Cream Puffs and Meringues

  Tip of the day: When trying to curl hair, use a curling iron instead of straighteners. It yields much better results.

  Other than that, it's time for the long-awaited cream puff post!Last Saturday, I decided to make シュークリーム... I hadn't cooked in a while, and was dying to try this dessert out. So, I found a recipe on Yahoo! Japan, and commenced cooking.

First, I made the puffs themselves... they turned out quite nicely, except a few were a bit wonky because I didn't pipe them correctly. Also, a lot of them stuck to the parchment paper slightly, resulting in little bits being torn off the bottom. Note for future attempts: Use a non-stick baking mat underneath to keep puffs intact.

Filling the puffs with custard - I had to try and block the holes at the bottom of some so the custard wouldn't run out. Lemme tell ya, the custard was immense.

And here's the little babies topped with whipped cream, strawberries, their tops, and dusted with icing sugar.

I label it a success.

  Next up is what I did to use up the 6 egg whites that remained from making the custard for the cream puffs. I didn't want them to go to waste, so I decided to make something which only calls for egg whites and sugar: meringues. I'd never made these before, so it was a bit of a gamble... more than I expected it to be.
  Making the meringues was fine - I whipped the egg whites and then folded in the required amounts of icing sugar and granulated sugar, with some help from Moriah. However, only having one Silicon mat, I put some of the meringues on those and the others I put on two other trays with parchment paper (there were quite a lot of meringues). We then left them in the oven to bake for 1 1/2 hours at 100C.
  The first problem was that at the end of an hour and a half, the meringues still weren't done. So we left them in for another half an hour. Nope, not done. 15 minutes more. Still not done. Finally, I bumped the temperature up to 180 and left them in for twenty more minutes, and they finally turned (mostly) crispy throughout. However, this was when my next problem occurred.
  I got the meringues off the Silicon mat no problem. Then, when I turned to those on the parchment paper - they were stuck. Try what I would, I could not get them off. Thus, please view my lovely batch of 12 meringues - half of what I'd made.

They tasted amazing though... so I'll definitely try them again, just not with parchment paper.


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