At age one, I was very scared of Santa. I can’t remember actually crying but pictures don’t lie – and there I am, in the little red outfit, with my mouth wide open, howling as any baby would if you put them infront of a strange pudgy man with a red suit and a long white beard! And it wasn’t just me… my sister looks pretty terrified too – don’t you think?
And the next year, the same thing happened…
It was only around age 3 and 4 that I realized how GREAT Santa was. He was the jolly man in the red suit who would give me presents if I was good! Oh yes sure, he saw me when I was sleeping, he knew when I was awake, he knew if I’d been bad or good and so I was usually good for goodness sake!
Every year my siblings and I would write Santa a letter of all the things we wanted for Christmas. At age five or so, I remember my lists being pretty extensive and I would have to ask my eldest sister to help me write it out. The letters would always begin with some summary of how good or bad I was the during the year. Of course I would always emphasize the good and the bad stuff was always watered down. There was one year I can still recall my obsession with Hello Kitty and I had a Dear Santa letter that was a page long asking for everything hello kitty from shoes, a bag, a doll to a cooking set (yes I loved to cook even then!). Every 24th of December my Mom would ask all of us kids to take an afternoon nap and a few hours later we would all wake up and beneath the tree were the presents we had asked for! Of course we never really took naps – we were always too excited to see what Santa would bring this year! So we’d just close our eyes and wait until my Mom finally told us we could have a look at the tree.
As a child, it was something I always looked forward to!
When I was ten, I was in love with a little doll I had “adopted” – her name was Patricia and she was a Cabbage Patch Doll. I remember asking Santa for everything Cabbage Patch so that I could take care of Patricia in true Cabbage Patch style. I asked for a swing set, a tea party set and a new dress for her.
A few days before Christmas I was looking for Patricia’s little shoe and for some reason I thought my Mom had kept it. I looked all around her room but could not find it. I thought it must be in her shoe closet so I went to her dressing room and of all the things to find – the Cabbage Patch swing set! What was the swing set doing in my Mom’s dressing room?
And that’s when I knew… When did you find out?
I’ve made some choux pastry and filled them with a rich hazelnut mousse in the form of Santa – for whom this post is dedicated to. May he always bring out the child in everyone…
Recipe (Adapted from Balthazar Cookbook)
- 125 ml milk
- 125 grams butter
- 5 grams salt
- 5 grams sugar
- 140 grams flour
- 5 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- Pre heat the oven to 170c (fan forced)
- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, butter, sugar and salt with 1.2 cup water and bring to a boil. Add the sifted flour and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.
- Continue stirring over medium heat for around 3 minutes.
- Transfer the dough into a bowl of a standing mixer. Stir at a low speed for a few minutes to lower the temperature of the dough. Increase the speed to medium and then add the eggs, one at a time.
- Mix until a smooth, cool dough forms, about 5 minutes.
- Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a # 9 tip, with the dough, or use a spoon to form small puffs, about 3 cm in diameter, and another around 5 cm in diameter on parchment paper or silpat.
- Brush the puffs with some beaten egg yolk and transfer to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes to 40 minutes until golden brown. Cool the puffs on a wire rack.
- To fill, make a hole using the tip of a very small piping nozzle and fill with your choice of filling (hazelnut mousse recipe here).
Red Icing Recipe
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- a few drops of red food colouring
- Mix the icing sugar, milk and red food colouring together and use to dip the baked choux pastry.
Lay a coloured smaller dough on top of the larged colored dough. Pipe with some whipped cream using a star nozzle in between the two doughs as if to form a collar. Top with some more whipped cream to form Santa’s hat.