sweet puff pastry filled with vanilla mousseline cream and lilac infused honey whipped cream

if i had one weakness, ok let's be real I have a lot more than one weakness butttt if i had to pick one of my biggest weaknesses, especially when it comes to anything foodie like it would be pastries. i love pastries, love them, love them, love them, a little too much really. there is just something about a warm, buttery, flakey, chocolate filled croissant, a thick and creamy vanilla slice, a sweet and tangy lemon danish or a puff filled anything, sweet or savoury, (i think you get my point) that seriously gives me alllll the feels.

pastries are my, "I can not say no to" kind of dessert. that and classic vanilla cake, because who can say no to vanilla cake? probably a lot of people, but do we really wanna know those people? 

last week i shared with you guys a lilac infused honey and told you to make it stat because this week i had a special something something to share with you that used it, well this week is here and these little cream filled delights are the share. now if you didn't get a chance to make the lilac infused honey not to worry you can use regular honey to sweeten the whipped cream, or even maple syrup. the lilacs give the whipped cream a soft floral essence, a little bit different than normal but these cream puffs will be just as delicious with regular sweetened cream too.

i actually think the vanilla mousseline cream might be the real show stopper in these puffs. it is so delicious, i was literally eating it by the spoonful! 

mousseline cream {german buttercream} is similar to pastry cream, {which is actually its base} except a littler fancier as it is mixed with knobs of butter, which give the cream this decadent silky texture. the saying is really true, what isn't better with butter?! 

you have to be careful when making mousseline cream or pastry cream, it is best done is a heavy bottomed sauce pan as it cooks up very fast and the yolks can get fully cooked to the bottom of the pan if you don't whisk it fast enough. so all the steps must be done pretty quickly and all in an order. make sure to have all your ingredients out and measured so that you can add them accordingly and whisk at the same time.

once you add the butter if your cream breaks (or curdles) don't worry to much about it. when a cream breaks it is usually because one of the components in the cream is cooler or warmer than the rest, it is actually quite an easy fix. 

either you let the cream sit for a few minutes to let all of the ingredients come to the same room temperature (aka let the butter melt, as it might have been too cold), then whip it very fast and usually it will come back together. another trick is to add a warm cloth to the outside of the stand mixer, this helps bring everything in the stand mixer up to the same temperature and once again, after a few minutes,  if you whip it very fast it should all come back together into one creamy consistency. 

i added some extra fresh lilac flowers to the whipped cream for a little more texture and prettiness. these little sweet puff pastries are actually incredibly light and airy. they would make the perfect summer picnic treat or tea party dessert. feel free to play around with the creams, they can be flavoured with anything really, coffee whipped cream or maybe even some kind of berry. a little drizzle of chocolate on top of these would be quite lovely too xx


sweet puff pastry filled with vanilla mousseline cream and lilac infused honey whipped cream

ingredients

1 package of puff pastry

1 egg

4 tbsp turbinado sugar 

mousseline cream

2 cups milk

4 egg yolks

1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon cane sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup cornstarch

2 tbsp pure vanilla

half vanilla bean pod

A pinch of salt

1/3 cup unsalted butter

1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

lilac infused whipped cream

1 1/2 cup cream

1 tbsp pure vanilla

fresh lilac flowers

3-4 tsp lilac infused honey

 

directions

preheat the oven to 400 degrees

puff pastry

de-thaw the puff pastry squares at room temperature. once thawed roll the puff pastry into two 8x8 squares. whisk one egg and brush onto the puff pastry squares, sprinkle with turbinado sugar. cut the squares in half and then each half into 4 one inch wide by two inch long rectangles. place the rectangles onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and puffed up.

once baked place on a cooling rack.

mousseline cream

in a thick bottom sauce pan warm 2 cups of milk over low heat. scrap the seeds out of half a vanilla bean pod and add them to the milk along with the vanilla bean pod.

in a bowl cream the egg yolks and cane sugar. sift in all-purpose flour and cornstarch. whisk until smooth. finally stir in pure vanilla and a pinch of salt.

pour only 1/4 of warm milk into the creamed sugar and egg yolk and whisk to combine. take the vanilla pod out of the pan of milk then pour the cream into the warm milk.

over medium heat bring the mixture to a boil whisking constantly and quickly. when it starts to boil, whisk continually until the cream thickens and take off the heat immediately. this step goes very very fast so make sure you are whisking as quickly as possible and take it off the heat as soon as possible so the eggs don't get fully cooked. 

transfer the mixture to a stand mixer and fold in 1/3 cup of unsalted butter. mix until combined then let cool. 

meanwhile cream the other 1/3 cup of softened butter. when the cream mixture is cooled to room temperature, add in the remaining creamed butter. whisk until smooth then add to a piping bag.

lilac infused honey whipped cream

in a stand mixer add the cream, vanilla and lilac honey (to taste), whip on high until fluffy. fold in the fresh lilac flowers. add to a piping bag.

to assemble

carefully cut the puff pastries in half, pipe a layer of the mousseline cream, top with a piped layer of lilac whipped cream. top with the puff pastry and sprinkle with icing sugar. serve!


lilac infused honey

as most of you know by now, in march i quit my government job of ten years and embarked on a new journey as the creative director for one of my most favourite restaurants in town charlotte and the quail. it has quite literally been the best decision {career wise} i have ever made in my life. i actually don't even think of work as work anymore, i absolutely love what i am doing. i have never thought of myself as a workaholic but it is all i want to do right now, literally, that is how much i love it. of course that still includes this work here on my journal, they both go hand in hand now which excites me to no end. they are the perfect combination. 

what you may not know about this little restaurant of my heart is that it is situated amongst 10 acres of botanical gardens. yes you heard me right, i work in a dream space with a dream view. surrounded by blooming flowers, beautiful bonsai trees, the cutest and funniest chirping quails, garden kitties and cascading vines. it is magical and serene and a little, ok, a lot bit surreal. i pinch myself constantly. 

the best part of having the surrounding gardens is how much i am learning about gardening and flowers and permaculture and all the things that come with being among 10 acres of pure natural beauty. i actually had no idea that lilacs were edible until hayley and i were talking and she let me in on their little edible secret. this post is really dedicated to her, as i would have never know this honey could be without her amazing culinary knowledge. she is a whiz in the kitchen and i just adore working and learning along side her. 

besides infusing lilacs with honey you could also make a syrup out of them. something to pour on your sunday pancakes perhaps, or you know just drizzle a little of this honey. 

their season is almost over, lilacs come and go much to fast in my opinion so if i were you i would go and do some neighbourhood combing as soon as you can to make this floral honey. i am sure if you let your neighbour know you were making some infused honey they would be more than happy to share some lilac stems in exchange for a small jar....or you know a little nighttime trimming escapade that no one will ever notice works too ;)

there are some suggestions on what to do with this lovely honey in the directions below. next week though i have a pastry dessert you will not want to miss, with this honey being the star of the show. until then enjoy those lilac blooms, your house will smell of fresh spring and their pop of purple will surely make anyone smile xx


lilac infused honey

ingredients

3/4 cup raw unpasteurized honey (preferably from a local beekeeper)

1/2 cup lilac flowers

directions

pick the lilac flowers off of the stem, rinse and wash them well. set the washed petals on some paper towel to dry. make sure the lilac flowers are dried completely before putting them in the honey.

add the lilac petals to a small {cleaned} glass jar and pour the honey on top, stir and add a tight-fitted lid. you can add more petals or honey as you see fit, depending on how much you want. let the honey and lilacs infuse for a week or longer until the desired taste is achieved. once you have the flavour you like strain the honey.

enjoy drizzled over desserts, (fyi, watch this space I have a yummy one coming next week using this honey), fresh fruit, ice cream, oatmeal, on toast with butter, or as a sweetener for tea and lemonade. The options are endless...