It’s my favorite Japanese cream puffs, beard papa’s copycat recipe. Cream puffs are called shu cream in Japanese, and Beard papa is the most famous shu cream brand in Japan. Their shops have been spread over 15 countries. So you might have seen a sign with a man with a beard before.
One of the most popular cream puffs among their products is pie shu cream. As the name suggests, this cream puff shell is baked with a thin layer of pie sheet.
Shop staff fills a cream into a cream puff shell after they got an order. So the fleshy made cream puff is always crisp and that’s the reason I love their pie shu cream. With cream puffs in my recipe, you can also enjoy a nice contrast between a flaky pie crust and a silky diplomat cream (a mixture of pastry cream and whipped cream) inside.
How to make Beard Papa cream puffs
For cream puff shells
- Puff pastry sheets (store-bought / homemade)
For diplomat cream
- Whipping cream
3 tips for the cream puff success
Roll puff pastry sheets into very thin sheets
The first step of making this cream puffs is rolling out puff pastry sheets into less than 1 mm (0.04 inch) in thickness. Because a thick puff pastry sheet prevents the cream puff paste from rising in the oven. After rolling out, cut into 11 cm (4.3-inch) square to prepare 8 thin pastry sheets. You can use both homemade puff pastry sheets or store-bought one. I made with store-bough frozen puff pastry sheets.
Make a cream puff paste like a thick pastry cream
The last step of making the cream puff paste is adding beaten egg to a mixture of butter, flour, salt and water. And the thickness of the mixture is an important thing to success. To make a right thickness, add the egg little by little until it becomes like thick pastry cream. What I mean is that when you lift up the spatula with the mixture, the mixture holds for a few seconds and fall down very slowly. After that, remaining mixture with the spatula shapes an inverted triangle. Sorry, I didn’t take a picture, but I found this picture for your preference.
Not to open the oven until cream puffs have fully risen
The reason why cream puff paste is risen is that pressure is exerted by the water vapor releasing from the cream puff paste. If you open the oven, the temperature will drop and prevent the generation of water vapor, so keep the door closed until they are fully risen.
How to keep cream puffs?
Once the cream puff shells are ready, I recommend that you immediately fill the cream and serve straight way while the shells are crispy. But if you need to keep the cream puffs, keep unfilled cream puffs as following.
For a few hours to a day
- place in an airtight container and keep at room temperature.
If your cream puff shells become soft, you can easily crisp up just by baking them at 180 C (350°F) for about 5 minutes or more until crispy.
For 2 days to a month
- place in a container or wrap each of them and keep in the freezer.
When you use it, let it thaw at a room temperature and bake as above.
If you are fan of diplomat cream like me, also check our my Homemade Japanese fruit tart!
Beard Papa Cream Puff (Copycat)
Cream puff shells
- puff pastry sheets store-bought or homemade
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) water
- 56 g (1/2 stick of better in the us) unsalted butter diced
- a pinch of salt
- 80 g (2/3 cup) all-purpose flour sub. plain white flour
- 3 egg
- 2 egg
- 5 tbsp (75 g) granulated sugar
- 400 ml (13.6 fl oz) whole milk sub. other dairy milk or almond milk
- 3 tbsp (30 g) all-purpose flour sub. plain white flour
- 100 ml (3.5 oz) whipping cream sub. heavy cream
STEP 1: Preparing puff pastry sheets
- Roll the puff pastry sheets with a rolling pin into less than 1 mm (0.04 inch) in thickness. Then cut into 11 cm (4.3-inch) square to prepare 8 thin puff pastry sheets.
- Wrap the puff pastry sheets separately and set aside in the fridge.
STEP:2 Making diplomat cream
- Place the egg and the sugar in a sauce pan and whisk until the mixture is pale yellow.
- Add the flour and whisk to blend. Then pour the milk and whisk vigorously over medium heat until thicken for about 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and cover the surface of the pastry cream with plastic wrap. Let it cool down to room temperature.
- (From this step, you can do while baking the cream puffs.) Beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks with an electric mixer.
- Combine the whipped cream and the pastry cream and gently mix. Set aside in the fridge.
STEP 3: Making cream puff shells
- Preheat oven to 200 °C / 400 °F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place the diced butter, a pinch of salt and 125 ml (1/2 cup) of water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat until the butter melted, twirling the pan occasionally.
- Meanwhile boiling the mixture, beat the eggs well in a bowl.
- Remove from the heat and add the shifted flour and quickly stir with a wooden spatula/spoon until well blended.
- Bring it back on the stove and continue to stir over low heat for 30 seconds.
- Remove from the heat and add 1/3 of the beaten egg to the mixture in the pan and quickly stir.
- Add the remaining beaten egg little by little, stirring each addition until it become like pastry cream but a little thicker. More specifically, if you lift up the spatula from the cream puff paste, the paste with the spatula holds a few seconds and fall down very slowly. Some of the beaten egg will be remained.
- Place the puff pastry sheets on the parchment paper. Then evenly place the cream puff paste on the center of the each puff pastry sheets with a spoon, making about 6 cm (2 1/2 inch) circles.
- Gently wrap the cream puff paste with the puff pastry sheets. Then brush the remained beaten egg on the pie sheets.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 180 °C / 350 °F and continue to baking for another 20 - 25 minutes until crispy. Do not open the oven throughout the baking process.
- When baking is finished, leave the cream puffs in the oven with the door closed for 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and cool down to room temperature.
STEP 4: Assemble
- Cut the shells into half and fill the diplomat cream with a spoon. Or make a hole on the side and pipe the cream with a piping bag.
- After filling the cream, serve straight way while the shells are crispy.