Saturday, March 03, 2012

Mon petit chou / mes choux

The title translate as my little cabbage / my cabbages but no I'm not talking about cabbages here. And yes,
Chou in English is cabbage but these little puff pastries is call Chou as it does look like cabbage. So this is what I made today..Mes choux.. but "mon chou" is also what we call someone dear to us in France.

The first year when LM went to kindergarten here, often I heard mothers called their child "Vien, mon chou" ("come, my cabbage..") Wait!! what's on earth mothers here call their babies... CABBAGE??? My eyes was as big as ping pong balls when I heard that. Oh! poor cabbages..

In fact, French as wierd as they are..haha.. I know I love them but they can be odd sometimes. So this is the perfect example to show how funny it can be..

Actually, Mon petit chou is a term of endearment. Here's a few example;
Ma puce = My Flea = in Malay would sounds even worst Kutu ku..
Ma poule = My hen
Mon carnard = My duck
Ma Biche = My Doe (female dear)
Ma minette = My pussycat 

Of course there are a lot more "normal" or nicer terms of endearment, here's a few example;

Ma Belle = My beautiful
Mon ange = My angle
Mon amour = My love
Mon Coeur = My Heart
Mon Cher/cherie = My dear


So now that you know what the french call their love ones.. let's make some cabbages  Choux..and  Creme patisserie for our choux...

It is actually not hard to make, once you know the Dos and Don't:

Creme Patisserie
(recipe adapted from Rasamalaysia)

1 cup milk
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 Tbsp cornstarch
a pinch salt
1/2 tsp unsalted butter (for shine)

  1. In a mixing bowl add in yolks, 1/4 cup milk, vanilla essence, salt, sugar and cornstarch. Mix till sugar dissolved.
  2. Meanwhile bring the rest of the 3/4 cup milk to a scald in a saucepan.
  3. Pour hot milk in small stream into the egg mixture,  whisking consistently with a balloon whisk as  you pour. Once incorporated, pour everything back into the saucepan.
  4. Whisk the mixture over medium heat until it thickens and firm up. Remove the heat and whisk in butter.
  5. Place a piece of cling film directly on creme to prevent it from forming a skin.
  6. Once it reaches room temperature, scoop the creme into a piping bag or container. Refrigerate until ready to use

 Choux Pastry

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour

  1. Put butter and and water into saucepan on low fire. Turn off the fire once butter has melted.
  2. Add in flour and salt all at once. Stir quickly with a wooden spoon  until a dough it formed and does not stick to the saucepan.
  3. Leave to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Beat in eggs one at a time on a cake mixer (low speed) till mixture is stiff.
  5. Using a ice cream scoop or teaspoon, scoop the dough onto a greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 190 Celsius for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 170 Celsius and bake for another 15 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat. Leave the puffs to cool in the oven for another 20-30 minutes without opening the oven door. ( I know this is the hardest part but it pays or else your puff would deflate in 5 minutes)

"Ma Minette"

This is the same chou pastry for the famous Profiteroles, Croquembouches and Éclair. Don't worry about these fancy names, they are just in different shapes. Piped with cream and dip in chocolates.

I learnt this from Ma belle Isa. We added some cheese into the pastry dough and there we had some quick savoury puffs. Great for aperitif. Add a pinch of curry powder in the chou pastry and there you have a curry flavour choux.

And what if you fried the choux pastry??  Et Voila!! you get the famous Spanish/Latin America's Churos. Roll it in sugar and dip in a cup of hot chocolate.. and you are ready to conquer the world.

Have a nice weekend. In France, spring is in the air.. Birds are chirping happily as they build their nest, flowers pop out of the ground, kids cycling.. what about you?? which part of the world are you from??

I know there are some readers from Russian, Germany, States, Of cause Singapore and Malaysia/France.

What do you call your love one??
Tell me in the comment section and 3 of you will win a post card from France.

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