Recipe: Cream puffs with saffron and rose

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Saffron and rose cream puffs.

Todd Eyre/New Zealand Home and Garden

Saffron and rose cream puffs.

This recipe is inspired by a delicious Persian ice cream called bastani and is delicately flavored with saffron and rose water to create a balanced dessert that will transport you to distant lands.

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SAFFRON AND ROSE CREAM PUFFS

Yields 20 cream puffs

Ingredients

Saffron and rose pastry cream

4 free-range egg yolks

100g of sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

Pinch of salt

500ml whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1½ teaspoons rose water

1 teaspoon saffron threads

Choux pastry

240g of water

110g unsalted butter

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of sugar

130g plain flour

4 large free-range eggs

2 tablespoons whole milk

Whipped cream

240ml cream

2 tablespoons icing sugar

To garnish

2 tablespoons icing sugar

2 tablespoons freeze-dried raspberry powder (optional)

Method

Pastry cream with saffron and rose: Whisk egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt until pale and fluffy.

Meanwhile, place the milk, vanilla, rose water and saffron in a saucepan and heat almost to boiling.

Pour some of the warmed milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking continuously until the egg mixture warms slightly. Pour the egg mixture back into the pan of milk mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the cream thickens. Place the pastry cream in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic lightly against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until ready to use.

Choux pastry: Preheat the oven to 210°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Put the water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, add the flour and stir with a spoon until well combined. Return to the heat and cook for an additional minute, stirring with a spoon. Leave the dough to rest for a few minutes to cool down a bit. Add 3 of the eggs, one at a time and mix well after each addition. Transfer the batter to a piping bag and drop evenly sized dollops of batter onto the prepared baking sheet. Smooth the top with a damp finger.

Whisk the remaining egg with the milk to make a glaze and brush the surface of each spoonful of dough. Sprinkle the tray with a little water to make the cabbage rise. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Poke holes in the base of each puff pastry with a metal skewer and return to the oven with the door open to dry for a few more minutes.

Whipped cream : Whip the cream and icing sugar together.

Remove the pastry cream from the refrigerator and incorporate it into the whipped cream to obtain what is called a diplomate cream. Put the diplomate cream in a piping bag and fill the puffs.

To garnish: Combine icing sugar and freeze-dried raspberry powder and sprinkle over cream puffs before serving.

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