When I was growing up, our weekends were spent at grandma’s where we would arrive late Friday night after a short train ride journeying against the flow of weary office travellers headed home. By the time we would arrive at grandma’s, I would be asleep often having to be carried up the two flights of curving wooden stairs inside the old stone building. An early riser, I would rest my chin on the smooth bannister of the balcony railing in the morning and watch the smoke rise from a brick chimney in the distance. It would dance in the fog of the cool morning before vanishing forever. Grandma would take my hand while stuffing her coin laden purse down her bosom as we made our way down the stairs to the little higgledy piggledy building with the chimney and those delicious smells.
The old British Portuguese bakery had a name that I can’t remember. I do remember the face of the ruddy old man with a big old mustache who would lean over the high counter, his big old belly squashed against the glass and smile at me as I would stand there mesmerized by an unbelievable array of pastries and breads. There were croissants, rolls, buns, pastries, tarts, donuts and breads. And there were cream horns. Little magical puff pastry cones perfectly golden with a baby pink filling of the most divine cream made more interesting with a generous smattering of shredded coconut on top. I’d point my chubby little finger at the cream horns sitting pretty behind the warm glass, the old man would fill up a paper bag with several of them and grandma would jingle the coins on the counter. With the warm paper bag clutched safely against my chest, we would cross the road and climb back up to cups of hot frothy milk, teas and coffees as everyone gave us a hero’s welcome for bringing back the freshest cream horns that little town had to offer.
Time passed and so did grandma. We stopped going. I got older. We got busier. Dad found cream horns in a little bakery tucked away behind my childhood home. They were not the same. I never did find them again. But I thought of them every time I thought of her. Her purse, her hand in mine, the chimney, the high ceiling of the bakery, the rich mahogany counters, the old man’s smile and those cream horns. The sense of smell and taste is very powerful and poignant. It amazes me that I could recall the taste of the cream horns nearly three decades later. Over the years, I tried to recreate them. And after many failed attempts, I now have a recipe that does justice to that memory. These new ones are not the same because those cream horns had the magic of childhood sprinkled on them, but I see the same twinkle in my boy's eyes when they reach for these on a misty Sunday morning and it transports me back to being a child again. My memories live on through their present and in doing so I see new fledgeling memories in the making.
I have been using CSR products for almost a decade. I use raw sugar for a lot of my baking sessions and find the raw caster sugar by CSR a blessing, especially when it comes to making icing. The raw caster sugar is quite fine and renders a beautiful honeyed cream colour when whipped with cream in addition to it having that delicious caramel flavour. I have used raw sugar through out this recipe and the raw caster sugar makes a beautiful fluffy pastry cream that works very well with the crunch of the raw sugar crusted golden pastry. Baking and sweet treats are the lifeblood of a person’s memories. There is not a child or adult whose eyes don’t glaze over when they remember their favourite birthday cake or grandma’s cookie jar or the endless hours they’ve spent in the kitchen licking spoons and making a mess. Join CSR and me this month and celebrate your memories by sharing your special baking recipe and have your story and recipe published in CSR’s Made for Memories cookbook. You could win a chance to be flown to Melbourne to go behind the scenes of the making of the cookbook and win a Magimix Pattisier worth $1199!
How To Enter – Do ANY ONE of the following.
1. LEAVE ME A COMMENT HERE THAT STARTS WITH "CORNUCOPIA" AND share your recipe that includes a CSR product in the ingredients and a short 25 word story as to why that recipe is special to you.
2. INSTAGRAM IMAGE SHARE – Tag me @cookrepublic on Instagram and share a photo of your recipe along with the memory that makes it special and details of the recipe in your caption. Entries here must include #madeformemories and #bakingnation.
3. CSR FACEBOOK PAGE – You can also go directly to the CSR Facebook page and post your entry as a comment with your recipe and 25 words explaining why the memory is so special. You may also upload an image with your comment but it is not mandatory.
1. 45 recipes will be chosen from all entries to feature in the Cookbook.
2. All 45 selected recipes will be awarded a $50 Wish Gift Voucher as well as a copy of the cookbook (when it is released)
3. The top 3 recipes chosen will also get to fly to Melbourne to go behind the scenes at the cookbook photo shoot to learn about food photography as well as food styling. They will also receive a Magimix Patissier worth $1,199.
The competition starts now and runs until May 22, 2015. Final Recipes picked and Winners Announced on May 28, 2015!!
Good luck guys!!
COCONUT CREAM HORNS
A magical pastry recipe shaped like little golden horns filled with a jam and coconut cream icing. The buttery sugar crusted pastry is what childhood memories are made of.
For the pastry
3 sheets frozen puff pastry (9 x 9 inches)
½ cup water for prepping pastry
½ cup CSR raw granulated sugar for dipping
For the cream
300ml pure double cream (thick cream with at least 50% milk fats)
2 tablespoon red fruit jam
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons CSR raw caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla powder or paste
extra coconut shreds for sprinkling
Place all ingredients for the cream in a large bowl and beat with an electric beater until thick and creamy. Fill in a piping bag and place in the fridge until ready to use. (I often fill the pastry cream in a medium sized zip lock bag, making sure that the cream is pushed to one of the bottom corners of the bag, tie the top with kitchen twine and place in the fridge. When I am ready to pipe, I snip the corner with scissors to let the cream out.)
Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
Lightly grease cream horn molds with butter. Thaw the pastry. Trim off edges if hard or cracked. Cut each sheet into approximately eight 1inch strips. Brush each strip lightly with water using a pastry brush. Starting at the far end, place the cream horn mold horizontally half an inch from the narrow edge of the pastry strip. Fold the top bit of pastry over the cream horn and seal the bottom corner of the mold. Without lifting the mold, roll the mold along with the pastry towards yourself to wrap the pastry evenly along the triangular cone. Dip the rolled pastry wrapped around the mold lightly in the granulated sugar and place seam side down on the prepared tray. Repeat with all the molds.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 20 minutes until pastry is golden. Watch the pastry cases towards the end of their baking cycle, if the crusted sugar starts to burn, reduce oven temperature to 170C. Once ready, remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The pastry with go hard and crisp once cooled. Remove the molds gently from the pastry. Now the pastry is ready to be filled.
Place the nozzle of your piping bag into the cone and pipe the pastry cream all the way to the top. Dip the cream end in shredded coconut and store the cream horns in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This recipe calls for 24 cream horn molds. I only have 8 so I make the pastry shells in 4 batches remembering to make sure the molds are wiped and then greased lightly with butter before wrapping the puff pastry around them.
Note - This post is sponsored by CSR sugar. Words, emotions and opinions are my own.