Teatime treats served around 4 o’clock, French goûter or quatre-heures

Peppermint Millefeuille with Fraises des Bois

 

Last weekend these little wild strawberry jewels were just beckoning in the sun along with redcurrants and mint from the garden. It didn’t take long to find inspiration for a quick dessert from Bernard Loiseau’s “Cuisine en Famille; I love this book (also as it’s signed by his wife, Dominique), even if the only problem is that there are absolutely no photos: you have to imagine in your head what the final result should be for each recipe. On the other hand, there’s no “pressure” – just use your creativity and imagination and you’re doing fine. It’s the flavour that counts.

 

This started out as his peppermint ice-cream with strawberries but as I began making the cream, another horrible migraine decided to interrupt the recipe. As it had the same quantities initially, it was quickly adapted as a crème pâtissière (pastry cream) and sandwiched between ready-made puff pastry cut into rounds using a cookie cutter.  (OK, I cheated with ready-made pastry, but there are times when it’s essential.)  The result was a pastry dessert ready in no time.  It’s perhaps not top of the fashionable pastry boutique parade in Paris, but the taste certainly made up for it!

Peppermint Millefeuille with Fraises des Bois

Serves 8

Preparation Time: 15 minutes (+1 hour infusion)
Cooking Time:
15 minutes

50cl whole milk
4 egg yolks
1 large branch of peppermint
70g sugar
50g cornflour
500g pure butter puff pastry
(or 2 packets ready rolled pastry rounds)

  1. Take the leaves off the peppermint branch, wash and dry them carefully.
  2. Boil the milk with the mint leaves, take off the heat and leave the leaves to infuse for 1 hour with the lid on.
  3. Beat together the egg yolks and sugar until light and creamy, then whisk in the cornflour.
  4. Remove the leaves from the milk with a slotted spoon then beat some of the milk into the egg mixture.  Transfer this to the milk and over a medium heat, continue to whisk for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  6. Set aside the custard to cool, whisking every so often so that no skin forms on top.  Once cool, transfer the cream to a piping bag.
  7. Meanwhile, cut small rounds from a pre-rolled sheet of puff pastry (or roll a block of puff pastry to about 2mm) using a 7cm cookie/scone cutter.  For one round I could get 15 discs: you shall need 3 per person.
  8. Place each disc on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Place another sheet of baking parchment over the discs and top with another baking sheet to stop the pastry discs from puffing in the oven.
  9. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden (I cooked mine for 15 which was a bit too much, as you can see.)
  10. Leave the pastry discs to cool, then pipe out the pastry cream on each layer and top with the fruits.
  11. Finish off with a dusting of icing sugar.

 

Store the egg whites in a sterilised jam jar with the lid on and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days until you’re ready to make your macarons…

See Mad About Macarons, Wimbledon and Wild Strawberrieson Le Blog.

Guest Recipe: White Chocolate and Raspberry Paris-Brest

Today is an extra special Guest Post. My lovely Irish guest, Hester Casey, is not only sharing a cracker of an egg yolk recipe with us, but it’s also the first anniversary of her blog, Alchemy in the Kitchen.  Congratulations on your first blogversary, Hester!

When Hester revealed she was making Paris-Brest, I immediately took a trip down memory lane with my girls this week to Maisons-Laffitte.  We lived there for 5 years just around the corner from THE Pâtisserie that created the Paris-Brest back in 1910.


This happy Monsieur, Louis Durand, was obviously over the moon!  What a clever idea, creating a pastry in the shape of a wheel especially for the famous bicycle race.

The girl serving in the shop saw us taking pictures outside. When I explained that I could mention it on le Blog and link up to them, she stared at me blankly with,”Oh, I don’t know if you can do that”. Well, voilà: check out the official Paris-Brest website at www.paris-brest.fr.

We bought a few mini Paris-Brests but would you believe, none of the minis were in the shape of a bicycle wheel!  They were more like a shell.  I’ll post the pic up on Facebook, if you’re interested.

These people need to market themselves, for goodness sake. Even the pastry box uses an email address rather than the website address.

They NEED YOU, Hester! Here she is now to show us her white chocolate and raspberry Paris-Brest.

Hester, Alchemy in the Kitchen

I’m Hester of Alchemy in the Kitchen. I’m one of seven siblings, and postcard Irish with auburn hair and a sprinkling of freckles. My home is Wicklow, “the garden of Ireland”, with my husband Chris, chief taster-in-residence.

Growing up in a large family meant our house was like a restaurant, with starter, soup, main and dessert each evening.  It was noisy, with everyone conducting at least three conversations simultaneously. Even though it was crowded, room could always be found for whoever happened along at mealtimes. How could I help but love food and the conviviality it brings!  To this day, I find it hard to prepare meals for fewer than 10 people.

When Jill invited me to guest post on Le Blog, I was thrilled. I’m a huge fan of Mad About Macarons and it is a real honour and pleasure to accept her invitation. Jill conveys her passion for great food and for Paris in equal measure, with a large helping of humour. I know when I read each of her posts they will have me drooling, or laughing,  or both – that gets messy. 🙂

White Chocolate and Raspberry Paris-Brest

The egg yolk challenge is a great idea because who hasn’t – at some stage – got a bowl of forlorn egg yolks sitting in the fridge. Having been parted from their whites – who have gone on to star as Magnificent Macarons, Marvellous Meringues, or Superb Soufflés – the poor old egg yolk tends to be forgotten.

Egg yolks can achieve greatness too. After all, Botticelli painted The Birth of Venus using egg yolk-based paint. Botticelli provided a feast for the eyes – here is something you can get your teeth into.  Gateau Paris-Brest is a delectable choux pastry, named after the famous Paris – Brest bicycle race. The shape represents a wheel. Here it is in miniature, my Summery version with raspberries and white chocolate pastry cream.

L’inspiration…le vélo

White Chocolate and Raspberry Paris-Brest

For 10 – 12 gorgeous little pastries you will need…

Pastry Cream (crème pâtissière)

300mls fresh milk
50g caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
15g plain flour
15g cornflour
4 egg yolks
50g good quality white chocolate, chopped

  1. Heat the milk in a medium saucepan until simmering.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the vanilla extract and sugar until thick and paler in colour. Add in the salt, plain flour and cornflour and whisk until incorporated.
  3. Slowly add the simmering milk to the egg yolk mixture, whisking all the time (never add cold eggs to hot liquid unless you want scrambled eggs). Mix well and return the liquid to the saucepan. Continue to whisk over a low heat until the liquid has become a thick custard. This will take about 3 or 4 minutes. Make sure not to boil the custard or it will become grainy and may scramble. The custard is thick enough when it coats the back of a wooden spoon and a finger pulled though this coating leaves a clean trail.
  4. Add in the white chocolate and stir until it has melted into the custard.
  5. Transfer to a bowl and cover with clingfilm, making sure the clingfilm makes contact with the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until ready to use. This can be prepared ahead and will keep in the refrigerator for several days.

Egg yolks – with the right company – are capable of greatness too

Choux Pastries

150mls water
50g butter
70g strong white flour/plain flour
A pinch of fine salt
2 eggs beaten

25g flaked almonds
You will also need a punnet of fresh raspberries
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (fan oven) at step 8
  1. Heat the water and butter together in a medium saucepan until the butter has melted and the liquid is simmering
  2. Carefully tip the flour and salt into the liquid in one go. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together in a soft ball of paste and no dry flour remains. Spread the ball of paste over the bottom of the saucepan and leave to cool to room temperature.
  3. When the paste has cooled, add in the beaten egg a little at a time, whisking well between additions. An electric whisk is best for this job. You want a smooth glossy soft paste that will hold its shape so check the mixture as you go along as you may not need to add all the egg.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and pipe circles of the mixture (approximately 8cm/3 inches in diameter) onto a lightly buttered baking tray, leaving 5cm/2 inches between circles. Scatter the tops of the circles with almond flakes and transfer to the oven. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until evenly golden brown. Remove from the oven and poke 2 horizontal slits in the side of each pastry to release some steam. Return to the oven for a further 2 minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack.
  5. Assemble the little pastries just before serving: slice them in half horizontally. Beat the cooled pastry cream until smooth. For a really decadent touch, I sometimes stir a tablespoon of mandarin brandy into the pastry cream at this stage. Pipe onto the lower half of the pastry wheel and add fresh raspberries. Replace the top and dust with icing sugar.

We taste wheel-y wheel-y delicious!

These little pastries are perfect accompaniment to a daydream where you might cycle from Paris to Brest, or perhaps paint a Renaissance masterpiece – using egg-yolk-based paint of course!

Don’t you just love it? They really look wheel-y, wheel-y light-as-a-feather gorgeous, Hester!  This “rounds” up this month’s guest posts just beautifully. Merci beaucoup!

Don’t forget to cycle over to Hester’s blog, Alchemy in the Kitchen.  She is certainly creating plenty magic: have you seen her latest simple ingredient tricks? She transformed a normal tzatziki into an apple and lime tzatziki with lamb kofte.  Would you believe she also coaxed some Bramley Apples to talk to some vanilla fudge and pastry? Agracadabra: it became a Walnut Fragipane Tart with Apple and Fudge! Enjoy her blog, and please say congratulations from me!  Happy Blogversary, Hester!

Guest Recipe: Strawberries and Cream Mousse Pie

How often have you felt harried or harrassed?  My guest this week is a full-time busybee: a part-time work-from-home, full-time wife, mother, obsessive foodie and, although “tends to be a worry-wart”, she still manages to have an adorable sense of humour while producing that harried magic in her kitchen.  I’m sure many of us can easily relate to Marsha; that’s what draws us to Marsha’s addictive blog, The Harried Cook. Would you believe The Harried Cook has only been going since March?  It’s with great pride to introduce Marsha Thompson as my guest on Mad About Macarons, as part of the egg yolk recipe series.

When Marsha emailed me with her recipe and photos, she certainly dropped a bombshell.  You’ll see what I mean.  Just look at that pie and read on.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and macaronivores: let me hand you over to Marsha.

Marsha, The Harried Cook

When Jill asked me if I would do a guest post for her, I literally jumped out of my chair. Not only was it my first ever guest post invitation, it was from THE Jill Colonna! How cool, right?

I took my own sweet time getting my post out to her. This was because every time I made something, I felt it wasn’t good enough for Jill’s blog! She’s got such a beautiful space here! Jill is also the funniest blogger I know! If you’ve interacted with her, you will know what I mean. She really cracks me up! Pun intended.

Speaking of which – the whole idea of cooking with egg yolks really egg-cites me! (You dared me to say that, remember Jill?) I have a lot of egg yolks left over quite regularly. Not because I have been brave enough to make macarons like Jill and so many of you wonderful bakers out there. I wish! Nothing that glamorous! It’s just that my husband loves his egg white omelettes -hence the spare yolks.

Now, on to the recipe. Pâte à bombe is a base made using sugar and egg yolks. I first read about it in a borrowed copy of Gordon Ramsey’s Passion for Flavor, and I noted it down in a little notebook. I made a few modifications from the original recipe, and I find it works for me. Using pâte à bombe gives the mousse fabulous texture!

This makes about 2 cups of pâte à bombe. You need only about half for this recipe, but I like to make double & save the rest for later. You can refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze it up to 2 months! This base can be used to make excellent chocolate mousse, French buttercream and parfaits too! It is a great thing to have in your freezer!

First I would like to share with you how I made the pâte à bombe, and then how I used it to make this mousse pie. I do hope you will bear with me, because the recipe is quite long!

Pâte à bombe

1 cup sugar
2 tbsp liquid glucose/corn syrup
1/3 cup water
4 egg yolks

Mix the sugar, glucose and water in a heavy based saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook them together until the syrup reaches 250 degrees (soft ball stage).

Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks in a large bowl until creamy and fluffy. When the syrup has reached 250 degrees, start pouring the sugar into the egg yolks, all the while beating at low speed.  Make sure you pour on the side of the bowl and let it run into the yolks, to make sure you don’t end up with sugar strands.

After all the sugar has been poured in, turn the mixer back on high, and continue beating until the mixture has cooled down, and is thick, light and creamy. Stop beating and lick the beaters. Yes, it is that delicious!

Set aside and try not to eat all the pâte à bombe with a spoon. Refrigerate in a dry jar if not using immediately.

Strawberries & Cream Mousse Pie

This pie is not difficult to make, but has a few stages and a LOT of waiting in between. In fact, if you use a store bought crust & have the pâte à bombe in your fridge or freezer, this could be called a no-bake, no-cook pie!

Biscuit crust

2 cups of digestive biscuit crumbs, crushed fine in a food processor
¾ tsp cinnamon powder
8 tbsp melted butter

Mix all these ingredients together well, and press into a 9-inch pie dish, covering the base and the sides.

Bake at 180°C for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool, and refrigerate for at least an hour before using.

Strawberry Mousse

170g (6 oz) hulled strawberries
4 tsp powdered gelatin
2 tbsp cold water
1 ½ cup heavy cream
115g (4 oz) pâte à bombe
(approximately a generous ½ cup)

Puree the strawberries, and strain if desired. I didn’t. Mix in the pâte à bombe.

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and allow it to soften. Melt it by heating it very briefly, and add it to the strawberry puree. Don’t let the gelatin get too hot, it will affect its setting ability.

Whip the cream till the soft peak stage, and fold the whipped cream into the strawberry puree.

Pour into the pie crust and allow it to set in the fridge for 4-6 hours.

I made a smaller portion of the white chocolate mousse, because I wanted the strawberry mousse to be the star of the show. Also, white chocolate is pretty sweet and I hate overly sweet desserts! The strawberry mousse, being sweetened only by the pâte à bombe, is only mildly sweet. The sweetness from white chocolate mousse balances that out really well!

White Chocolate “Whipped Cream” Mousse

85g (3 oz) white chocolate
2 tsp gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
2 oz pâte à bombe (approximately a generous 1/4 cup)

Prepare the gelatin like you did for the strawberry mousse.

Melt the white chocolate in over a double boiler. Stir in the pâte à bombe while the chocolate is still very hot.

Stir in the gelatin & set aside to cool.

Whip the cream to soft peaks. First, fold a third of the cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then, gently fold in the cooled chocolate mixture.

Refrigerate till semi-set, about 2-3 hours. Then, whip it lightly and transfer to a piping bag. Pipe the ‘whipped cream’ over your strawberry mouse in whatever pattern you like. Allow to chill for a few hours before slicing. Garnish with fresh strawberries & serve chilled.

This pie is light & creamy, not too sweet and an absolutely perfect dessert for warm weather!

I hope all of you enjoyed this recipe from my tiny little kitchen. I am so sorry I was not able to get a better picture of a slice of the pie. Between taking pictures of the pie and walking to the kitchen to get a knife to slice it, there was a small accident involving me, the pie, a whining toddler and a nosy dog. 🙁 The crust and the strawberry mousse layer took most of the damage, but we salvaged most of it, and it tasted delightful!

It was light and tasty to eat on a hot summer’s day.

Thank you once again, Jill for asking me to write this post, and thanks to all you wonderful people for taking the time to read this!

Didn’t I tell you that she dropped a bombe-shell with this one?  See, she’s got me started, too. Poor thing, dropping it after all that work – at least we can still get to have a slice with that last photo. Thank you so much for sharing this glamorous crème de la crème of mousses with us, Marsha – and also for the lovely comments.

I don’t know about you, but after making that gorgeous pâte à bombe, I’m not sure there would be any left in our house to even make the strawberries and cream mousse pie! It’s great that you can make it in advance and use it for the pie later, or for more mousses, buttercreams etc.-  plus it uses up the egg yolks.

Don’t forget to check out Marsha’s blog, The Harried Cook.  This week she has been making the most delicious homemade boursin cheese, a fruity tropical smoothie, and check out her latest Lime & Pepper Cookies.  Yes, that’s right: lime and pepper.  Amazing!  I also hear she’s doing a giveaway of Mad About Macarons… so head on over and say hello from me.

Guest Recipe: Mango Egg Tarts

Do you ever get all soppy sentimental over certain foods?  It may sound silly, but mine is simply with egg tarts.  When I initially came to live in Paris, it was sometimes overwhelming trying to cope with the language.  Everyone spoke so fast!  As a lost Scottish chatterbox, I often felt dumbstruck following tongue-twisting euuh-ahh-oooh French lessons at Alliance Française. Antoine, who had the sweet tooth, would buy egg tarts frequently to cheer me up.  They remain a sweet comfort whenever I’m feeling a bit numb dumb.  Yes, even 20 years on, it still happens when my children now correct my French!

Just recently, I discovered a wonderful blog, Roti n Rice. Its author, Biren, was preparing fascinating recipes that were a mix of Asian dishes but somehow seemed familiar with Western influences.  Biren was brought up in Malaysia and so was used to her family serving a mix of Chinese, Malay, and Indian cuisines.  As she grew up, Western, Japanese, and other East Asian cuisines were thrown into the mix.  Now Biren lives in Minnesota. What more can I say?  Biren mixes the two cooking cultures of Roti (meaning bread in Malay, Hindi, and other South Asian languages) with rice and noodles.

I was delighted when Biren accepted to do a guest post for us today, to add to the egg yolk recipe series.  What kind of twist would she do to an egg tart?  Well hang on, folks; wait until you see how my humble studenty egg tart has been given the new dinner party treatment.  Let me hand you over to Biren.

mango egg tart egg yolk recipe

Biren, Roti n Rice

Greetings to all you Macaronivores! I am Biren of Roti n Rice and I am much honored to be here today, contributing to Le Blog’s new series on egg yolk recipes. First of all, I would like to thank my gracious host, Jill for the invitation and to congratulate her on “Mad About Macarons”.  I have heard many good things about the book.

This new series on egg yolks is such a brilliant idea. It fills a niche in using up egg yolks, saving the whites for macarons. I have enjoyed the recipes from the other guest posts and look forward to more in the coming days.

Now, it is my turn to share a recipe with you that is reminiscent of the egg tart, a dim sum favorite. Instead of a pastry crust, I made an easy pressed graham cracker crust* filled with a mango custard. The custard is light and slightly tangy, contrasting beautifully with the crust. These tarts can be made ahead if you are having guests. Cover and leave to chill in the fridge until ready to be served. Enjoy!

(* Graham crackers may not be found outside of the US. Please substitute with Marie biscuits or Digestive biscuits. Ginger snaps would also work.)

mango egg tarts for teatime

 

Mango Egg Tarts

(makes 6 tarts)

Graham Cracker Crust

1¼ cups (140g) finely crushed Graham crackers (Marie biscuits, Digestive biscuits, or ginger snaps)
2 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp (70g) unsalted butter, melted

Mango Custard

1 cup (240ml) mango puree
¾  cup (170ml) coconut milk
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp (30gm) butter
2 tbsp rice flour

Line a standard size muffin pan with 8 foil liners.

Graham Cracker Crust

Stir together crushed graham crackers, sugar and butter until well combined. Press mixture evenly onto the bottom and sides of lined muffin pan. Bake in a 350?F (180°C) oven for 8 minutes. In the mean time, work on the custard. When crust is ready, remove and cool on a rack. Leave oven on.

Mango Custard
In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks lightly. Set aside.  Heat butter in a pan and cook flour. Pour in mango puree, coconut milk, and  sugar stirring over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in egg yolks until well combined. Pour warm filling into baked tart shells. Bake in a 350?F (180°C) oven for 12 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack. When it is cool enough to handle, transfer baked tarts to a flat pan. Cover with foil and chill for at least 4 hours in the fridge.
Mango egg tartlets yolk recipe
Many thanks, Biren, for sharing such a delicious yolky recipe with us.  Don’t forget to drop by Biren’s blog, “Roti n Rice” and say hello for me.  She has plenty more gorgeous sweet and savoury recipes to share.

Guest Recipe: Biscuits Bretons

When my friend, Joshua, told me he had the perfect French recipe to use up egg yolks for this series, I was overjoyed.  It’s my absolute favourite French biscuit: it’s buttery, but not too heavy or sweet.  What’s more – like macarons – they’re addictive.

If you don’t know Joshua already, you soon will.  He was the one who came up with that magnificent macaron for the Royal Wedding macaron procession.  So let’s bring on the royal trumpets to welcome Joshua to the guest recipe egg yolk series.  Ladies and Gentlemen, let me hand you over to the Monsieur himself…

Joshua, author of Just Eat!

I’m Joshua Alan, a food blogger for “Just Eat!” and aspiring pastry chef. Currently, I live and study French in Normandy, France, which I will terminate this coming June. In the United States, I am a college study and small business owner, a baking and cake decorating business, in Nashville, Tennessee. I absolutely love all things sweet! Just about everytime I walk the streets of my French city, I am trying a different pastry! It’s magical. A world without dessert is not a world that I want to live in. My blog is all about these adventures and recipes inspired by the travels of my taste buds!

This recipe is a favorite of mine and is a great way to use up all those left over egg yolks! Le biscuit breton is a specialty of Bretagne, France, located just below my current city. These cookies are rich, sweet, and buttery. What more can you ask for? The smell as they bake is entirely intoxicating, but does the taste no justice! I could seriously eat an entire batch by myself, and I have.

Recipe: Les Biscuits Bretons

Ingredients:

3 Egg Yolks
1 1/4 cup Sugar (125 g)
1 cup Butter (Room temp) (230 g)
3 cups Flour (370 g)
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Water + 1 Egg Yolk

Makes 4 Dozen Cookies

1. In a clean bowl, place 3 egg yolks, the butter, and the sugar.
2. Mix until fluffy.
3. Add in flour and salt, mix well.


4. Turn dough out onto floured surface and form into a ball. Add water, if needed.
5. Wrap dough in parchment paper or plastic wrap, than place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
6. Roll dough out to approximately 1/6″/ 4 mm thick.


7. Using a cookie cutter, preferable a fluted one, cut the dough and place on a baking sheet.
8. Mix water and egg yolk, then brush each cookie with the mixture.
9. Using a fork, drag the tips across the top of the cookies, making a criss-cross pattern.
10. Bake at 350F/180C for 10-12 minutes.

Many thanks, Joshua, for joining in the egg yolk recipe collection with my favourite French biscuits.  Don’t forget to drop by Joshua’s blog, “Just Eat!” for many more delicious French-inspired treats.  At the moment he’s travelling around Europe, so we’re looking forward to hearing all about his adventures!

Passion Fruit Caramel Choux Buns & a Choux-Choux Train

I used to think that Choux pastry was complicated.  Until one day I opened up “The Black Book“. This was the recipe notebook my Scottish Granny kept, filled with simple, classic recipes from the neighbours, scribbles from the Jimmy Young Radio Show cooking program and bulging with cuttings from magazines and newspapers.

Today it’s encrusted with spatters with the proof that the recipes in her Black Book were tried and tested. I’m honoured that I was passed on her book to keep her recipes alive within the family. It’s amazing how my Granny had such a sweet tooth.  There is only ONE recipe that is savoury out of the whole repertoire. I’m particularly intrigued by newspaper cuttings of the latest trendy 1960’s hairstyles.  Why this is in a recipe cutting book beats me. Is there a recipe on the other side of this hair tinting advert? No.

Twice as fascinating? Control yourself.

Granny’s kitchen was the centre of the house and so her recipe book acts more like an agenda, telling a wee story. The only problem is it’s all scattered about and difficult to make out. I wonder if she tried this hair recipe to impress Grandpa, then? 😉

Granny had several entries for the classic Choux pastry in different forms, as they are the basis for many pastries such as éclairs, profiteroles, réligieuses, chouquettes, waffles and these choux buns.  The recipe (like many wartime recipes) used margarine instead of butter and just 250g water. Here, I’ve replaced some of it with milk and added a touch of orange blossom water.

CHOUX BUNS

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

150g water
90g milk
2 tbsp orange blossom water
4g salt
1 tbsp sugar
90g unsalted butter
150g flour
4 eggs
4 sugar lumps, crushed (optional for chouquettes)

1.  Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Boil the water, milk, orange blossom water, salt, sugar and butter in a large saucepan.

2.  Once boiling, remove from the heat and quickly add the flour. Whisk until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the pan.

3.  Transfer to a mixing bowl (or electric mixer) and gradually add the eggs until you have a lovely smooth, sticky paste.  At this point, you can seal the pastry in a bag and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

4.  Using a piping bag, pipe out small heaps on baking trays covered in greaseproof/baking paper (or Silpat) Leave a good space between each mound, as they will spread out during baking.

5.  Brush with a glaze of one egg yolk mixed with a tablespoon of water.  If you’re making chouquettes, then sprinkle on crushed sugar lumps.  Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

TipDon’t open the oven door.  Wait until they are cooked enough, light to dark brown – otherwise they could collapse if not fully baked.

Passion Fruit Cream

(based on Manu’s filling recipe for Genovesi Ericine, Manu’s Menu):

2 egg yolks
150 g sugar
60 g cornflour
250 ml milk
juice of 3 passion fruits

1.  Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a saucepan.  In a bowl, dissolve the cornflour in a quarter of the milk and then add the remaining milk.  Stir well, add the milk to the beaten egg yolks little by little and incorporate it while whisking continuously.

2.  Gently heat the cream, whisking continuously for about 12 minutes or until it thickens.  It needs to become as thick as a pudding.  Set aside to cool for 15 minutes, covering with cling film so that no skin forms on the surface.

3.  Seive the seeds out of the passion fruits and whisk into the cooled mix.

4.  Transfer to a piping bag and, gently piercing a hole in the side of each choux bun, fill each bun with the passion fruit mixture.

Now make a salted caramel sauce (caramel au beurre salé), but instead of adding a touch of water to the sugar at the start of cooking, mix together the juice of 2 passion fruits to form a syrup with the sugar and proceed as in the caramel recipe. Dribble over the choux buns and prepare to float off to passion fruit heaven.

For some fun, why not decorate your choux buns for a different kind of birthday cake?  In this recipe, I made 12 choux buns for an adult stack above plus 12 buns below for my daughter’s fun ‘cake’:

Choux-choux!

See related post in Le Blog
on
Choux Celebrations