I first shared my recipe for choux buns here on the blog in 2013, I had only just begun to experiment with choux pastry and whilst the results were good, I can tell you now that this new improved version is a hundred times better.
The main difference is that I now use pastry cream or creme patissiere as a filling over the standard vanilla whipped cream that I used to use. It makes for a denser filling so no soggy pastry, they last longer and they taste pretty incredible. This last batch that I made were my favourite yet so I thought it was about time I updated the recipe and photos to share with you.
Now choux pastry can seem fiddly and complicated but give it a go, you will be surprised by how quickly you will master it. I never pipe it after numerous messy attempts, hence the buns rather than the long perfectly shaped eclairs. I have always been a taste over looks person with food although I am starting to work more on the aesthetic appeal as we do eat with our eyes first and well..Instagram.
When making any dish I urge you to use the best quality ingredients you can afford, that means pure vanilla extract ( no essence please ) and top quality chocolate in this case. I use Callebaut chocolate for most of my bakes so I can recommend that.
Belgian Chocolate Choux Buns With Vanilla Pastry Cream
You will need:
For the pastry:
60g plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
For the filling:
200ml double cream
50ml whole milk
3 large egg yolks
250g golden caster sugar
30g plain flour
1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the topping:
100 g dark belgian chocolate
Preheat oven to 200c.
Pour the water into a saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter, as soon as the butter melts, turn up the heat and bring to a boil.
Add your flour in one go and take your pan off heat.
Beat quickly with a wooden spoon until the flour has blended in and the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and makes a ball. Do not overbeat or your pastry will be heavy rather than light and airy as it should be.
Leave to cool until its just lukewarm to the touch, start to beat in your eggs, a little at a time beating well between each addition – It’s best to use an electric mixer as the more you beat the better your pastry will be. Your pastry should now be very glossy and have a soft, almost dropping consistency.
Lightly oil and flour a baking tray and evenly space a tablespoon or so of pastry in dollops over your tray. Sprinkle lightly with water.You should have enough for approx 10 small buns. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown and well risen.
Remove from oven and pierce immediately with sharp knife to let steam escape and avoid a soggy bun. Leave to cool on wire rack while you make your filling.
Whisk your yolks, sugar and flour together and set aside. Heat your cream, milk and cinnamon together in a pan until boiling, remove a small amount (approximately 75ml ) of the mixture and whisk into the yolk,flour and sugar mix, add some more and whisk again before pouring carefully into the cream and milk in the pan. Whisk together and cook over a low heat until thickened ( should not take more than a few minutes ) now whisk in your butter and vanilla. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool – pop a layer of clingfilm on top of the mixture so it is touching the top to avoid a skin forming.
Now careful fill your buns with your pastry cream, use a piping bag or just a spoon like I did. Melt your chocolate and use as much or as little as you like to top your buns.
Now try to stop yourself eating them one after another. It’s hard I can tell you.
These are so indulgent and moreish that you have to try them! The filling is incredibly sweet and well creamy, the pastry is light and the chocolate topping is literally the icing on the cake.