Choux Choux Celebrations

Have you had an overdose of Easter chocolate over the last few days?  If so, then let me tell you a story.

When I first came to France I discovered a totally “normal” condition called  une crise de foie (literally translated = liver crisis). I was always alarmed when Antoine told me after Easter time that his liver was under attack and he would immediately head for the medicine cabinet.  Heavens.  This was serious.  Much to my relief and gradual amusement over the years, however, it was just his adorable French way of saying he’d eaten too much chocolate. How can you eat too much chocolate?

I’m just back after spending a precious week with the family back in Scotland.  It was celebration after celebration.  There was a Scottish dancing ceildih evening – kilts galore along with the traditional bashed neeps (turnips), tatties and haggis – at my aunt & uncle’s 40th Wedding Anniversary.  And to start it all off, we had two birthdays: my daughter, Julie’s and my own.

After tasting Monsieur Genin’s gungy passionfruit and mango caramels in Paris with Adam (from fame) and seeing a stack of passionfruits wafting their aromas at the market, I had the inspiration for a birthday cake.  As Antoine would be approaching another “crisis”, then my usual flourless chocolate cake was out of the question.  I needed something that could double up as an adult “cake” and a fun birthday cake for a 11-year-old who is still 5 at heart.  For a change it wasn’t macarons. Yes, believe it or not, I don’t always make macarons. 😉  Besides, I had run out of whites…

Oops... chocolate eggs crept in here somehow

So I made some choux buns and tried out Manu’s filling for Genovesi Ericine that she used as a guest recipe as part of the egg yolk series.  Instead of her lemon filling, I mixed in the juice of 3 passion fruits.  I loved the consistency and that it didn’t use any butter.  So, feeling decadent I topped the whole thing off with a buttery caramel sauce (see recipe for caramel au beurre salé) that was perfumed with the juice of a couple of passion fruits.
Here’s the recipe for passionfruit choux buns. Then I had some fun and surprised Julie…

Check out the Ascot-style macaron hat...

Speaking of hats, the celebrations continue.  In Scotland last week the hype of the Royal Wedding was everywhere.  It’s impossible to miss the mugs, plates, teapots, banners, flags etc. embellished with William and Catherine’s photos for the Big Day on Friday 29th.  Don’t forget to send me your photos of Royal Macarons, please!  ([email protected](dot)com) and I’ll parade them on next week’s post on Le Blog. Come on, I’ve only got one so far.  Does this mean I have to make the rest myself? 😉

Another celebration?  I had a lovely surprise from Dee from Deelicioussweets for honouring Le Blog with an award!  Thank you so much, Dee!

Plus la fête continues.  Traditionally on 1st May in France, we celebrate la Fête du Travail with a national holiday.  Except this year – not much luck – it falls on Sunday.  It’s a wonderful custom as posies of Lily of the Valley (Muguet) are offered to family and friends to bring good luck.  So, here’s mine to you all a little early, as they popped out a little early in my herb garden.  Wishing you all happiness and a year of bonheur, my friends!

Wishing you all a Happy 1st May!

52 replies
  1. thoma
    thoma says:

    wow choux choux buns with the buttery caramel sauce can never lead me to a liver crisis…no choc, no problem!

    you make everything sound so much fun; i’m going to create the Fun Goddess Award for you…houuzzzaat?

  2. Choclette
    Choclette says:

    A belated Happy Birthday to you. Passionfruit choux buns with caramel has me swooning at the very thought – what a fantastically exciting stand in for a birthday cake. Sounds like you had a great time in Scotland. Happy May Day to you too.

  3. Kristen
    Kristen says:

    Passionfruit in a choux sounds just delicious. I need to get out of the box and try some fruit fillings. Your trip to Scotland sounds joyous…just like family time should be.

  4. spcookiequeen
    spcookiequeen says:

    A Very Happy Belated Birthday to you and your daughter. Love the decadent choux buns, that hat is too cute. I don’t think the hype is too bad here in the states, Royal Macarons will have to see what they look like.

  5. The Mistress of Spices
    The Mistress of Spices says:

    Maybe someday I’ll work up the courage to make a choux pastry. In the meantime, I’ll live vicariously through you! I love the addition of the passion fruit, as I love all things passion fruit. Wonderful! Enjoy your weekend, even if there is no holiday 🙂

  6. parisbreakfast
    parisbreakfast says:

    What a BRILLIANT idea Jill!
    Passion fruit is one of my favorite flavors thanks to P Herme. It wasn’t in my repetoire before tasting his macs. Now I can’t dream of anything else.
    There’s a terrific over-the-counter pill in France – do you know Oddibil? It’s simply charcoal tablets but perfect after too many escargot or similar tres riche dishes.

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hehee, Carol. You’ve found me out: I also head for the medicine cabinet these days as well and it’s the charcoal capsules. They’re great 🙂 Cheers!

  7. Manu
    Manu says:

    Welcome back and happy belated birthday Jill and Julie!!!! I am so glad you enjoyed your time in Scotland, it is great to be with family and friends! 🙂 The choux buns look delicious and really pretty! I wish someone made me such a beautiful birthday cake (I love choux by the way!). 🙂 I am glad you liked the consistency of the filling. I will try your passion fruit variation as it sure sounds yummy!!! 🙂 All ready for the royal wedding tomorrow???

  8. Maureen
    Maureen says:

    I’m so glad Erin found me and I found you! I love une crise de foie! My French grandmother used to say that a lot and we’d reply, “Awww Mémé you eat too much!” When I was kid I was embarrassed that she didn’t speak English.. what a horrible little person I was.

    I adore your blog. Your description of Scotland reminded me so much of our visit to Inverness and Glasgow last year. Your food and photography just wow me. Can you tell I’m excited to have found you?? 🙂

  9. Amy
    Amy says:

    Wow…these look delicious! Everything about them from the light chou pastry to the delicious passion fruit filling! Yum! Happy Birthday, hope it was a great one :)!

  10. Magic of Spice
    Magic of Spice says:

    Happy Birthday to both you and your daughter…sounds like you had a wonderful trip 🙂
    And that is too funny about the chocolate liver crisis, oh my 🙂
    Congratulations on your awards, very well deserved and will not be the last I am sure 😉

  11. cooking rookie
    cooking rookie says:

    1. Such cute puff pastries :-).
    2. Congratulations for receiving the awards!
    3. You are so lucky to have lily of the valley in your garden – such beautiful delicate flowers, probably my favorite!
    4. Thank you and a question:
    I won your book Mad abou Macarons at a giveaway on Joshua’s site. So thank you for the wonderful book with all the lovely photos and great tips! I started “aging” the egg whites the moment I received the book, and made my first ever macarons 4 days later, I tried following the recipe as closely as I could. They tasted great, but they had no “feet”, they were quite hollow and moist in the middle and the tops of some of them cracked. Would you have any recommendation for what might have gone wrong?
    Also, this is probably my piping technique, but almost all my macarons ended up looking like a turban, with a little peak in the middle :-). How do I make them smooth on top? Does it mean that my batter was too stiff?
    Thanks so much again!

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hi, thanks for your lovely comments. Don’t worry about the macarons, as this was your first time. Would just suggest the following:
      No feet? Dry out the shells until they form a skin on them before baking. Also due to not enough mixing which is also the cause of the peaks in the middle (you’re right, the batter was too stiff). Cracks are also due to your oven. Have you checked that the oven is the temp is says it is? Once you get your oven worked out best, then things will be easier. Hope this helps.

  12. Judy
    Judy says:

    I love all the idiomatic French phrases – I studied French for many years in high school. I remember wooden head and square eyes, but never heard about the liver crisis. Love it!

  13. cakewhiz
    cakewhiz says:

    that liver crisis story made me crack up…too funny! i love the chocolates and candies that come around easter time… they are soooooo good! lol

    btw, your passionfruit choux buns look lovely 🙂

  14. Janice
    Janice says:

    Glad to hear you enjoyed your week in Scotland. I’m sure the unseasonal weather would help! Choux buns look great, I can imagine that the passionfruit would cut through the sweetness of the caramel.

    I love lily of the valley, I can almost smell it, thank you.

  15. The Harried Cook
    The Harried Cook says:

    Thank for another beautiful post, Jill! LOL at the ‘liver crisis’ hehehe 😀 I so enjoy reading your blog!
    🙂 Belated happy birthday to you and to your daughter! I am a huge fan of choux buns & these look gorgeous! and the caramel sauce looks amazing! 🙂

    PS – Is that bun wearing a hat? ;p

  16. Lil @ sweetsbysillianah
    Lil @ sweetsbysillianah says:

    i love hearing about all the different celebrations, jill – happy belated to you and your daughter! there seem to be a lot of april birthdays…my mom’s is tomorrow! =) i’m planning to make a cake with choux for her… hope it comes out the way i envision it!

  17. Claudia
    Claudia says:

    Happy, happy birthday to you and Julie! What delightful celebrations you had! You do make everything so gloriously special. While I did indulge in crisis – my liver seems to do just fine with lots of chocolate. Maybe I need a liver crisis to get over my plateau and lose my love of chocolate! I am ready for lily-of-the-valley season!

  18. Carolyn
    Carolyn says:

    Sorry, Jill, but I think your delicious choux/passionfruit/caramel creation would be sweet enough to send us all into une crise de foie! It looks so good, my liver aches just thinking about it.

  19. Kim - Liv Life
    Kim - Liv Life says:

    Love the choux choux buns!! And the hat is incredibly adorable! And add a happy belated birthday to you and Julie. Our girls are the same age.
    I completely understand about the liver crisis… I do believe that I’ve been there. Occasionally though it is cheesecake that causes it for me. See, no one else really eats more than just a piece and then I’m “stuck” with a big plate of cheesecake looking at me. I simply must make it go away so I eat it. Did I mention how much I love cheesecake?? We did a Margarita Cheesecake for Easter and I still have one of those darn pieces looking at me. I don’t think it will last long!

  20. Parsley Sage
    Parsley Sage says:

    …i now know what was wrong with me all weekend. My liver was having a crisis. Your choux buns look super tasty and perfectly appropriate for Easter and birthdays! Well done 🙂

  21. The Absurd Baker
    The Absurd Baker says:

    Love your choux buns. Don’t love the liver crisis, although I think I am in the middle of one after so many egg-based desserts – adorned by chocolate! Happy Birthday and First of May!

  22. Lisa McDonnell
    Lisa McDonnell says:

    I love the choux buns with accessories … you make me smile every time! I’m glad you had a nice visit with your family. It sounded like wonderful fun. And the “crise de foie” such French drama… I love it!

  23. Becky
    Becky says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Wishes!

    Sounded like a wonderful birthday celebration with your daughter.

    Too funny about the “liver Crisis”.

    I love Lily of the Valley, so have a wonderful Fete du Travail.

  24. BigFatBaker
    BigFatBaker says:

    LOL at the “liver crisis”
    I seem to be going through the same thing much to frequently…hopefully the end of the semester and Easter will fix that. 😉 I have never heard of choux buns but they look delicious, and I bet they are addicting with Manu’s filling!

  25. Leslie
    Leslie says:

    Oooh, I just LOVE passionfruit! Those choux-choux are totally mignon!
    Must show them to my 11-year old, she will love them, too-
    Happy belated Birthday, sounds like you had an amazing time!

  26. Liz
    Liz says:

    Too funny about the liver crisis…I would have been concerned, too! And sending you belated birthday wishes…your choux buns look incredible…and so decadent with that caramel topping…mmmmmm.

  27. Adriana
    Adriana says:

    That choux-choux looks like so much fun! Love the hat and bowtie on that little fellow. I’m looking forward to the Royal Macarons. Hope you had a wonderful birthday and return the wishes for a wonderful year.

  28. Hester Casey - Alchemy
    Hester Casey - Alchemy says:

    You can’t beat a good ceildih – I’d rather that than the gym any day – so much fun. Love your little choux choux buns – particularly the Ascot one (I’m sure I’ve seen Kate Middleton in that hat 😀 )

    [email protected] says:

    It was your birthday?! Happy Birthday!!!! I hope all your wishes come true!!! xoxo
    Sounds like you had a wonderful week with your family back home!!

    LOL @ the liver crisis! 🙂 We have similar sayings that when you translate to English, they do not make any sense. 🙂 Here’s one; my bladder just exploded – used when you have been frightened by something. It makes perfect sense in Macedonian, but in English…not so much. :))

    Have a great day, sweets!!

  30. Brandie
    Brandie says:

    Jill – I just love reading your blog. Your personality comes through so well in your writing and it’s like I’ve known you for ages..LOL. Plus, you are hysterical. Now, why did you not take pictures of all these festivities?? Hmmmmm???
    And funny, funny Antoine, you must’ve thought he was having a medicial crisis!
    And the ascot hat on the choux buns – that is priceless!

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hehee, thanks Brandie. Pics were taken and still not even up yet. I’m finding it difficult keeping up. And besides, I think they’re mostly out of focus as alcohol may have been consumed!



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