Going through my photo archives, I came across this set of absolutely awesome Choux Creme or “Creme Puff” pastries brought for us as Omiyage on Halloween this past year. Notice the Halloween-themed colors represented by the candy sprinkles. This being one of several holiday occasions throughout the years that we’ve been so fortunate to receive them.
And as they always are, these gems are the immaculate work of “Kachan”, a family friend of ours from Japan now living here, who over the years out of her home kitchen has absolutely perfected this delicate French pastry to a science and art.
The puff pastry “shell” here has that airy lightness to it, with a perfectly-crisped texture contrast provided by the baked-brown outer crust. The light-yet-rich, vanilla-flavored creme filling is so cool, smooth, and, well… creamy!
Size-wise, they’re a bit too large to pop each one whole, but with effort or a large mouth you probably could. Otherwise about two or three savoring bites will do it, which while doing so, you must be strategic in your “angle of attack” so the creme filling doesn’t ooze out, which can be a bit of a challenge, yet kinda’ fun and certainly a tasty reward.
While the chocolate shell and various other toppings are nice, what really kicks these up are the application of fresh strawberries and Kiwi fruit as shown on the left two, where the acidity and further dimension of texture those afford make eating these almost a spiritual moment. Seriously, they’re that good.
For a convenient retrospective, let’s look at some creme puffs we’ve covered in the past…
Beard Papa’s vanilla, chocolate and strawberry Creme Puffs (sans powdered sugar… booo!), $1.50 each
Liliha Bakery’s Coco Puffs with Shantilly topping (left) and Creme puffs with chocolate topping (right), $.80 each
Kachan’s Strawberry & Kiwi Fruit Choux Creme