Puffy Hearts: Passionfruit Chiboust Puff Pastry Hearts

I like big puff and I cannot lie.
You other bakers can't deny.

PUFFED!  Traditionally, as in most pâte feuilletée applications, the puff is weighed down evenly while baking so that it doesn't expand to it's full height.  However, I chose to let my puff pastry freak flag fly and I let her grow unimpeded.

That's all the Sir Mix-a-Lot that I'm going to channel in the pastry kitchen today.  I promise.

In my defense, the lyrics speak to my one great pastry love:  traditional puff pastry.  All laminated
doughs, really.  I love to make it.  I love to teach it.  I love to eat it.  I love rap about it.

The puff based pastry that brings the flaky goodness of pâte feuilletée to its most beautiful heights is Gateau St. Honoré, a confection invented to honor the patron saint of pastry chefs.  It's composed of a round base of puff pastry upon which you pipe rings of choux paste.  You bake the two together.  Traditionally, you bake small cream puffs that are filled and then attached to the edge of the puffy delight with caramel.  The interior is filled with chiboust cream and in a very specific manne:  with a St. Honoré tip.

Individual St. Swanaré
Large St. Swanaré

I riff off this grandmama of baked goods infinitely.  One that I teach and have served at events is what I've dubbed the "Gateau St. Swanaré," replacing the simple cream puffs with swans, using maple/sea salt butter from Vermont Creamery in my puff butter block and  filling the finished pastry with a maple based lightened pastry cream.

But as it's Valentine's Day, I'm mining my great flaky love for a more passionate take on my favorite.  And this time, I'm filling the pastry with the filling originally called for in the dessert:  chiboust.  Don't let the name scare you.  If you can make pastry cream and an Italian meringue, you can make chiboust.



For the Puff Pastry
 Click this link for my recipe and a photo demo of the process.  You'll have more than you need but this is a very good thing.  Puff freezes beautifully and its applications are endless.  

For the Chiboust
6 eggs, separated
1/3 cup passionfruit purée
1 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
squirt of lemon juice
pinch salt

For the choux paste
Again, you'll have extra choux with this recipe.  I suggest you pipe it out on a separate sheet pan as small cream puffs and fill with the extra chiboust cream.

1 ¼ cups water

1 ½ sticks butter (unsalted) in pieces

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon sugar

1 ½ cups unbleached flour

6 eggs

To finish
Fresh rasberries 
Confectioner's sugar


For the puff

•Once the finished puff has rested, cut about 1/4 off the puff block and roll out into a large, rough square, a little thinner than 1/4 inch thick.  Allow the rolled puff to rest at LEAST 20 minutes before proceeding.

•Cut a large 12" heart from a piece of parchment.  Lay the heart on top of the puff and, using a VERY SHARP knife, cut the heart shape from the puff.  Reserve the puff scraps to make palmiers or something else nummy.  

•Transfer the puff heat to a parchment lined sheet pan and put in the refrigerator.

For the chiboust

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin evenly over 1/8 cup of warm water.  Allow to sit until completely saturated so that it looks like wet sand.  

•In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment, combine the egg yolks, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of corn starch, 1/3 cup of passionfruit and vanilla bean paste.  Whisk until smooth.

•In a heavy saucepan, bring the milk and heavy cream to a simmer.  Slowly pour the milk mixture down the sides of the mixing bowl with the mixer running to temper the eggs.  Continue whisking until completely incorporated.

•Transfer the mixture back into the saucepan, making sure the scrape the bottom of the bowl.

•Whisk over low heat until the cream thickens to the consistency of mayo.  Immediately add the bloomed gelatin and the butter.  Stir until both have melted completely into the pastry cream.  Transfer the cream to a large bowl and cover the top of the cream with plastic wrap to keep a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely cool, about 2 hours.


•Once the base cream is completely cool, place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment along with a pinch of salt.  Whisk until just foamy.  At the same time, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and a few tablespoons of water and the squirt of lemon in a heavy saucepan.  Stir the mixture over low heat until the sugar has completely melted.  Attach a sugar thermometer and heat to 240º.  Slowly pour the hot sugar mixture into the whisking egg whites, making sure to pour the hot sugar down the side of the bowl otherwise you'll scramble the eggs.  Whisk on high until you achieve stiff, shiny white peaks and the bowl is cool to the touch.

•Transfer 1/3 of the egg whites to the cooled cream and gently stir into the cream to lighten.  Transfer the remaining egg whites to the cream and gently fold with a large rubber spatula until no white streaks remain.  

For the choux

Preheat the oven to 375º.

•Combine the water, salt, sugar and butter in a large saucepan and allow to simmer over medium heat until the butter is completely melted and the water is just beginning to visibly simmer.
•Add the flour all at once and then stir quickly with a wooden spoon continuously until the mixture thickens, becomes smooth and pulls away from the side of the pan.
•Transfer the paste to the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment.  Mix on low for a few minutes to allow the paste to cool.
•Add eggs, one at a time, to the paste mixture until the mixture is smooth and flows slowly from the paddle when it's lifted.  You may not need all the eggs...you may need one more.

•Remove the puff heart from the fridge and transfer the choux to a large pastry bag fit with a small star tip.  Pipe a choux paste heart an inch inside the edge of the puff pastry.

•Immediately bake until the puff is puffed and deeply golden brown.  Allow to cool completely.

To finish

Line the outside of the heart with raspberries.  Sift confectioner's sugar over the raspberries.

•Fill a large pastry bag fit with a St. Honoré tip with the chiboust cream.  Pipe ribbons of chiboust inside the raspberry perimeter.  I pipe two layers of cream to make it extra creamy.

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