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JIGGLYPUFF - Red Bean Cream Puff Croquembouche

Updated: Jul 19, 2021


Complexity: ★★★★★


I’m very excited to roll out this new recipe, as its probably my most decadent yet! For Jigglypuff, it seemed appropriate to make some “puffs” – profiteroles, also known as cream puffs! To turn the gourmet factor up even further, I decided to make a croquembouche, a French dessert consisting of pastry puffs constructed into an elaborate structure using caramel as adhesive. Rest easy: it’s not as hard as it looks!


The red bean flavouring represents Jigglypuff's association with the Moon Stone, an item which allows this balloon Pokémon to evolve into its final form, Wigglytuff. "Moon cakes" are a dessert eaten as part of the Chinese mid-autumn lunar festival, and are traditionally filled with red bean paste – so I went for a red bean pastry cream to give these cream puffs a lunar essence. I represented Jigglypuff’s Fairy-type through some sweet and sugary toppings: pink cotton candy – also known as “fairy floss” – as well as a ridiculous amount of rainbow sprinkles, frequently found on “fairy cakes” and “fairy bread.”


You’ll be singing the praises of this indulgent dessert, but it’s hard to stop after just one – you might need a nap after demolishing this mountain of treats!



 

INGREDIENTS

Red Bean Pastry Cream:

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk

  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

  • 4 egg yolks

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 4 tbsp cornstarch

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 cup red bean paste

Choux Pastry:

  • 1 cup butter

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup milk

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 8 eggs

  • Red or pink food dye

Caramel:

  • 1 cups sugar

  • ½ cup water

  • 2 tbsp corn syrup

  • Red or pink food dye

Decorations:

  • Coloured sprinkles (optional)

  • Pink cotton candy (optional)



PREPARATION

For red bean pastry cream:

  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.

  2. Meanwhile, whisk sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl, until a thick and smooth mix is formed.

  3. Remove milk from heat. Slowly pour about half of the hot milk into the egg mix, whisking constantly, to temper the egg mix. Then, add the egg mix back into the hot milk in the saucepan.

  4. Return to medium heat and whisk vigorously until the mixture thickens. When the custard begins to bubble, remove from heat and fold in the red bean paste and food dye until thoroughly combined.

  5. Pour custard into a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on top. Place in the refrigerator until completely chilled.

For choux pastry:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Melt butter, water, and milk together in a sauce pan. Add flour, sugar, and salt until a batter is formed.

  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, stirring until batter is smooth. Incorporate a few drops of food dye until the batter becomes a pastel pink.

  4. Using a pastry bag, pipe 36 even mounds of batter onto the baking sheet.

  5. Bake for 30 minutes until the profiteroles puff up and become slightly darker in colour. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

  6. Spoon the chilled pastry cream into a piping bag. Insert the tip into the underside of each profiterole and pipe about a teaspoon of pastry cream into each. Place in the freezer for at least two hours or overnight.

Assembly:

  1. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes until mixture becomes golden brown.

  2. Remove from heat and plunge the saucepan into ice water to stop the cooking process. Stir in a few drops of food dye until caramel becomes your desired shade of pink. Allow to cool for a few minutes until the caramel is thick and sticky.

  3. Taking care not to burn your fingers, dip each cream puff into the caramel, one at a time, arranging into a circle on your serving platter.

  4. Build a slightly smaller ring of profiteroles on top of the base layer using the caramel as “glue.” Continue adding increasingly smaller layers until a dome or cone shape is formed.

  5. Drizzle the remaining caramel on top and decorate with sprinkles or wisps of candy floss.

(NOTE: If you don't want to break a tooth, don't add as much caramel on top as I did - I went way overboard! The caramel becomes very hard and chewy. Learn from my mistakes, a light drizzle will be enough - aim for some thin wispy ribbons rather than the huge globs you see in the photos above!)


TOP TIER TIPS

  • If you can’t find canned red bean paste, you can make your own out of red mung or adzuki beans. You will need to prepare a day in advance: soak 1 cup of the beans in 2 cups of water overnight. Drain the water, add to a saucepan with two cups of clean water and bring to a boil. Stir and low heat to a simmer for 1-2 hours until the beans are soft. Drain excess liquid and stir in a pinch of salt and 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar. Add to a blender or food process and blend until it forms a thick paste.

  • If constructing a croquembouche seems too daunting or time-consuming, feel free to serve the creampuffs on their own, they are delicious as-is!

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