They call me ‘shoe cream’… Puff cake blues.



Les choux à la crème are probably the most successful French cake in Japan. Chou was easy to pronounce, but à la crème was too long. Everybody knew that meant cream. So the name became シュークリーム shu-kuri-mu chou cream, which is also how they say “shoe cream”.

Well we can see them everywhere from the luxury hotel tea room to the discount kombini (convenience store). They can be extraordinary, great, good, meh, abominable. The choice is huge. Some stands prepare them fresh all day.
I still find home-made fresher.

First let’s make the little choux. Then a cream at local taste including anko (azuki bean sweet paste) an ingredient borrowed from wagashi (Japanese tea sweets).


Simple, 125 g of water, 25 g of oil, 80 g of flour. I included about 2 eggs, a little vanilla extract and sugar.


Baked at 200 degrees, 25 minutes.


I really love the inside still wet. So I don’t fill them, I keep the cream on the side.


I passed boiled azuki beans through a sieve to get the creamy texture, added sugar and a little brandy. That’s koshian (‘passed’ bean paste, recipe here). More about it here.


The whip (here veg’) plus anko bean paste mix. It is very popular now.


Chou caramelisé. Roses of cabbage.

A variaton of chou braisé, or how the shape changes everything.

The heart part of a cabbage, cut in thick slices. I slightly oiled the pan and sprinkle very little sugar on both sides of slices. Cooked them slowly, not too long. Flipped to caramelize the other side.

reduction de vinaigre balsamic ?

I cleaned the pan with balsamic, added a little salt. Poured on the cabbages on the plate.

Spare parts…

Served with kare udon. They could be a side in all types of meal.

Sweet, crunchy,mmmm….

Cygne et choux, puffy swan

Cygne is the name of this cake, it’s swan in French. I need to precise as mine could be a turkey as well… It’s kitsch like an after-school salon de thé visit with granny. They were proposing those when I was a kid…

Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pate a choux shapes, filled with crème patisserie or Chantilly cream. We were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors allowing our creativity to go wild!

BTW, I’ve opened a Daring Baker Pinterest Board. Mostly my posts now, but I’ll add others’ progressively.

So, let’s go, mon chou. The recipe is already here (click on text) :


Well, the puffs. Very simple, I eyeball ingredients : water, oil, flour, eggs… a little salt, sugar, vanilla. I shape with the hands like a kid with playdo. So that doesn’t look pro.

I garnished them with Chantilly, vanilla flavored whipped cream (veg’ version), slightly colored in red.

Decorated with sugar.


La religieuse… de Pise. Pisa tower style…

The bad gag is those jewel sugar lose their color on the cream…

Choucroute rosée -Rosy Sauerkraut

Choucroute (the original name of Sauerkraut) is usually simmered in white wine. Here I used sake and a dash of red wine. I used bought canned unprepared choucroute and did the simmering and seasoning myself (using only what I like). That’s very good. You’ll see some again.

Did you know that Middle-Europe Sauerkraut and Korean kimchi had the same origine ? Basically, they are both salted and lactofermented “cabbages”.
Those Antique Hungarian-Mongol that ruled the world a long time ago split to go and bring the recipe East and West.

Seared chicken liver.

Napoleon’s hat and a canon ?

A canon ball ? Maybe you remember :

Le temps des cerises, the pickling season…