Coffee Religieuses. Definitely something I’ve never heard of before. Basically, a large cream puff is glazed with fondant and then topped with a small cream puff (both filled with coffee pastry cream), coffee mousseline is piped into teardrops on the sides…and a swirl is piped on top…without all the decor, I think they look like BB-8 from Star Wars lol. These are made with a lot of coffee extract and frosting. They are sweeeeeet. And super cute.
Difficulty: Again, pâte á choux is easy now. I’m sure that’s the whole point to the way Jacquy put his book together. The only issue I had was with his instructions on how to make the glaze if you’re using dry fondant. My glaze resulted with no shine…womp womp
Taste: 4/5 but way too sweet…I’ll explain below
Time: 8:30am-2:45pm, 5 hours 15 minutes. 6 hours if you include taking photos 🙂
The first thing to make is pâte á choux into cream puffs. Two sizes are needed, 1 3/8-inch-wide x 3/8-inch-high and 1-inch-wide x 1/2-inch-wide. I accidentally piped these too large at first, so I scraped them off the pan and restarted, but with a measuring tape. Using a measuring tape when you pipe each first size of cream puff ensures that they’ll be the correct size :).
Aren’t they cute?!
While the cream puffs are baking, coffee pastry cream is made. It’s just like pastry cream, but coffee extract is added. Jacquy recommends using the brand Trablit; however, I wasn’t about to spend $20 on coffee extract when I know I won’t use the rest of it, so I used Watson’s, which is normally an excellent brand. Whoa, it was too strong. I wonder if the Trablit has a more legit coffee taste to it and isn’t so alcohol-y? His recommendations have been spot on since the beginning…I should have listened.
Filling cream puffs and assembling
Glaze-so Jacquy says freshly glazed religieuses should have a shiny glaze and will lose their shine within minutes if you have overheated the fondant…I had a huge issue with my fondant. It was super crumbly when I took it out of the package, and I think it was expired…
The fondant is mixed with more coffee extract as well as simple syrup. This was the part that was incredibly sweet. I also overcooked it. The cream puffs looked shiny as soon as they were dipped in the glaze, but you can tell they completely lost their shine in the finished results pictures.
To be fair, I thought Jacquy’s instructions to make the glaze if you have dry fondant weren’t the best (although looking back at it now, they’re super simple to read? I must have been having a bad day lol). If I ever make these again, I’m going to use regular fondant to make it easier.
Before the fondant is made, each cream puff needs to be filled with pastry cream. After that, each top is dipped in the fondant. While the fondant is soft, the small cream puffs are placed on top of the large cream puffs.
The glaze kept hardening up too, so I would put it in the microwave for a few seconds…the last time, I left it in too long and burnt it. Oops. Look at the filling though! Filled to perfection!
Piping the sides and little swirl on top
I’ve talked about this before, but Jacquy’s pastry cream is too liquidy. I don’t know if it needs more corn starch or something, but it’s always a tad too liquidy for my preference. To pipe, he adds 20g of butter to pastry cream…well, 20g of butter wasn’t enough…still liquidy, as shown below…
This barely piped. It was the consistency of melting ice cream, and this was after having been refrigerated.
I added 40g, put it in the fridge to see if it would stiffen up which it didn’t, so I took matters into my own hands because I was getting frustrated and decided to add 1/2 c of melted and cooled dark chocolate then put it in the fridge to see if that helped stiffen it up…STILL not great and the sweetness level increased…but, it stiffened up just enough to pipe. I couldn’t pipe the sides as tall as they’re supposed to be, but they looked good enough considering what I had to work with.
Notice how they’re not shiny? I still think they’re pretty, but I do wish I hadn’t overcooked the glaze.
Also, I filled these to p-e-r-f-e-c-t-i-o-n. I love how you can see the vanilla bean specks too!
Jacquy says to store these in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them, up to 24 hours. Surprisingly, these stayed pretty in tact even the day after making them, except the bottoms of the large cream puffs got soggy after a day, so you really can’t make them ahead of time.
Pudsy is always interested in what I make, it’s the sweetest thing ♥︎
What did I learn?
Normally I redo a recipe I have issues with until it’s perfect-however, I’m not going to do these again. The flavor wasn’t really that great, and Tim isn’t a huge fan of cream puffs and is ready for me to move on to the next chapter (we still have like four more recipes lol). I make these recipes on Fridays or Saturdays when I have more free time, so by the time I go back to work Monday, whatever I’ve made is 2-3 days old and is more than likely soggy. In other words, Tim and I do the majority of the testing and eating!
The absolute worst (but best) part is that I taste test each part of the recipe as I’m making it so I can understand each component and be able to describe them and know what it adds to the recipe. I then feel sick to my stomach because there’s so much sugar. I’m seriously ready to be done with this chapter.
Also, what does it mean when your cream puffs crack? I used the criss cross method like he suggests with the tip of a fork and even wetted it down on top, and they still cracked, like in the photo shown below. Is this normal? It doesn’t look normal to me. I tried looking it up online but wasn’t able to find any answers…
After these were done, I headed out to my hammock swing and played Animal Crossing. We bought our hammock swing the week I went back to work after staying at home for two months due to COVID. It was super stressful going back to work, and when I came home that Thursday, Tim surprised me and had it set up in the backyard. It has been so wonderful and so relaxing and was the perfect thing to do after a long day of baking ♥︎