Sweet of the Week: Green Tea Cream Puff at Slurping Turtle
Cream puffs always seemed a throwaway dessert to me. Maybe it was the frozen foods company my mom always used to order cream puffs from en masse when I was a kid. Those bland, stale little golf balls were never very satisfying, piped with barely a dollop of cream filling. Heck, I have never been very big on eclairs either. I guess pate a choux pastries just aren't my thing. Usually. If you're gonna bake a pate a choux dessert, you'd better go big and bring it, which is something Slurping Turtle does with their miscellaneous cream puffs, most especially their incomparable green tea iteration.
After a meal of noodles, dumplings, and sake at Slurping Turtle, an apt finale is one of the restaurant's cream puffs, which dovetails nicely with the cute, vibrant Hello Kitty vibes here. The stars of the surprising dessert menu, the cream puffs are quite a bit larger than the cream puff norm, roughly the size of a baseball. Rather than dry out quickly in the shape of tiny ping pong balls, the larger form keeps the texture in check, as well as provide ample room for pastry cream filling. In this case, said filling is green tea, an aromatic abundance of green-tinged custard that fills every nook and cranny of the pastry. It's silky, smooth, and heady with toasty, nutty notes of green tea, a nice juxtaposition against the crackly, buttery pastry shell. A dusting of green tea powder overtop rounds out the whole dish quite nicely.
Michelin-starred chef Takashi Yagihashi (Takashi) opens his Japanese noodles shop in River North, offering a moderately priced menu. In addition to a number of noodle dishes, you'll also find dumplings,...