Cream Puff, Be Careful with the Filling

Some time ago, the virtual world was busy discussing one of the well-known brands that produce cream puffs closing outlets in Indonesia. Many assume this brand is closing outlets because it still needs a halal certificate. Is that right?

Apart from all these issues, we would thoroughly review the critical points of the prohibition of this one snack. That way, as Muslim consumers, we can select halal cream puffs for us to consume from any brands circulating in Indonesia.

Cream puff, or in Indonesia called ‘Kue Sus’, was first discovered in France around 1540 by a head chef named Pantanelli. This cake is a choux pastry in French because it resembles a hollow cabbage. “Choux” itself means cabbage. The culinary world has also developed, and now the cream puff we know has been filled with vla, custard, or whipped cream.

If you look at the ingredients at a glance, nothing is critical, and some are even included in the non-critical ingredients (positive list) list, such as eggs. At the same time, many other ingredients have been sold under various halal-certified brands, such as milk, flour, sugar and butter.

But let’s look at the ingredients for the cream puff filling, which are generally filled with vla and custard. Typically, vla and custard are made by mixing main components such as milk, eggs, sugar, butter and flour. However, flan and custard are usually added with vanilla extract or rum essence to add aroma or eliminate the fishy smell of eggs.

Many people still ask about the halalness of vanilla extract products because they contain relatively high alcohol, above 0.5%, and even up to 40%. Because it is a liquid, vanilla extract is often equated with drinks which, according to the MUI fatwa, cannot contain more than 0.5% alcohol.

Fatwa of the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) No. 10 of 2018 concerning Food and Beverage Products Containing Alcohol/Ethanol states that the use of intermediate products that are not consumed directly, such as flavours containing alcohol/non-khamr ethanol for food product ingredients is legally permissible if medically they are not harmful. Vanilla extract or other essence is included in the intermediate product. However, vanilla essence sometimes has other critical components, so it must be ensured that it is halal.

As we know, rum is included in the khamr category. It’s different from vanilla extract; for rhum essence, no matter how much alcohol it contains, it cannot be consumed. This is because the flavour gives an aroma and taste that resembles rhum.

Another filling is whipped cream. The taste is savoury and sweet and easy to make, this is often a quick alternative for filling cream puffs. Usually, whipped cream only needs to be crushed until it produces thick foam until the volume has doubled. If traced, to create thick foam, whipped cream must have a high butterfat content (around 30-36%). This is because the fat globules contribute to the formation of stable air bubbles. Sometimes, other ingredients can also be added to help develop, such as sodium caseinatewhey protein, and glucose syrup.

“These fats and ingredients need to be traced to their sources, and they must come from halal sources. Although there are already many whipped cream products on the market, some of them come from abroad. So it must be ensured that it includes a halal label as proof or guarantee of product halalness,” explained Raafqi Ranasasmita, Corporate Secretary Manager of LPPOM MUI.

Currently, in Indonesia, there are many vanilla extracts and whipped cream products that have halal certificates circulating. LPPOM MUI provides a Halal Product Check platform to make it easier for Muslim consumers to find alternatives to various halal products. You can access Check Halal Products on the website or the HalalMUI application, which can be downloaded on the Google Playstore. Good luck! (YN)

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