Enable me, for a second, that can assist you envision this dreamy cream puff. The primary of its two fillings is a deeply roasty banana cream that tastes like if Laffy Taffy price $100. The staff at PDF turns complete roasted bananas right into a thick puree by cooking the fruit down with a dry caramel and blitzing it in a meals processor. “There’s not rather a lot of liquid, so the starch within the banana tightens it up,” explains Russell. With cream, eggs, and white chocolate, the puree turns into a custard (the fats within the chocolate helps the custard set, eliminating the necessity to use gelatin); when salted and folded into whipped cream, the custard turns into what’s referred to as creme diplomat.
Bitter orange caramel (the second filling) and a crispy craquelin spherical out the pastry. The caramel is made with the surprisingly bitter juice of Seville oranges, sourced from citrus farmers in California; in each PDF cream puff I’ve eaten (three, which can imply I must loosen up), it has dripped delightfully onto the plate after I lower into the pastry. Craquelin is a “cookie” topper you might acknowledge from the likes of melon pan and conchas. Within the oven, because the pastry puffs and expands, the craquelin spherical relaxes right into a drape over the domed exterior, then bakes right into a crisp, crackle-y end.
When telling me in regards to the cream puff on the telephone not too long ago, Russell stated the phrase “comforting” extra occasions than I may depend. It’s true that it’s arduous to not really feel taken care of with huge bites of choux pastry in your mouth, however I don’t suppose I might have made the soar from bananas—which strike me as utilitarian—to consolation meals by myself. However the taste has a private historical past for Russell, one which explains his affection.
“My mother likes to make bananas foster,” he stated. “After I was a child it was her favourite factor to do. She’d flip the lights off within the kitchen and make an enormous flambé. So each time our household acquired collectively, we at all times had caramelized bananas on ice cream. It was a taste that existed in my palette subconsciously earlier than skilled cooking, these darkish notes of banana. As a cook dinner, you have a tendency to consider your cooking expertise [when looking for inspiration]. However caramelized banana is a taste that supersedes that for me.” For these of us fortunate sufficient to nab a spot at PDF for dinner (and keep for dessert), that sentiment makes it to the plate.