to thicken.
continue to whisk until a thicken and creamy consistency.
cover the cream with cling film on the surface and refrigerate to cool for a few hours.
revive the filling by whisking it slightly after taking it out of the fridge
pipe the choux shells with the desired amount of filling.
Simple but indulging pleasures during our undergrad days, and I guess that’s the trigger to feed ever growing stomachs for sweet stuff. Now that Hotel Pheonix and Specialist Centre had walked hand-in-hand down the aisle of history, where else can we turn to for good durian puffs?