It's a strange but appreciated privilege to have not one, but two GrabYourFork readers contact me on the same day to excitedly tell me "there's a new custard puff place just opened in World Square! It's like Beard Papa's, but with a cookie crust and you have to go and check it out!" [or words to that effect]
So I have my own contingent of food spies now... kewl!
I get to eat dessert in the name of research by reader request. Even cooler!
Without much delay I headed to Puffy in the World Square Shopping Centre, on the kiosk site briefly inhabited by Juice Fix. Customer curiosity was high as passing shoppers wandered closer for a look (yours truly included).
There are strong nuances of Beard Papa influence with their uniformed staff, baking on-premises, custard squirter machine, yellow colour scheme and greaseproof paper custard puff pockets.
The difference apparently is that the Cookie Puff has a cookie, not a choux pastry crust.
The cookie puffs are baked from frozen discs of dough, tiny buttons that look like caramel buds from childhood.
From these grow large airy buns coated in a sugary volcanic crust that are then piped with custard.
For Asian bakery regulars, the crust is similar to the topping found on polo or pineapple buns. For others, think of a crumbly mixture made from butter, sugar, egg yolk, milk, flour and a touch of baking powder, then baked until it forms a golden crunchy crust.
The verdict? I wasn't blown away. In fact, I was rather non-plussed with the whole sensory experience. It was all a bit too crumbly and sweet for me, which provided less of a contrast with the vanilla custard (which was rather bland and didn't have as many--or any?--excited flecks of vanilla bean that Beard Papa's boasts).
The custard was distinctly cold which was a shock to the teeth and I even resented the fact that the puffs weren't filled to order. Instead the puffs were squirted with custard two at a time into a large mountain of ready-to-go's. Yes, you can spot the die-hard Beard Papa fan can't you?
Puffy will have its fans I'm sure, but I remain a devotee of the eggy delicate shell of choux pastry filled with smooth satiny vanilla bean custard. Which do you prefer? You'll have to sample both to find out.
Puffy Cookie Puff
World Square Shopping Centre
(underneath the escalator near Gloria Jeans and Coles)
Bounded by George, Liverpool, Pitt and Goulburn Streets, Sydney
1 puff: $1.60
6 puffs: $9.60
12 puffs: $19.20
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Puffy at Market City, Haymarket Chinatown, July 2007
Beard Papa's Sweets, March 2007
Beard Papa's Sweets, October 2006
Beard Papa's Sweet, June 2006
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9/05/2006 12:16:00 a.m.