Japanese Cream Pans

If you have previously read my blog you know I tend to create a title that is a little sarcastic, punny (not puny as in “small”, but punny and in “with puns”) and snarky. This time, I admit my ignorance. For fear of insulting a people and culture I of which I have little knowledge, I simply titled this one as Japanese Cream Pans.Final Cream Pans

Another more snarky point: I tried one of these pastries courtesy of my son’s mother in law’s cousin, or my cousin-in-law once removed. (I made that up. I find it annoying to have to describe a full family tree to delineate the connection of two people related via someone’s marriage.)

Anyway, these pastries are light, soft and delicious. I found a recipe online and followed it with two exceptions and one caution Rolled formed doughlearned after making them. See below.

You can make the tangzhong and cream filling as much as 3 days in advance. Both will stay in the refrigerator that long if covered. Tangzhong is a water roux used to lighten the texture and provides the more tender crumb these pastries require.

Flattened dough


Cream Pan Dough:

  • 2 1/2 c. bread flour
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 4 T. sugar
  • 3 T. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. tangzhong
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. milk


Cream Filled unfolded dough

  • 1/3 c. bread flour
  • 1 c. water

Japanese custard cream:

  • 1 3/4 c. milk
  • 4 T. unsalted butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 5 T. flour
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract, or seeds scraped out of 1 vanilla bean pod)

Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 2-3 T. waterCream Filled Folded dough


  1. Make the tangzhong. In a small saucepan, gently heat the bread flour + water, while slowly whisking.  When the mixture thickens, and swirl lines appear – remove from heat and cool.  You will only end up using half of this mixture – store the other half in the refrigerator (covered) for up to 3 days.
  2. Make the cream pan dough.  Add the tangzhong, butter, sugar, salt, and egg beaten with the milk to a mixer bowl.  On top of those ingredients, add the bread flour.  Make a depression in the center of the bread flour, and add the yeast.  Turn the mixer fitted with adough hook to low until a basic dough is formed. The increase speed to medium to knead for 8 minutes, then allow the dough to rise (covered) for 1 hour in a warm place.  Punch down, and allow to rise another 30 minutes.) While the dough is rising, make the custard cream.
  3. HERE IS ONE OF THE CHANGES: I use the Martha Stewart method of making cream patisserie. Put all the ingredients into a large sauce pan and heat with constant stirring until the mixture begins to set (looks like loose scrambled eggs), strain the mixture and add the vanilla. Much easier that tempering the eggs etc.
  4. The original recipe follows here:
    1. Scald the milk and butter in a large pyrex measuring cup by microwaving for 2-3 minutes.
    2. Beat the egg yolk with a whisk, and add the flour, cornstarch, salt, and sugar. Whisk together to form a thick paste.
    3. Add about 1/3 of the warm milk mixture to the paste, and whisk constantly. (This step tempers the egg, and loosens up the paste so that you can add the remaining warm milk.)  Add the second 1/3 of the warm milk, and whisk until combined.  Then add the last 1/3 of the warm milk, and whisk until combined.
    4. Strain the egg mixture into a saucepan. (This will catch any lumps, and any bits of egg that may have “scrambled”.)
    5. Add the vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract, or scraped vanilla bean guts), then slowly heat the saucepan over medium low heat (whisking constantly). When the mixture thickens so that swirl lines appear, remove from heat and continue whisking another 30 seconds.
  5. Refrigerate the custard cream until cold and thick in a covered container for several hours.
  6. Dust a work surface liberally with flour. Divide the dough into 16 pieces.  Using a cookie scoop, portion out 16 balls of chilled custard cream.  (I usually set the custard portions on top a sheet of Reynold’s non-stick foil.)
  7. I WAS NOT HAPPY WITH BAKING THE CREAM. Skip this and inject the cream after the pastry has cooled. Be gentle with the dough, don’t over deflate. This will keep it lighter and less bread-like.
  8. The original instructions follow here.
    1. Flatten each piece of dough with the palm of your hand and place in a small custard cup. Use a small spoon to put a portion of chilled custard into the depression.
    2. Pinch the edges upwards to seal and place seam side down on a silicone lined cookie sheet.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 30-60 minutes. Brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash, and bake at 335 degrees for 15 minutes. Use a dilute egg wash. I increased the water from 1 Tablespoon to 3.
  10. Remove from oven and cool thoroughly.
  11. Inject cooled creampat. You should feel the pastry become heavy. That is enough filling.
  12. Refrigerate to store.

Bree Orc(he) or Brioche Donuts

My title is a shout out to LOTR fans.

I saw Paul Hollywood make brioche donuts on the GBBO last week. They looked so good. Boom!

For those unfamiliar, brioche is a pastry of French origin that is similar to a highly enriched bread, and whose high egg and butter content give it a rich and tender crumb. (Wikipedia) Brioche dough is light, sweet and fluid.

Here is my very slight adaptation of Paul Hollywood’s recipe:

  • For the dough:
    • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
    • 7g salt
    • 50g caster sugar
    • 10g instant yeast
    • 140ml warm whole milk
    • 5 medium eggs
    • 250g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • For the filling:
    • 200g milk or semi-sweet chocolate, broken into squares
    • 1 large raspberry per donut
  • 3 quarts vegetable oil
  • Caster sugar for dredging


  1. Put the flour and sugar into the bowl of the mixer, fitted with a dough hook, and add the salt to one side and the yeast to the other. Add the milk and the eggs and mix for about 8 minutes until smooth.
  2. Knead the dough on a slow speed for 5 minutes then gradually start to add the butter. Once all of the butter has been incorporated and the dough is smooth and sticky, increase the speed and knead for a further 6 minutes. Pour the dough into a large bowl (remember that the dough will almost double in size), cover with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.
  3. Lightly dust the work surface with flour, turn out the dough and roll into a large rectangle.
  4. Roll the dough into a long log, about 2” in diameter and 16” long
  5. Divide the dough into 20 balls (about 40g each). Flatten each one out a little and put 10g of chocolate in the middle – you may have to break the chocolate into smaller pieces so it sits snugly in the middle. Form the dough into a ball around the chocolate and roll to smooth.
  6. Place the balls on a lightly floured tray and cover with a clean plastic bag or cling film and leave to prove for an hour or until doubled in size.
  7. Heat the oil in the fryer to 350oF and gently place the doughnuts, 2 – 4 at a time, into the pan or the fryer. They will puff up and float so you will need to turn them over periodically so that they cook evenly on all sides. They brown quickly because of the sugar and butter in the dough, but you need to cook them for about 10-12 minutes so that they cook through and the chocolate melts.
  8. Remove from the fryer with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Dredge with caster sugar and serve.

Stand Back and Take Your Hands Off My DONUTS!

You probably don’t know just how much Homer Simpson and I have in common. We both live (or lived) in a city named Springfield. He drinks Duffs beer and I use Duff’s cake decorating products. Homer works at a nuclear power plant and I studied Radiation Science in grad school, and we both love DONUTS.img_0004

Yesterday morning was donut day in the 1y Kitchen.  I had a recipe for yeast donuts and Emeril’s recipe (modified) for raspberry jelly donut filling, plus, I had extra crème pat and chocolate ganache waiting in the fridge from some tartlets I made for a party last Sunday which were perfect for a few Boston Cream dessert donuts. What could possibly go wrong with this?

Notes to self:

  1. Check ingredient quantities in the pantry before starting. It may save a quick trip to the market while dough is rising, such as sugar for coating donuts while still hot.
  2. If you are totally out of sugar, save yourself a trip and buy two bags. You will need it eventually.
  3. Make the jelly filling while the donuts are rising. It will need to cool.
  4. Nuke the left-over ganache. You can add a little hot and heavy cream and sugar to sweeten. Mix thoroughly to dissolve the sugar. (Use confectioners or casting sugar, it will be easier to dissolve.)
  5. Add extra egg whites to the container in the fridge. You will want to make more pavlovas soon

Jelly Donuts


  • 2 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • ½ c milk (100oF – 110oF)
  • ⅓ c sugar (rounded, not level)
  • 2¼ c all-purpose flour
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp room temperature unsalted butter
  • 2 Tsp salt
  • 3 c vegetable oil
  • 1 c fresh raspberry jam


  1. Place yeast, warm milk, and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small bowimg_0001l. Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Place flour in a large bowl. Create a well in the center and add eggs, yeast mixture, ¼ cup sugar, butter, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir dough starts to come together and is sticky. Flour a work surface and knead until dough is smooth, soft, and bounces back when poked with a finger, about 8 minutes (add more flour if necessary). Place in a lightly oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled, 1 – 1½ hours.img_0002
  3. Lightly flour a work surface, roll dough to ¼“thick. Using a 2½” round cutter, cut as many rounds as you can. I rolled the extra into small balls (< 1” diameter) and made donut holes. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise 15 minutes. They didn’t rise much, but they will puff up in the hot oil.
  4. In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat oil until a deep-frying thermometer registers 370 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, or skimmer, carefully slip 2 rounds into oil. Fry until golden, about 40 seconds. Turn doughnuts over; fry until golden on other side, another 40 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, or skimmer, transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Roll in sugar while warm. Fry all dough, and roll in sugar.img_0003
  5. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a #230 tip with jam. Poke the pastry tip into and end of the donut, pipe about 2 teaspoons jam into doughnut. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.

Fresh Raspberry Donut Filling


  • 6 oz fresh raspberries
  • ⅔ c water (⅓ added to raspberries, ⅓ for cornstarch below)
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of citric juice (I used Key Lime juice as we had some in the fridge)
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in ⅓ cup of water (There is a total of ⅔ cups of water)


  1. In a saucepan combine the raspberries, water, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the raspberries have broken down.
  2. Remove the mixture from the heat and strain with a fine mesh sieve.
  3. Return the stained mixture to the heat. (There should be about 2 cups of mixture.)
  4. Dissolve the cornstarch in ⅓ cup of water.
  5. Whisk the slurry into the raspberry mixture.
  6. Bring the mixture back to a boil then simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove from heat and cool completely. It will thicken into a thin jelly.

Boston Cream Donutsimg_0006

  1. Follow above directions substituting filling the donuts with crème pat instead of jelly
  2. Dip one flat side of the donut into warmed ganache and set aside to dry.