27 September 2015

A Choux Bun.. With a Twist.

This came to me. In class, last week while I was daydreaming about patisserie (as I do) and I thought why can't I do that? I can, nay I should do that. I should challenge myself to build a choux tower but on a miniture scale. On a cupcake.. on a bun. A choux bun.. ohmigoshyouguys.. 

And I did.

Only it took two attempts at the choux and another two attempts at the baking because the sizes were all over the place (I have figured out for you below so don't worry!). But the lads here didn't mind, sure they all love choux buns and the fact they were like little poppet sized ones made them even better. Made it a pain in the bum for me, to swat them out of the kitchen as they stole my mini morsels but nevertheless the challenge that was accepted, was fulfilled. 

And I have to say I am pretty smug about it too. Isn't that awful.. to be smug? I could dress it up and pretend to be proud of my creation but no.. nope, I am smug. Smugly smug with a huge grin like.. did you see what I made. Look what I made.. are you looking?


Choux Pastry

100g butter
100ml water
70ml full fat milk
140g strong white flour
3 large eggs

Preheat your oven to 200C/400F, Gas Mark 6.
Grease a baking sheet with butter.
In a pot, put the butter, water and milk and melt the butter over a low-medium heat. Once melted, bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat and immediately tip in the four and stir vigorously until a smooth ball has formed and it comes away from the sides of the pot.
Put the pot back on the heat for a minute or so to further cook the dough, stirring all the time.
Remove from the heat once again and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
Beat the eggs together and when the dough is cooled, start adding the eggs bit by bit.
Using your wooden spoon mix vigorously until you have a glossy, sticky mess. You may not use all the eggs here.. just add in what you need to make it thick, smooth and glossy.

Spoon little dollops out onto a greased tray and pop into the oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your dollops. (the cupcake sized ones, only took 10.
Reduce the temperature, without opening the oven door to 170C and bake for a further 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, pierce a little whole in the side to release more steam and pop back in the oven for a further 5 minutes.

Allow to cool on a wire rack before filling.

Vanilla Cupcakes (makes 12)

110g of room temperature butter
225g caster sugar
150g self raising flour
125g plain/cream flour
 A half a teaspoon of baking powder
2 large free range  room temperature eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (I use vanilla bean paste)
125ml of whole, full fat milk.

Preheat your oven to 350F/180C or Gas mark 4. Line a 12 tray cupcake pan with cases.
Cream your butter and sugar until light and fluffy and pale.
Add in an egg, one at a time until the yolks have been incorporated.
Dry whisk or sieve all your flours and the baking powder together.
Add the vanilla to your milk. 
Add half your dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg combination and then half the wet. Mix until combined and repeat. Be careful not to over mix the batter here as you want them to stay light and fluffy. Just make sure all the ingredients have been mixed together.
Fill your cases to two thirds full.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. You know they are done when the tops are golden, have a slight spring in them when you gently push down or a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clear!
Allow to cool on a wire rack until cold and ready to be used. 

Vanilla Custard

1 vanilla pod
125g sugar
500ml milk
4 egg yolks
45g cornflour

Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod and put the pod, plus the seeds in a pot.
Add 50g of sugar and milk and gently heat over a low-medium heat. but do not allow it to boil.
In a separate bowl whisk together the rest of the sugar, the eggs and the corn flour.
When the milk is hot, but not boiling, remove it from the heat and pour 3/4 of it into the egg mix. Whisk it all together and transfer it back into the pot and back onto the heat.
Allow the custard to cook, to become thick and bubbling for about 1 minute.
Remove from the heat and push through a sieve to remove any lumps, into a clean bowl.

Allow to cool before using it as a filling.

Caramel Sauce

Cook 125g butter and 180g of dark brown sugar in a medium non stick pan over a medium heat for two to three minutes, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
Whisk in 200ml of double cream and bring the entire thing to a light boil, stirring constantly.

Turn off the heat and allow to stand until it's cooled slightly, stirring often.

Putting it all together...

Fill the profiteroles with your usual filling method, with the vanilla custard and leave to one side. Using a vanilla cupcake, dip the cupcake into the slightly warm caramel sauce and stick on a few of the profiteroles to form the base of your mini-croquembouche. Dip the underside of the next layer of profiteroles and stick to the layer previous, continuing along until you have built a tower.

Drizzle over and extra caramel sauce you see fit and pop into the fridge to harden for about 15 minutes.

And if you got through all that like I got through all that then you my friend are one lucky baker! And you can be smug like me. These little morsels of mmmmm... are sheer luxury. Not for the faint hearted or diabetics among us, but darn-it they are good.

And it was all thanks to Patisserie Week on the Great British Bake Off... A choux bun.. with a twist. Be sure to see what the other Bake Off bloggers got up to this week.. I know Jenny tried Mary's Mokatines and added her own twist. Why not swing by Naomi's blog and check out the linky?

French delights to be had, to be sure.

Link up your recipe of the week


  1. This is genius, genius i tell thee!!!!! seriously what a great idea to combine a cupcake with profiteroles! i also love the addition of a vanilla custard and a caramel sauce yum! mmmmm i wan to eat one now!
    thank you for linking up xx

    1. Thank you! The caramel cut through all the vanilla-ey sweet.. They are a good'un!!

  2. Wow!! We'll certainly let you any smugness Hazel when you make fabulous bakes like that!! That sure is a treat and a half!! Well done!
    Angela x

    1. Ha! Thanks you Angela for allowing me o be smug.. I still am ever so pleased with myself! But I promise not to over do it! X

  3. They look delicious with all the sauce pouring down, yummy!

  4. Such a brilliant idea - I made a croquembouche last year and I had a sugar high for weeks after!! These look amazing - well done you!

  5. Oh now really - that is SO clever! This is why the GBBO Bloggers are so inspiring - lovely people like you coming up with ingenious ideas. These look amazing x

    1. Aren't they just.. I love baking as part of this group. I love the ingenuity and interpretations of brief and the creativity that different bakers bring to the table!! It's super!

  6. Oh wow what an amazing dessert, it would be like having two in one without the guilt x

  7. How fabulous, I really know why you were on the Irish Bake off now :-) they look amazing!

  8. Wow, these look amazing! I'd never have thought of something like this, bet they tasted great x

  9. OH.MY.WORD. I just want to shove that all in my mouth in a completely unlady-like fashion.

    1. Shove away Jo... there's no judgement 'round here!

  10. love love love this idea! just awesome! I always smile when i arrive at your blog because I can so relate to the 'procrastibake' concept! x

  11. Whaaa, this looks so very delicious!! Of course you should be smug :-).
    I am trying to eat less sugar but you make it very hard for me dear!
    Want to thank you for your sweet comment on my blog, really appreciatie it...
    Hugs from Mirjam.

    1. Hugs to you too my dear! You need them and if I was closer to you, I would have brought you around some cake... Know it's there virtually I guess! :)


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