Pepper Dessert Hybrids: Gulab Jamun Cream Puff with Rosewater Pastry CreamJuly 7, 2019
Today’s dessert hybrid marries two staples from two entirely different cuisines. Cream puffs, also known as profiteroles, are a classic French pastry. Made of choux, cream puffs have a golden exterior, but are incredibly light and fluffy inside. We are used to seeing them with a golden caramel on top, then filled with custard or cream. A gulab jamun on the other hand, is a rosewater syrup-soaked Indian sweet. It is usually a ball of milk solids that have formed into a dough, which is then deep-fried, then drenched in the syrup.
In order to make a new hybrid, we decided to use the sweet flavors of the gulab jamun, and infuse it into a cream puff. Rather than plain vanilla custard or cream, we sweetened the profiterole’s filling with rosewater, to really nail those Indian flavors. Instead of just a traditional golden caramel on top of the puff, we dipped ours in shattered pistachio, which is traditionally sprinkled on top of a ball of gulab jamun. This created a sort of pistachio brittle, whose nutty flavor tones down the sweetness of rosewater-enhanced pastry cream.
The recipe may sound a little technical, but once you get stuck in, you’ll realize that even a home cook can easily create some choux pastry at home. While we decided to mimic the sweetness of a gulab jamun, and bring the French cream puff into Indian territory, this recipe is adaptable enough for you to create other hybrid flavors you can dream up. But I guarantee that this delicious, multicultural hybrid will make the perfect dessert, and satisfy your sweet tooth.
Gulab Cream Puffs with Rosewater Pastry Cream
Total Time: 90 minutes
Yield: 12 large cream puffs
Ingredients: Pate a Choux
- 1 cup water
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 1/3 cup flour
- 4 to 5 whole eggs
- 1/2 cup crushed pistachios (save for the assembly)
Procedure: Pate a Choux
- Melt butter and water in a saucepan.
- Add sugar and salt and bring to a boil.
- Add in flour all at once.
- Combine the flour into the liquid until it comes together into one large ball and pulls away from the sides.
- Transfer the dough into a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- Beat on medium speed until completely cool.
- Add in the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each egg before adding another.
- After the fourth egg is fully combined, run your finger through the dough to test it.
- The dough should slowly come back together.
- Add in the fifth egg if the dough is still too dry.
- Place the dough into a piping bag and cut a one-inch sized opening.
- Pipe onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
- Each puff should be about 3 inches in diameter.
- Bake in a 425F oven for 10 minutes, then turn down the temperature to 350F and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Ingredients: Rosewater Pastry Cream
- 2 1/4 cup milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar (divided)
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 2 tsp rosewater
Procedure: Rosewater Pastry Cream
- In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, half the sugar, and cornstarch.
- Place the milk, rosewater, and the other half of sugar in a saucepan.
- Heat the sugar and milk mixture until just bubbling.
- Pour the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture while stirring constantly.
- Pour the mixture back into the pot and whisk continuously until thick, about 3-5 minutes.
- Do not overcook or the pastry cream will not be smooth.
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- Pour the sugar into the center of a saucepan.
- Pour the water around and on top of the sugar.
- Cook the sugar and water over a high heat until dark amber in color, about 10 to 20 minutes.
- Avoid stirring the caramel; just swirl the pot to even out the color.
- Remove from the heat.
- Place the crushed pistachios on a plate.
- When the caramel is ready, dip the cooled puffs halfway into the caramel.
- After the caramel, dip the puffs into the pistachios.
- Place the puffs on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper or foil with the caramel side down; this creates a flat and shiny surface on the tops of the puffs.
- When all puffs are cooled, carefully peel away from the foil and turn over.
- Slice the puffs in half with a serrated knife, taking care not to crush them.
- Fill with the rosewater pastry cream.