Liliha Coco Puffs

I first heard about these not from an academic study of Hawaiian cuisine, but from watching Hawaii Five-0.  Danno shows up in one scene with a box of them and everyone talks about how they are an island favorite.

1 recipe choux paste
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. milk
pinch salt
2 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp. butter
1 c. flour
4 eggs 
In a sauce pan heat together the water, milk, salt, sugar, and butter. Once the butter is melted remove the pan from the heat and dump in the flour all at once. Keep stirring until it forms a paste. It almost looks like play dough. Once it's all together return the pan to the stove and cook over medium heat stirring and rolling the ball around. Keep cooking like that about 5 minutes or so. It should leave a slight film on the bottom of the pan. Non-stick pans however don't do this. 

Remove than pan from the heat and and place the dough in to a mixing bowl. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure to incorporate each one completely before adding the next. 

Fit a pastry bag with a star tip, size 8B is good. Pipe in to 2 inch circles. One flat layer on the bottom. Don't pile them up like a frosting swirl or the puff in to two separate sections and they look weird. 

Bake at 425 until puffed and browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Don't fill until they are cooled completely.

Creamy frosting
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 c. heavy cream
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
6 egg yolks
2 Tbsp cornstarch
pinch salt 

Separate the yolks from the white and put in a bowl. Mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon of water utnill smooth and mix in to the egg yolks. Set aside. 

Heat the butter, cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a saucepan. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and small bubbles are starting to form. Very slowly, drizzle the the hot cream mixture in to the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Once half the cream mixture is added in whisk it all back in to the post on the stove. Don't stop whisking. Keep at it until the mixture gets really thick and you can see the bottom of the pan as you stir. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk for another 10 minutes so it doesn't get grainy. Pour in to an airtight container and chill overnight. 

Before serving, beat the mixture until light and smooth. This took less than one minute for mine.

Chocolate filling
2 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 c. powdered sugar
Pinch xanthan gum, optional

Add everything and stir it gently together so that the powdered ingredients are incorporated in to the liquid and it doesn't make a mess. Then beat until the cream forms stiff peeks.  

Final Assembly
Put the frosting and the chocolate cream filling in to separate piping bags. Poke a hole in the side of the cream puff. I find a chop stick works the best for this, it also helps to wiggle it around inside the puff to separate and make sure the pastry is hollow. Fill the inside with the chocolate and pipe some of the cream frosting on top. Serve immediately.


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