Baileys Chocolate Banana Cream Puffs

The Baileys Chocolate Banana cream puffs highlights my favourite ingredient in baking — the alcohol, which in this case the Baileys Irish Cream. Creating desserts and cakes which incorporate liqueur or alcohol is an interesting baking process. During a cake competition last year, I made a chocolate mousse cake with a layer of Japanese plum wine jelly. Some judges commented that they almost got intoxicated by the alcoholic cakes XD, but others complimented on our adventurous taste and truly original creation. I guess, for alcoholic cakes (I mean those profoundly infused with alcohol), it’s either you hate it, or you love it.

The combination of banana and chocolate is something quite classic, but the addition of Baileys Irish Cream elevates the flavour profile, adding a distinct depth and flavour of fermentation to the creamy filling. From an online article (The Kitchn), I learned that alcohol helps carry aromas from the dish to our noses, which plays an important role in our experience of “tasting” food. It was also mentioned that “alcohol bridges the gap between fat and water molecules. This means that alcohol helps us taste and smell things we wouldn’t otherwise be able to perceive quite as well.” So in your next baking, try to add a little splash of booze, and you might be fascinated by the results.

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Ingredients (yield: ~50 mini cream puffs)

(A) Choux pastry for cream puffs

Butter 125g
Water 125g
Milk 125g
Sugar 5g
Salt 1/4 tsp
Whole egg 250g
Plain flour 150g
Cocoa powder 13g

(B) Chocolate Diplomat Cream

Milk 300g
Cream (liquid) 300g
Whole egg 4 no.
Sugar 150g
Corn flour 36g
Chocolate buttons 56% 200g
Baileys (Irish Cream) 100g
Whipped cream 400g

Banana, sliced, as needed

Method:

  1. To make the cream puffs: Sift the plain flour and cocoa powder together and set aside. Combine butter, water, milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan, and bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
  2. Once the butter mixture is boiling, pour in all the plain flour and cocoa powder. Mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to form a dough.
  3. Return to heat, continue to stir and cook the dough on medium heat until the dough forms a ball that comes away from the sides of the pan.
  4. Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl. Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat on low to medium speed for few minutes to release the steam and heat from the dough.
  5. Once the dough is lukewarm, start adding egg, one at a time. Ensure all the egg has been absorbed into the dough. The final dough should be smooth, glossy. You can refer to my blog post on choux pastry to check the doneness of the dough.
  6. Pipe the dough on a lined baking tray. img_8226
  7. Bake at 200 degree Celsius for 20 minutes, lower to 180 degrees for 15 minutes.img_8232.jpg
  8.  To prepare the chocolate Diplomat cream: In a mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar, and then add in corn flour. Mix well.
  9. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring milk and liquid cream to a simmer. Pour half of the milk mixture to the egg mixture, and mix well. Pour everything back to the saucepan and cook until the mixture thickens. Remember to stir constantly using a whisk, to ensure the resulted pastry cream is thick and smooth.
  10. When the pastry cream is still hot, mix in chocolate buttons immediately. Mix well.
  11. Transfer the chocolate pastry cream to a bowl. Cover with a plastic wrap and let it cool down.
  12. Once the pastry cream is cooled to room temperature, whisk in Baileys.
  13. Fold in whipped cream.
  14. To assemble: Cut the puffs into half. Place a thin slice of banana at the bottom of the puff. Fill the top with chocolate Diplomat cream, and decorate with some more bananas, as desired. Dust with snow powder. Enjoy!

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