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Cream puffs, still having issues

I'm tryiing to find cream puffs filled with whipped cream. Everywhere I go, I keep getting custard filling. I want light fluffy whipped cream filling, not the heavy gooey custard filling like the ones at Beard Papa and the rest. I"m in Los Feliz, but willing to travel.

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  1. Try a Chinese bakery like Queens Bakery in Chinatown. They used whipped cream for icing cakes and other pastries, so they might have cream puffs with whipped cream filling.

    2 Replies
    1. At first, the novelty of Beard Papa fascinated me. The notion of a storefront filled with staff whose sole mission was to mix, bake, squirt and toss their interpretation of cream puffs to the masses could only be rivaled by Lucy Ricardo's excercise in futility of sorting out chocolates off the conveyor belt.

      While Beard Papa still has a strong appeal to alot of eager eaters, I personally find no real magic in their product. My desires, maybe like yours, are for a more traditional version of a cream-filled choux. Patisserie Chantilly offers such a creation, and then some. As the name "choux" implies (meaning "cabbage" in French, referring to the shape in this case of the pastry), Chantilly's pastry is a much more robust version, a perfectly browned, artisan-made gem where the body and flavor of this pastry is much more eggy and almost breadlike. While the cream filling is not airy light and fluffy like I think you might imply, it isn't a custard either. It reminds me of a fresh heavy cream that has been whipped to the hard peak stage, then gradually infused with a fine pastry cream which is folded in to form a perfect balance of lightness with a rich substantial mouthfeel - between a light whipped cream and a mousse. After enjoying a Choux a la Creme from Chantilly, I found Beard Papa to be anemic and banal.

      While some have complained of the price difference: $3 for Chantilly, versus $1.75 for Beard Papa, the difference in quality and presentation is akin to comparing a pedestrian version of conveyor belt sushi to a place like Mori or Sasabune. Moreover, to contrast the two even more, Chantilly offers a cream puff where the choux is studded with black sesame seeds, and the cream is infused with a black sesame butter as well - the Choux aux Sesames.

      Don't let the price difference dissuade you. You're not stepping up from a VW to a Bentley which would cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. The additional $1.25 is a marginal difference when you consider the payback is a trip to the moon...

      19 Replies
      1. re: bulavinaka

        I agree. I'm on record as never getting the whole Beard Papa craze either. My homemade choux la cremes are much better!

        1. re: bulavinaka

          I still consider the filling pretty "custard-y". I thankfully live only a few miles from Chantilly and I go there all the time for their sesame flavored puff! Also, I've had the Beard Papa in Shanghai and for whatever reason, I thought the puffs there were leaps and bounds better than the ones I've had in the US.

          1. re: mstinawu

            The sesame one is whipped cream based and not custardy. Unless my eyesights failed me, the regular ones at Chantilly had a distinctively yellowish cast. Don't think that's whipped cream.

            The one I had a a cart during the LA County Fair is one that was extravagantly stuffed to the brim with nothing but whipped cream. But then you'll have to wait until September...

            1. re: mstinawu

              I think of it more like a whipped cream base with a pastry cream folded into it. It's too rich to be whipped cream, but it's too light to be custard. The high percentage of butterfat might be giving you the mouthfeel of something toward a custard at first, but the way it melts in my mouth tells me that it's in the direction of a mousse.

              Have you had a chance to order one of Chantilly's Paris-Brests? The last time we were there, one had just been finished and was being placed ever so carefully in a box... someone was very lucky that day...

              1. re: bulavinaka

                No, I zeroed in on the sesame puffs as those are what seems to be universally liked on the board. I'll check out the Paris-Brests (what is it?) next time as I still have to visit Gaja (unsucessful in last 2 attempts).

                1. re: notmartha

                  If you enjoy the cream puffs at Chantilly, the Paris-Brest is something you can share your enjoyment with four to six people. It's kind of like a "Hungry Jack" sized cream puff with a hole in the middle. The choux is piped into the shape of a large ring then baked like usual. Once finished, it is horizonally sliced in half and filled with cream (and oftentimes fruits as well), then finished with cream embellishments and powdered sugar (and any other garnishes). The one I saw at Chantilly looks like a larger version of their cream puffs, and are normally special order... Sounds like Mstinawu has been very often and thought this was an item that was sampled... It's on my order list the next time I know I'm headed out there...

                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    That's too much for 2. Sounds pretty though.

                    1. re: notmartha

                      Too much for 2 as in the two of you? Oh - come on, where's your gusto? Burp... :)

                      1. re: bulavinaka

                        I am doing badly for someone who is trying to stick with low carb... 8(

                        Will try their regular sized regular custard/whipped cream puff and maybe a piece of cake (to go) next time.

                        1. re: notmartha

                          Maybe just eat the cream and wear the rest of the Paris-Brest as giant earrings? Your SO will be gnawing on your lobes... I think I would prefer life in prison instead of low-carb - just keep slipping me the cream puffs through the jail cell bars...

                    2. re: bulavinaka

                      I've ordered a bunch of bday/celebration cakes from Chantilly, here's a pic of one I got a while back. Yuuuuuuummmmmy!

                       
                      1. re: gomagoma

                        That Paris-Brest aux Sesame (goma!) is amazing... I decree from this point on that I am officially one of your best friends or family members - what ever it takes to have you get me one of these! Thank you for so generously sharing this photo!

                        1. re: bulavinaka

                          You're very welcome! Like you, I just can't get enough of her cakes. I'm driving down today to pick up a bday cake - a large Mont Blanc! Can't wait! I also know that she has started making macarons...yummy!

                          1. re: gomagoma

                            Macarons - interesting... Any idea on what flavors she's coming up with?

                            1. re: bulavinaka

                              Currently, she is giving away samples as a gift to celebrate their 2 year anniversary. Chocolate, tea and strawberry in one cute package. Check out my pic (dessert @ home last night!). I personally liked the tea one because it's unique and different and also went well with my "momo" tea from Lupicia. Texture was very nice, delicate and scrumptious!

                              I had just picked up a bunch of macarons a few days ago at La Provence and The Little Next Door (already tried Boule and Jin). I was surprised to see how many different types La Provence had (total of nine, including rose, lemon, lavender, etc.) to offer. I will be picking up a bunch in Tokyo next week at the Pierre Herme store :)

                               
                              1. re: gomagoma

                                Chantilly never ceases to amaze and impress... This could reignite a new battle on macarons... Jin's 18-count in the nice clear plastic box displays the combination of colors and textures like a Chuck Arnoldi abstract..., but with Chantilly throwing in their hat, what artist might come to mind then?

                                Again, thank you for the photo... Keiko would be blushing from all this praise...

                                1. re: gomagoma

                                  You've got to take pictures of those macarons from Pierre Herme to share! I'm jealous :P

                                  1. re: cookee

                                    I will definitely share pics when I return! I'm looking forward to trying out some of the newer flavors they have at their main store in Aoyama. I just love how they come up with special/seasonal/limited-time only ones (hot red ones for Valentine's, holiday colors and the ones with light fruity cream for the summer).

                                    BTW, I just saw your other post on Chantilly macarons --- they were VERY yummy!!

                          2. re: gomagoma

                            I've been thinking of getting one of these lovely items for a party. I called them, and the woman told me it was 18.50 for 16 cm, 27.50 for 18 cm. Her English seemed a little shaky, so I was wondering if these truly are 6.3 inches and 7 inches in diameter (seemed a little smaller than I expected)? I had some trouble confirming this with her.

                            ps. not sure if it's clear or not, but I was responding to gomagoma's post about the paris-brest at Chantilly.

                2. Go to Paradise Pastry in Glendale. They have Armenian cream puffs in large and small sizes. These are freshly made on location: very light, fluffy, and with white whipped cream in the middle. They are delicious and cheap. You can get there quickly via the 5 freeway north from Los Feliz (exit Alameda or Western). Paradise is located on Glenoaks, between Alameda and Western.

                  www.paradisepastry.com

                  1. The strawberry-and-cream-in-choux-pastry concoction that MILK carries (I saw one at...9PM last night-"tonight") might be along the lines of what you want.

                    1. Thanks a lot. I will be checking out Chantilly (excellent reveiew BTW) and Paradise Pastry right away.

                      1. if you're ever at "the good hurt" on venice blvd., there's a tiny donut shop in the same plaza...you'd never think to go there unless you had too many beers. anyway, they're cheap...5 for $1.00 or something, but they're great.
                        can't remember the filling exactly, but it's worth a try for the price...

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: lasngbrd

                          Okay - now that you've caught everyone's attention, howz about some cross streets? five for a buck of anything nowadays is amazing... sorry I'm dense on "the good hurt." Right over my head like a liner headed towards left field...

                          1. re: bulavinaka

                            The Good Hurt is a bar. Music bands play there and the address is in the L.A. Weekly 12249 Venice Boulevard, Mar Vista. It's on the north side of the street, but I don't know anything about the donut shop. Incidentally, I ate a sausage and pepper sandwich at the Torrance Giuliano's on Sunday and noticed they have big and little cream puffs in the refrigerated display case. I was going to try some, but not having eaten in a Giuliano's in years I forgot how huge their large sandwiches are (probably about 12 inches). I also had a hunk of left over Angel Maid mocha chiffon cake at home, so I didn't buy either cream puffs (large or small). Might buy some next week in the pursuit of chowhound "science." I had an Angel Maid "large" cream puff once (not their regular tiny 16 to a box jobs), and I think the one I had was filled with a fairly whipped cream like filling. I'd call 'em first and check, but I think they'd probably do it for you. Nice folks.

                            1. re: Feed_me

                              OK, now I have my bearings. The donut shop is Yum Yum Donuts on the corner of Grandview and Venice. They've been there since around 1976. Haven't been there in quite a few years but maybe it's worthy of "scientific inquiry."

                              I've seen the Angel Maid "full-size" choux which looks great and I agree that they looked to be filled with whipped cream. Will have to give them a shot as well...Thanks!

                        2. This may be surprising but I remember that they used to have really good cream puffs at the 99 Ranch Supermarket bakery. There was one kind with custard and one kind with whipped cream. I don't know if they still have them or if there's a 99 Ranch in your area but it might be worth checking it out

                          1. Beard Papa SUCKS. ctually, the grocery stores carry ones with cream, as in whipped heavy whipping cream with a little sugar, not Americanized cool whip crap.

                            Anyhow, the best I have had in LA, CA, or the US is in gardena and lomita. Bonjour French Pastry (whole in the wall in gardena) and patisserie chantilly in Lomita. Patisserie chanilly has a great sesame flavored cream one that is worth a try. You will be hard pressed to find better cream puffs in my opinion.

                            If you want regular ole european style "whipped cream", go to whole foods, bristol farms, or gelsons. Shouldnt be hard to find.

                            1. Also, there is a korean market in Torrance called freshia that has a dessert area that has good cream pufs. Anyhow, all of my recs are in the south bay because that is where I live. If I lived in your area I am certain I could be of more help, but alas, I cant.

                              1. I know Le Pain Quotidien has large ones with real whipped cream. They have several locations in LA. http://www.painquotidien.com/

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: cleandaisy

                                  Star Bakery in the same mini-mall as The Nook. They were ok - but I think I just like the custardy ones better. But, I specifically tried one today because of this post...

                                  1. re: cleandaisy

                                    The ones at PQ as cleandaisy recs are evilly tasty. Not sure if they call them cream puffs -- but is what they are.

                                  2. I definitely agree with everyone else...Patisserie Chantilly is by far the place to go for what you are looking for. My friend and I went to Chantilly and Beard Papa on the same day to compare, and there is no comparison. Beard Papa's choux was stale and dry, the filling too custardy. But Chantilly makes them fresh to order, they are light and so tasty. Let us know how you like Chantilly!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: cookee

                                      Where is Patisserie Chantilly?

                                      1. re: slacker

                                        www.patisseriechantilly.com

                                        2383 Lomita Blvd. #104
                                        Lomita, CA 90717
                                        (310) 257-9454 phone

                                        They are in a small strip mall, carrying a green sign.

                                        I just picked up some cakes and choux today!