Everyone was wanting a little treat for after dinner and profiteroles got a unanimous vote. The nice thing about making the little choux buns is that you can fill and top them with whatever takes your fancy. My family and I went the traditional route of fresh whipped cream or ice cream topped with lots of rich chocolate sauce. Filling them with crème patisserie and topping them off with caramel turns them into elegant croquembouche and piping the choux pastry into logs will result in éclairs. Choux buns can also be stuffed with savoury fillings so they are extremely versatile.
When you making choux pastry it is important to have all your ingredients ready as the pastry (which is more like a batter) requires lots of vigorous beating after adding each ingredient is added to keep it lump free. It can then be piped or spooned onto a baking sheet where it then puffs us and become hollow during baking. It’s a good idea to splash your baking tray with water before baking the buns as the resulting steam produced helps the buns rise. You must also pierce a small hole in the top of each bun to allow the steam to escape as soon as its out of the oven or else you risk them turning soggy.
These little buns are quite simple to make but look impressive enough to serve for guests. They are best eaten the day they are made, but this didn’t prove to be a problem in my house.
(Recipe by Delia Smith)
60g strong plain flour
1 tsp caster sugar
For the filling
250ml double cream, vanilla ice cream or crème patisserie
For the chocolate sauce
100g dark chocolate
1 tbsp golden syrup
Method – for the choux buns
Heat the oven to 200C. Grease and line two baking trays and set to one side.
Weight out the flour and sugar together and place onto a sheet of greaseproof paper that you can pick up easily in order to add the flour quickly later on.
Break the eggs into a cup and whisk lightly.
Heat the water and butter together in a pan until the butter has melted. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat.
Quickly shoot in the flour and sugar and beat until the flour has been completely worked into the water and the mixture has turned thick and glossy and is forming a sticky ball in the middle of the pan – around a minute.
Gradually beat in the egg a little at a time until silky smooth.
Now run your baking trays under the tap so that water droplets cover the surface.
Using a teaspoon, dot spoonfuls of batter over the baking trays, leaving a 1 inch gap. Alternatively you could pipe blobs using a piping bag.
Bake for 10 minutes in the 200C preheated oven, then increase the temperature to 220C for a further 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, they should be crisp, puffed up and golden brown in colour.
Transfer the buns to a wire wrack to cool, piercing a small hole in the top of each one to allow the steam to escape. The hole will be covered in chocolate sauce later.
For the chocolate sauce
Break the chocolate into small pieces and add to a pan along with the golden syrup and milk.
Heat very gently, stirring frequently until the chocolate has dissolved.
At this stage it will look far too liquid but keep stirring it over the heat, allowing a few small bubbles to appear. It will suddenly start to thicken, at which point remove it from the heat and continue to stir until you have a thick glossy sauce.
Can be used straight away or left to cool to room temperature.
Whip the cream into soft peaks.
Pipe or spoon the cream into the centre of the choux buns and pour over the chocolate sauce.
Makes 25 choux buns
I’m off on holiday to Marrakesch with my sister very early tomorrow morning, so there won’t be any posts for the next 10 days or so.
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