Cream puffs (or we call them “Choux Cream”) have a very special place in my heart, and probably in many Japanese kid’s as well. They were one of those special snacks that you only get on special days in Japan – birthdays, graduations, or when your mother’s rich friend visits (the guest either brings them as a gift, or your mother goes out to buy them to show off). Even now, I get pretty nostalgic when I make cream puffs, remembering the colorful rows of French-inspired puff pastries in a glass showcase in an upscale department store and wishing that I can have a piece.
Despite the sophisticated exterior and image, cream puffs are one of the easiest desserts to make. I’ve tried several recipes and liked them all, but decided to go with Martha Steward’s recipe from Baking Handbook this time for the first time because her version used a total of eight eggs between the pate a choux and the pastry cream, which was exactly the amount I had in a refrigerator (I was too lazy to run out to the store).
I didn’t follow the recipe exactly and altered it slightly. Instead of using the recipe for Cream Puffs, I used the recipe for Pate a Choux and the Pastry Cream and combined them together to make my version of Cream Puffs. I added fresh strawberries to add a touch of spring to the dessert.
And look at the beautiful bouquet of flowers my boyfriend brought for my mother for Mother’s Day. They were beautiful and the wonderful floral scent, coupled with freshly baked cream puffs, filled the entire room with sweet nostalgia.