A thing’s name tells a lot about it. In the case of the aptly name Happy Cream Puff, it speaks of a tale of happiness served in rich, creamy mouthfuls. Finally opening a branch at Legaspi Village in Makati, Happy Cream Puff has been the source of many happy afternoons for me. Yes, this is something coming from “Miss-I-don’t-like-sweets-much.”
Happy Cream Puff is a small pastry shop that specializes in Cream Puffs. Entering the cozy little store, you’re greeted by a display case of all sorts of cream puffs. Caramel-glazed, chocolate-covered, plain, plus a couple of eclairs—they’re made from the same choux pastry dough after all.
While there’s a wide variety on display, these are actually empty puff pastry cases. The chilled custard cream is piped in only as you order. This sometimes causes the queue to build up, but trust me, it’s worth it to wait.
The simplest pastry you can get at Happy Cream Puff is the plain cream puff. It’s a light, puffy pastry that’s filled with chilled custard cream. Their custard cream uses actual vanilla pods, hence the occasional black flecks you can find in the cream. I like how the custard cream possesses just the right amount of sweetness. It stops a few notches short of being sweet so you keep wanting more in an attempt to hit that sweet spot. That’s always a good thing in my book. Less taste fatigue, more cream puff goodness, letting you enjoy your cream puff from start to finish.
Closer to the Cream Puffs we’re accustomed to (I grew up with the ones from Manila Pen and Dulcinea) are the caramel-glazed cream puffs. It’s the same cream puff as the plain one, only it’s glazed with a sweet caramel coating that crunches lightly with each bite. Perfect for those who want something sweeter.
One of my favorites is the W-Choux (pronounced double chu), a double cream confection. It’s your basic cream puff, stuffed with two layers of cream: the classic custard cream, topped with freshly whipped nama cream. The nama cream has a hint of lemon that adds an extra dimension to the rich cream. Topped with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, it’s absolutely perfect.