This recipe is worth the little bit of effort it takes to produce these French crispy pastry buns, filled with sweet, thick custard and topped with a rich chocolate ganache. Once you have the basic choux pastry mastered they won't take too long to whip up and are the perfect thing to make when friends come for dinner to impress them with you pastry skills!
- For the choux pastry
- 185ml water
- Pinch of salt
- 75g unsalted butter
- 100g plain flour 3 large free range eggs
- For the crème patisserie
- 2 free-range egg yolks
- 60g caster sugar
- 20g cornflour corn flour
- 20g plain flour
- 280ml milk
- Vanilla pod
- For the ganache
- 225g good quality plain chocolate
- 100g butter
- 142ml carton double cream
For the choux pastry buns preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5.
Put the water, salt and butter in a medium-sized pan. Heat gently until the butter melts. Bring to the boil then immediately remove the pan from the heat and tip in all the flour. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon, don’t worry that the mixture will look like a complete mess at this point, it will soon come together to make a smooth heavy ball of dough.
Return the pan to a low heat and beat for about 30 seconds to dry out the dough slightly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Lightly whisk the eggs and gradually beat into the mixture, saving the last tbsp of egg for glazing.
Put small balls of dough slightly apart onto greased trays. Make up one tray of 12 small balls, around 1 tsp of mixture and one tray of 12 larger rounds of dough to make the bottoms.
Lightly brush the tops with the egg glaze then bake in the heated oven for 15 to 20 mins until crisp and golden. Remove the trays from the oven and make a small hole in one side of each bun with a cocktail stick or skewer to let out the steam. Return the trays to the oven and bake for another 3 to 5 mins until really crisp and golden brown then transfer the buns to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
For the crème patisserie whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until pale and light. Fold in the corn flour and flour.
Bring the milk to the boil in a small saucepan and then whisk it gradually into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into a clean pan and bring it slowly to the boil until it thickens.
Simmer for a minute and then take the pan off the heat.
Pass through a sift. Split vanilla pod in half length ways, scrape out the seeds and add to the mixture.
Cover with cling film and allow to cool. Then place in a piping bag.
For the ganache break up the chocolate and place in a bowl with the butter. Place the bowl over a pan of just simmering water and leave until melted, stirring until smooth. Alternatively, place the mixture in the microwave and heat for 3 minutes on medium, stirring halfway through. Stir until smooth.
When the butter and chocolate have melted, remove from the heat and stir in the cream until smooth.
Cool until it is the desired consistency.
To decorate cut a small slit in the underside of each bun and pipe crème patisserie into the hollow space.
Spread the ganache onto the larger buns first, sticking the smaller ones onto it and topping them with more ganache.