June 16, 2021

Challah Buns With Tofu Cream Filling

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I never liked caramel-topped cream puffs made with Pâte à Choux but could tolerate eclair because of its chocolate topping. I find it dry, flavorless, and cardboard-y. I made faces whenever the snack cart where I used to work passed by and I couldn't understand why anyone would eat it. But day after day twice a day, the cart came with them without fail. Needless to say, I never made the pastries, ever. Oh, and don't make me start with that horrible croquembouche (croque-en-bouche). Yikes!😵

I recently finished watching a Japanese dorama, EdoMoiselle. The female lead is a high ranking courtesan in Edo, now Tokyo, who time travelled to present day Reiwa period. She started working in the coffee shop owned by a father and his daughter. They also gave her a room in their house. Senka, the Edo courtesan, loves the shop's Cream Puffs filled with Tofu Pastry Cream. The tofu surely piqued my interest but I can't stand the cardboard treat puff pastry so I baked half a recipe of challah and formed the dough into round buns. The tofu cream filling I made has no egg yolk nor flour and the end result is yummy, light, and not too cloying. If you are a fan of cream puff, try this tofu cream filling. It can also be used to fill Scottish Cream Buns or mini Chocolate Waffles instead of sweetened whipped cream.

Senka and her favorite cream puff with tofu cream filling

Challah Buns With Tofu Cream Filling
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
4 ounces filtered water
2 eggs, room temperature
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 egg and ½ tablespoon water for egg wash
confectioner's sugar for dusting
  • In a stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, stir together flour and yeast. Add the rest of ingredients except butter, egg for egg wash, and confectioner's sugar.
  • Mix on low speed until well combined. Leave for 5 minutes.
  • Remove paddle and replace with dough hook. Knead on medium speed for 5 minutes. Add water if too dry, half a tablespoon at a time.
  • Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated, and knead on low for 3 minutes until dough is smooth and springy to the touch; shape dough into a ball.
  • Transfer the ball into a lightly oiled container with a lid and turn to coat the surface. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit on the kitchen counter for 30 minutes.
  • Deflate dough and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove dough from refrigerator and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Transfer into a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly to remove bubbles.
  • Divide dough into 3 ounce pieces. Shape into round dough and flatten like hamburger buns.
  • Transfer buns into a parchment-lined baking sheet 3 inches apart. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double in bulk and slightly puffy, about 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat the remaining egg with water. Brush tops with egg wash. Bake for 15 minutes until tops are golden brown. Transfer into a rack to cool completely.
  • Split and fill with Tofu Cream or custard cream of your choice.
  • Dust tops lightly with confectioner's sugar before serving.
Tofu Cream
½ cup silken tofu
1 tablespoon rum or brandy or preferred flavoring
2 tablespoons sugar, more or less to taste
½ cup whipped heavy cream
  • Blend silken tofu, sugar, and rum or brandy using a hand blender until tofu is creamy.
  • Gently fold in whipped heavy cream until well combined.
  • Refrigerate until ready to fill the buns.

Photos from the Japanese dorama EdoMoiselle

reciting poetry

with her benevolent landlord and his daughter

going back home to Edo


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