Japanese Shu Cream

Shu Creams in a set
Tomoaki Takahashi/Moment/Getty Images
Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 85 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
411 Calories
18g Fat
52g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 411
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 255mg 85%
Sodium 189mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 37g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 116mg 9%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 186mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Shu cream is a Japanese dessert inspired by the famous French "choux cream." Although these decadent puffs are French in origin, they have become a Japanese culinary staple that kids of many generations have grown up eating. They are available everywhere from high-end patisseries to vending machines.

Small individual choux pastry puffs are baked until there's a light and airy interior encapsulated by a crisp and golden exterior shell. The puff is then filled with a sweet custard filling. Before serving, the shu cream is gently dusted with powdered sugar.

While the traditional shu cream has a plain puff pastry and yellow custard filling, another popular version of shu cream has a plain puff pastry shell but is covered with a generous layer of dark chocolate. Other modern versions of the pastry use flavored custard cream fillings such as chocolate, green tea or matcha, strawberry or blueberry cream, or even coffee or peanut butter. Although the possibilities are endless in terms of flavored creams, the favorite shu cream is still the classic custard cream filling.

This recipe makes eight puffs, but it's likely that your guests will be asking for more. Simply double the recipe, and recruit the family for help, as these puffs are as fun to make as they are easy to eat. Any leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.

Ingredients

For the Choux Pastry:

  • 2 medium eggs

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cup flour

For the Custard Cream:

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons flour (sifted)

  • 1 cup milk (warmed)

  • 1 tablespoon butter (melted)

For Dusting:

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cream puff dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Pastry

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by layering a piece of parchment paper or a silicone sheet.

  3. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and set aside.

  4. Place the butter, sugar, and water in a pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.

  5. Add the flour to the pan and incorporate into the butter mixture by stirring very quickly. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove.

  6. Add the beaten eggs slowly into the pan with the dough mixture, stirring well with the help of a wooden spoon. Mix well to avoid lumps in the dough—it should be smooth and even, firm but pliable.

  7. Fill a piping bag—or sturdy ziptop bag with a snipped corner—with the dough.

  8. Gently squeeze out eight small mounds of dough onto the pan, and with wet hands even out the surface of each little ball.

  9. Bake the puff pastry for 30 minutes. Allow the puffs to cool on a cooling rack.

  10. Cut the puffs horizontally into halves. Reserve.

Make the Custard

  1. In a medium-size pan, mix the egg yolks and sugar, stirring well.

  2. Add the flour into the pan and mix well.

  3. Gradually add the warm milk into the egg mixture, stirring constantly.

  4. Place the pan on low heat and stir the mixture constantly until it has thickened, or about 5 to 7 minutes.

  5. Remove from heat and add the melted butter, mixing well.

  6. Let the cream cool off, covered.

Assemble the Shu Cream

  1. Top the bottom halves of puffs with a dollop of custard cream and place the top halves on top.

  2. Dust the finished cream puffs with powdered sugar.

Matcha Flavored Custard

For a flavorful take on the classic custard, use matcha powder:

  • Dissolve 1 teaspoon of matcha green tea powder in 2 teaspoons of water.
  • Add 2 to 3 spoonfuls of the already prepared custard cream into the green tea mixture and stir well.
  • Add the green tea cream into the rest of the custard cream. Mix well until fully incorporated, and use to fill your puffs.

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