so, something cool is happening. it's been a year in the making, which is a long time considering my mental calendar usually revolves around the meals in my day and/or a school quarter, aka 11 weeks. i'm now e-published! it's an anthology of food writing, published by the bay area library epublishers. you can download it for FREEEE here, though you must have a library card from a participating northern california library (i know that you can waltz into the sunnyvale library and get a card as long as you are a california resident) to do so. if you can, i highly recommend you do! not to read mine (okay yes please read mine if you borrow it), but to help the project continue. the library higher-ups can only justify it if readers are interested, and i can't tell you how much it means to the group of tiny writers chosen that this project even exists.
mini side-story: the launch party was held yesterday (saturday) in the bay area, aka a 7 hour drive from school. i decided to not go back for it, since i was home for break less than a week ago, and had other commitments to attend to on friday that would have made it a hassle to get back in time for the launch party. i emailed the organizers last month to say i wouldn't be there, and did not get a response. then they emailed me last week to let me know that i'd be reading a portion of my work at the party, and i emailed back FOUR MINUTES later to reiterate my non-attendance, and still no response. i gave minor thought space to it yesterday, but was mostly preoccupied with dragging my zombie-esque butt out of my apartment at 6am for disneyland yesterday. i knew my mom was thinking of going to the party, but wasn't certain. then all of a sudden, while in line to get on the radiator springs racers ride in cars land, i got a barrage of texts. apparently the event organizers didn't know i was not planning on being there (EVEN THOUGH I SENT YOU GUYS EMAILS), and she ended up reading in my place. long story short: s/o to my mom for being my stand-in reader!!
anyways, my essay is about cream puffs, so surprise, surprise, i have jasmine cream puffs for you today. these are a tiny bit fancier than those mentioned in my essay, but not much harder (you only need to plan ahead to steep the jasmine tea in the cream overnight).
there's a good jasmine flavor, though some of my taste testers thought that they were more tea-like than specifically jasmine. they're deliciously creamy, with a light sweetness from the sweetened condensed milk. the cream puff itself is super eggy, and ends up more tender than crispy. if you want them crisper, i'd recommend baking them longer and/or toasting (then slightly cooling) the puffs (the oven works, though i recommend the toaster oven since it's even easier) before filling.
i originally wanted to have a craquelin, a crispy cookie-like topping, for these jasmine cream puffs. in the end, i couldn't justify the hassle (having to mix up another component, rolling it out, trying to not get it to melt all over my fingers), considering how subtle the textural crackle and jasmine flavor were on my test batch. so this batch got a drizzle of white chocolate, as well as a sprinkle of crushed freeze-dried strawberries and some matcha. not necessary, but the strawberry adds a hint of tartness and the matcha further emphasizes that tea flavor.
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small chunks
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 2 tablespoons jasmine tea leaves ground
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream cold
- 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup chopped white chocolate melted and cooled
- 2 tablespoons ground freeze-dried strawberries
- 2 tablespoons matcha powder
Heat the salt, sugar, butter and water in a small saucepan, stirring, until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and add all of the flour. Stir rapidly until smooth and it pulls away from the sides of the pan.
Cool for 2 minutes, then briskly beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth and shiny.
Scoop up about 1 tablespoon dough with a spoon, and scrape it off with another spoon onto a silicone baking mat lined baking sheet. You can also use a spring-loaded cookie scoop (I used a #60 scoop), or a pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/2” tip.
Place the mounds evenly-spaced apart on the baking sheet.
Bake at 425F until puffed and well-browned, about 22 to 25 minutes. If they get too dark, midway through baking, lower the heat to 375F and continue baking.
If you want to make them crispier, you can poke a hole in the side with a knife after you take them out of the oven to let the steam escape. These can be made ahead, though you may need to toast them a bit if you find that they soften over time.
Mix the tea and cream, then refrigerate for 8-12 hours.
Add the sweetened condensed milk to the cream. Whip until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a plain metal tip.
Use a paring knife to make a small hole in the side of each cream puff. Insert the tip of the piping bag into the cream puff, then squeeze in some whipped cream. Alternatively, you could slice the top off of each cream puff, pipe the cream in, then replace the top. I recommend this if you want a higher cream to pastry ratio, and you don't have to transport the cream puffs anywhere.
Dip the top of each cream puff in the chocolate. Alternatively, you could also drizzle chocolate onto the cream puffs (either using the tines of a fork or spoon the chocolate into a piping bag and pipe it on). Sprinkle with strawberries and/or matcha. Let stand until the chocolate re-solidifies.
The filled cream puffs are best served immediately but they will survive a couple hours in the fridge. Unfilled cream puffs can last a couple days in the fridge.
Cream puff base recipe from David Lebovitz.
also, i'm curious if you think these look like something else. something that is decidedly not similar to one of these jasmine cream puffs.