Monday, December 7, 2009

Swan Puffs

Posted by Quinn at Monday, December 07, 2009

Swan puffs....anyone? It's daddy's birthday today and I've made these swans to celebrate it with him, through the Internet, how sad.... Aaron and me will be eating these after we show it to him.

As I've said I might make cream puffs since I have remaining custard from my tiny fruit tartlets and I did. I just twist them a little and make swan puffs instead. Found this beautiful recipe here by Keiko and please click on her website here. I think everyone should subscribe and see for themselves.

Here's the video of Pastry Chef, Keiko doing it:

I know mine is sucky compared to hers but for my very first attempt, I think I did well! And I've quartered the recipe to make 2 cream puffs and two swan puffs. Here is what I have done and used:

Preheat oven to 200°C. Prepare two baking sheets, both lined with parchment paper and lightly greased with butter.

50ml water
20g chopped butter

1/2 tsp sugar

Small pinch of salt

Place all the above in a pot and bring to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, sift 35g plain flour into a bowl and beat one egg. Make sure you beat the egg well. Measure out 50g of the egg and set aside the remaining to glaze the puffs later.

When the mixture comes to a boil, add in all the plain flour at once. If you add it bit by bit, you'll get lumps in the end. Using a wooden spatula, stir everything until the dough form a ball and releases itself form the sides of the pot and there is an obvious layer of dough clinging to the bottom of the pot. Cook the dough a while more over low heat and take it off the heat.

Transfer it to a larger bowl and cool it a while. When it's warm to touch, slowly dribble in the 50g of beaten egg, bit by beat,beating into submission each time. Add more or less egg mixture until you get a glossy and shiny dough, the texture of mayonnaise. Scoop all into a piping bag with a small round tip. Pipe 2 to 3 'S' shaped as the neck of the swan. Pipe a little more towards one tip of the 'S' so the beak is more obvious (hard to describe, easy to do, just watch the video!).

In another tray, pipe 4 round little mounds. Just use up all the remaining dough in the piping bag. I can't really tell you how big mine were. They were all of equal size puffs. With the remaing egg, use your fingers and dab the swan necks and puffs all over, evening out any peaks.

Bake the swan neck first. I did mine for 15mins at 200°C. It is best to bake the puffs when they are still slightly warm so I place the other tray of puffs in a warm place first. When the neck is done, bake the bodies, i.e., the puffs. For the puffs, bake them at 200°C for 30mins and turn down the heat to 170°C and bake another 20mins or so. Do not open the oven within this period else the puffs will deflate. Let it cool in the oven, with oven door ajar.

After 40mins or so, remove them from the oven. Slice the puffs into half, approximately 1/3 way down from the top. Slice the other smaller half into half lengthwise. These would be your swan wings(See the video if you're not following anymore!). Fill it with homemade custard or creme patisserie. Use a star tip to pipe whipped cream to completely cover the custard. Gently place the neck and the wings over.

Liberally dust it with sifted icing sugar all over and serve immediately. Here is the back of the swan. You could probably tell it's a hot day as the whipped cream didn't hold its shape long enough for me to shoot some photos.

I'll present this to Dad tonight through the webcam and sing him a song and blow his candle and eat it on behalf of him. I hope I'm not too evil to some of you guys! Try makign this, they really look impressive!

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10 comments on "Swan Puffs"

Sara Tea on December 7, 2009 at 5:06 PM said...

I am speechless. These are so incredibly cute, but also incredibly intimidating!! You're so talented!

Anncoo on December 7, 2009 at 5:09 PM said...

Hi Quinn, I'm sure your dad will be very touched when he saw these beautiful swan puff made by you for his birthday. Happy Birthday to your Daddy :)

Anonymous said...

These swan puffs are awesome. They are so well executed. I am sure your dad would be very proud.

cherry potato on December 7, 2009 at 10:42 PM said...

Oh...I also very touching loh...Happy B'day to ur beloved daddy

zurin on December 8, 2009 at 3:11 PM said...

aawwwwww how sweet a daughter are you? Verry. ur dad will be proud n happy!!!

btw beautifully constructed swans!!

Quinn on December 8, 2009 at 4:22 PM said...

Sara: Thanks and yeah, I reckon they are cute but me talented, hell no! You'll be surprise at how easy it is to make them!

Anncoo: We webcam-ed him last night and he was surprised. Clearly, the swan puffs have had some wow factor in them!

Ellie: Dad doesn't look like he is proud, you know how sometimes dads are always hoping high but he is impressed but probably thought I could have done way better than this, you know that sorta thing with dads.

Cherry potato: Dad said thanks to all of you and my sis say where is the cake? People! Since when birthday cake is a must, can't we have birthday puffs for a change??? Like seriously!

Zurin: Dad is happy indeed! Thanks, I think they look awesome too! I love eating cream puffs!

Passionate About Baking on December 10, 2009 at 12:11 AM said...

Hi Quinn,
Your swans are really very pretty. I'm not sure if I can do as well too! :)

Ju (The Little Teochew) on December 10, 2009 at 12:18 AM said...

Dear dear. You're a sweetie. If any of my kids went thru the trouble of making these beautiful swans, I would be touched to smithereens. Your swans are perfect - hard to believe this is your maiden attempt!!

tracieMoo on December 16, 2009 at 7:13 PM said...

this is definitely some amazing culinary art! The swans look beautiful. Too beautiful to be eaten, I must say. Great job!

Quinn on December 16, 2009 at 8:05 PM said...

Passionate About Baking: Thanks and I'm drop dead very sure and certain you can do way better than me, really!

Ju: This is my virgin attempt in swan puffs but I've made cream puffs countless times so not so maiden yeah? Haha!

Tracie: Yeah when I finish dusting it with icing powder, I stand back and admire my work. I couldn't believe I did it! I didn't do much, really. The swans look beautiful by itself!!!

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