coco puffs and hawaii

Adam and I went to Hawaii, Oahu specifically, for one week at the beginning of the year. Napa weather was still cold, sometimes raining, pretty much just winter. So when his parents gave us a flight to Hawaii as a Christmas gift, we were beyond ecstatic. He used to live there for a couple years, and I hadn't been to that island and really wanted to see it. We watched lots of Lost in preparation. Well, not really in preparation, he loves the show. I hadn't made it past the first or second season when it was airing, so it's his goal to get me to watch the whole series. I haven't made it past season four, it's getting a bit crazy...

So in Oahu, we stayed up on the North Shore, about a mile away for Haleiwa. A cute little town with a food trucks, shops, restaurants, and the best place for shaved ice. We stayed up north most of the time but would go South to meet up with some of his friends. His first day of surfing he went out in the water with his friend Casey and I laid down on the sand. He was a bit rusty and I just took a few photos and a nap. We both walked away as red as lobsters. And those sunburns lasted pretty much the entirety of the trip, with us peeling everywhere at the end. 

We also went on a hike to a waterfall which we never found. The hike to it was supposed to be an hour and half. After three hours of hiking, no waterfall or end in sight, we turned around. Another hike was with his friend and her friends out to Chinaman's hat. It is a little island about a third of a mile from the beach. You can pretty much walk out there in low tide, with only just a bit of swimming as you get close. Then you climb up the rocks to the top and get a great view of the north part of the island. That was one time I wished I had had my camera. But on the way back to shore we had to swim back the whole way because of the tide, so photos were not an option. 

Besides explore the island, hike, meet up with his friends, the main thing we did was eat. Adam would find a food that he hadn't had since he lived there or something new or we would past by a 7-11, which is his place for musubi, manapua and lots else. There were a lot of second lunches, pre-dinner meals and snacks galore. I got the hurricane popcorn at 7-11. I ate the whole bag at once. It is amazing. Popcorn with nori and mochi crunch. I'm addicted. So after many good meals and buying a new suitcase to bring back a ton of food, we made one last stop before the airport to Liliha Bakery. He said we had to get the coco puffs. Which are cream puffs filled with chocolate pastry cream and topped with chantilly cream. But not the traditional french style chantilly cream. It's a different local kind that is thick, sweet, almost a bit granular but amazing in every way. The chantilly cream was the best past. In the car, he asked me to pass him a puff and I licked the cream off before giving it to him. No regrets. I also got their new green tea one, with I loved. A nice matcha flavor that was less sweet than the chocolate one, which was more to my liking. 

So I came home and decided to make the them. So here you go folks, coco puffs.   

coco puffs


1/2 cup (4oz) water

1/2 cup (4oz) milk

1/2 cup (114g) butter, cubed

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup (125g) ap flour, sifted

4 eggs

Combine water, milk, butter and salt in sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until combined and bring to a boil. Dump all the flour in and stir quickly until it pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cook for 1 more minute, stirring. Transfer to a bowl and let cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Beat in eggs one at a time, making sure it is a smooth paste after each addition. Beat dough until it is smooth and thick. 

Oven 400F.

Transfer to a piping bag with a round tip. Pipe out rounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet leaving space between each puff. I made mine about a tablespoon size, but you can make them as big or small as you want. Bake at 400 for 12 minutes, then lower oven to 350. Bake for 10-12 more minutes until golden brown and firm. Turn off oven and leave the puffs in for about 10 minutes to dry out. Once done, pierce the bottom with a knife, making a small hole then let cool on a rack until completely cool. 

chocolate cream.

1/2 cup (100g) sugar

2 tbsp (16g) ap flour

2 tbsp (16g) cornstarch

4 egg yolks

1 1/4 cups ( 10oz) milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup  (47g) dark chocolate, finely chopped

Whisk sugar, flour, cornstarch and yolks until a pale thick paste. Bring the milk up to a simmer in a sauce pan over medium heat. Temper in a bit of the milk to the egg mix, whisking constantly. Add in egg mix back to the rest of the milk and whisk to combine. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Immediately place in bowl and add chocolate and vanilla. Stir until all the chocolate is melted and combined. Strain through a chinois into a bowl. Cool in ice bath or cover and let cool in fridge. Once cool, you with fill a piping bag with a small round tip to fill the puffs from the bottom.


1 1/2 cups (12oz) evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar

4 egg yolks

3/4 cup (171g) butter, softened

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thick. Should take about 10-15 minutes. Transfer to an ice bath or cover and let cool in fridge. Once chilled it will be much thicker than it was in the pan. Fill a piping bag with a round tip and pipe dollops on top of the filled puffs.


recipe @happybee


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