I recently made some chocolate choux buns and, whilst making the choux pastry, I decided to try whisking the eggs into the melted butter mixture using an electric hand whisk. I had picked up on the fact that this is supposed to incorporate air into the mixture as you are whisking in the eggs, resulting in a lighter pastry.
Having had success with these choux buns, I will now use this method when making the pastry for the religieuses and so I have amended the method for making the choux pastry in that recipe to show this (see here).
I like trying new ways of doing things. They don’t always work but this one certainly did.
Choux buns filled with a sweet, vanilla cream and topped with a thick coating of chocolate – what could be more heavenly?
Chocolate Choux Buns
Prepares: 8 choux buns
- Preparation time: 35 minutes
- Cooking time: 40 minutes
- For the choux buns
- 55g (2 oz) butter, cut into cubes (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
- 70g (2½ oz) plain/all purpose flour
- 2 eggs, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.), lightly beaten
- For the filling
- 480ml (16 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (2 cups)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp caster/white sugar
- 100g (3½ oz) plain/dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 40g (1½ oz) butter, cut into cubes (3 tbsp)
- For the choux buns
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) (gas 7)
- First sift the flour onto a piece of kitchen paper.
- Place the butter in a heavy-based pan along with 150ml (5 fl oz) (⅔ cup) of water. Heat the mixture over a gentle heat until the butter melts, stirring occasionally. Now bring the mixture to a rolling boil and then immediately remove from the heat and quickly tip in the flour. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a smooth paste.
- Now cook the mixture over a low heat, stirring constantly, until it comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a soft ball, about 2 minutes. The mixture will also dry out a little at this stage. Then transfer to a mixing bowl and leave until it feels cool to the touch, about 15 minutes.
- Next, using an electric whisk, gradually add the eggs, whisking well between each addition. Not all the egg may be needed. Just add enough until the mixture is smooth and shiny and forms a soft peak. (Using an electric whisk will allow air to be incorporated into the mixture as the eggs are added.)
- Sprinkle or spray a little water over the baking sheet. (When in the oven the water will create steam which will help puff up the mixture.) Put eight large spoonfuls of the mixture onto the lined baking sheet, spaced evenly apart.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5). Cook for a further 20 minutes or until the buns are well risen and golden brown. (Don’t open the door of the oven during the first 20 minutes of cooking.) Remove the choux buns and turn off the oven.
- Pierce a small hole into each bun with a skewer or make a small cut with the tip of a knife, which will allow steam to escape, then return to the oven for 5 minutes to dry out.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Then cut in half and remove any uncooked pastry. They are then ready to be filled.
- Put the butter and half the chocolate in a heavy-based pan and melt over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from the heat, add the remaining chocolate, and stir until it has melted and the mixture is of a smooth consistency. Set to one side to cool.
- For the filling
- Whisk the cream, vanilla extract and sugar together until stiff.
- Cut the buns in half and fill with the cream mixture.
- To finish
- Once the chocolate is cool, thickly coat the top of each bun.
- These are best eaten within a few hours after they have been filled. Once filled with the cream mixture, the pastry will tend to soften.
Updated: November 16, 2017