Surely by now you have seen annathered's fantastic step-by-step tutorial on how to make everyone's favorite forest spirit in glorious edible form. If you have not, you absolutely need to go visit her blog and squee at the cuteness. (While you are there you should also check out her amazing Domokun marshmallows.)
(And, doesn't Totoro look like he's running away from the Labbit? I need to photoshop a scream of panic into it.)
Anyway, Mr. Pyota knew a good thing when he saw it and promptly sent the link my way. And with a weekend coming up, I knew what I was going to be doing! The reason I said "Totoro" in my post title is that my puffs are definitely not up to snuff compared with annathered's, but I like to think that if you squint, they bear a slight resemblance to Totoro.
(As an aside, My Neighbor Totoro is one of my favorite movies and if you have not seen it, DO IIIIIT. What are you waiting for! It's so good, trust me. And you'll feel happier at the end of it.)
This is what my puffs looked like after baking but before decorating. I used a half recipe of choux paste from the Joy of Cooking. As this was my first time making choux paste (I know!), I had a bit of trouble piping it out evenly and had to guess at how big to make the shapes. Fortunately I found that going over it with a damp finger to smooth everything out fixed most of the problems, and I was able to reshape some of the ears. Still...no, these do not look like Totoros much.
And here is what happens when you don't read the directions properly and you put the features on BEFORE dusting with green tea powder and powdered sugar. Whoops! Well, let's move on from that, shall we, and talk about filling. I made a small batch of pastry cream and flavored half with vanilla and the other half with about a teaspoon of green tea powder. Actually that turned out to be too much green tea (for only about half a cup of custard), but flavor as you wish! It did ooze out of the cracks of some of my puffs, making some ZombieTotoros.
Someone said to me that they wouldn't be able to eat such cute puffs. That's why there are 10 more living in my freezer, startling me every time I open the freezer door...