Thursday, December 9, 2010

Carious: Durian Strudel

Durian oh durian. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

With a butter knife

With a fork.

With a standard measuring tablespoon, whilst measuring the number of tablespoons the bowl contain.

mm. six tablespoon of durian in bowl.
mmm. one for me..
mmm. seven tablespoon of durian in bowl.
mm. one for me.....

With a pair of chopsticks..

With the good ol' finger of course.

Or sandwiched between 2 totally awesome homemade puff pastry and mixed with a simple yet divine crème pâtissière.

There's something funky about this strudel. From my limited knowledge, this version of strudel (between 2 puff pastry and served cold) came from Perth and hence, is an "Australian" Strudel (usually apple filling. The durian is kinda local). The German strudel is served hot. It basically looks like a cinnamon roll, except that it's a flour pastry rolled thinly and then rolled around the filling (usually apple).

A totally awesome Desheng gave me 2 packets of these gold nuggets. Desheng's Dad has a shop at 231 East Coast Road. He is hell famous too and is probably considered as the authority on Mao Shan Wang durian. Personally, this is my favorite stall to get durians because Mr Wong is knowledgeable, supplies only the quality ones, and at an affordable price too! Ok lah he also gives me a discount. Muahahaha.

Terrible. I only got 2 packets and I've already finished one while eating andmaking the durian strudel. JIALAT. I. Need. To. Ration.

Durian is rich in sugar, potassium and estrogen. Also high in fats and protein. The durian flower is pollinated almost exclusively by bats. And some dude in Thailand has crossbred durians to produce a fruit that doesn't emit a pungent smell.
From Wikipedia of course!

And not to forget that durian is awesome and that fragrance is totally Hugo Boss standards.

Caries warning!
Caries is a dental disease that affects the tooth and results in cavitation (needing fillings and operation). It is encouraged by foods with sugar as it provides a source of nutrition. Drink frequent sips of water between meals to wash the food debris away!

Recipe for the puff pastry and the Crème Pâtissière

The technique of laminating dough is explained here beautifully, with step by step pictures.

Crème Pâtissière!

I just love copy-pasting typing Crème Pâtissière. Makes me feel French. Crème Pâtissière. Crème Pâtissière. Crème Pâtissière. pfft.

I doubled the recipe this time cause I was pinching making a lot of stuff with the cream. Wheeee.

2 cup milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 tbsp cornflour
1 good pinch salt (only if not adding butter, or using unsalted butter)
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, for additional shine and firmness

Throw the eggs, sugar, 25% of the milk and vanilla and whisk it up!

Sieve in the cornstarch while whisking so that the starch is incorporated into the egg mixture nicely. I've made this recipe thrice and the first 2 times, I ended up with lumpy creme because I threw all the corn starch in together.

Scald the rest of the milk (heating the milk till it's JUST about to boil but not bubbling boiling like mad) and then pour it into the mixture slowly while rapidly stirring the egg mixture to temper it (raise the temperature and semi cook it). Then chuck the mixture unto the stove and cook it at MEDIUM HIGH. Don't be afraid to turn up the temperature to medium high. Just keep stirring and stirring and stirring. It'll thicken when it's almost boiling and the thickening process happens in like literally 10 seconds. So it'll be a watery mixture and suddenly, it'll start thickening and within 10 seconds, you'll get the custard! Then take it off the heat and cool it (or you can keep it on the stove until the custard cools down).

Throw in 2 tablespoons of butter (30g) for extra calories firmness and shine and TADAH. Pot of yummy finger dipping awesome crème pâtissière.

I didn't take pictures of the dough though cause my hands were all doughy but just read both sites and watch this guy do it.

So the puff pastry is supposed to be baked at 210 deg celsius (in a thoroughly preheated oven) for 20 minutes or until golden brown. I usually brush the top with melted butter and sugar mixture for it to crisp up and look shiny.

For durian strudel, mix 2 parts of durian to 1 part crème pâtissière (my personal preference although I suspect shops only have 1 part durian to 3 part crème pâtissière. Well, let's just say I arrived at this conclusion after much experimentation. *licks the spoon*

For assembly, start with the puff pastry.

Plonk the durian custard unto the pastry, and lick the utensils clean.

Put the top layer on while pinching some custard..

And of course, a healthy amount of icing sugar.

The strawberry strudel variation. Just put strawberries and custard cream instead..

The apple version. The apples gotta be cooked with a little olive oil first until it is softened, but still firm. Then, sugar is added until desired sweetness. You know it's overcooked if it's mushy and gets smashed easily by a spoon. ;)

Pressure points and top tips! (from trial and error) =D
1) The puff pastry. That has to be the number 1 pressure point. If your pastry fail, you can only serve your custard in a cup. What I've learnt from making this pastry is that the whole process must be cold. The dough must be refrigerated and worked on when it's cold. The butter must be cold. The folding of the dough must be quick and cold hence, only 1 fold is done every 30minutes. It's extremely time consuming, so make a HUGE batch to last you for a while because the satisfaction of scoffing at a pack of frozen instant puff pastry is indescribable. If it ain't cold, the butter will not be layered properly and your resultant pastry will not rise as beautifully, as is what happened in my first attempt. That's why I prepared the pastry at night too. Give it the rest and temperature that it needs, and you'll be rewarded with puff pastry that makes you grin from ear to ear.

2) Roll the puff pastry out (I rolled it out to like 1mm thickness) and then pinch the sides of the pastry. I found that it helped with the rising of puff pastry because puff pastry depends on the steam created when the butter is cooked at 200 deg to rise (and that's why you NEED the thoroughly preheated oven).

3) Refrigerate the strudel after assembly so that the custard can firm up. It helps with the cutting of the strudel so that it would not end up in a thorough mess.

4) Brush off the excess flour from the pastry when you dust the table as the flour will affect the rising of the pastry.

5) Do not apply too much pressure while rolling the pastry because it'll break up the layers. Imagine about 700 layers in about 1mm of pastry. Now that is delicate stuff. Apply pressure evenly also so that the layers would not break up.

Now please, go make some awesomeness that is Australian strudel and give yourself a psychological orgasm.


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