So this is a test run for a whole new site, completely dedicated to choux pastry and disco tunes.
Any and all feedback is appreciated, unless it’s negative.
Surely there’s only positive things to be said about throwing shapes on the dance floor fuelled by choux-based party supplies.
As soon as lockdown ends, I for one will be queuing up outside the nearest nightclub with a box of eclairs under my arm. Or maybe stuffed down my socks just to be safe…
If you’d rather bring some choux buns with lemon ricotta & pistachio cream fillings, then please see below.
Shopping list (Makes roughly 25 buns)
Plain flour x 180g
Unsalted butter x 100g
Large eggs x 4
Egg (beaten) x 1
Cold water x 250ml
Pinch of salt
Whole milk x 500ml
Large egg yolks x 3
Cornflour x 120g
Golden caster sugar x 120g
Pistachios (shelled) x 100g
Ricotta x 100g
Zest of 4 lemons
Vanilla paste x 1/2 tsp
Dark chocolate x 100g
Icing sugar x 200g
Juice of 2 lemons
First thing’s first, soak the pistachio nuts in boiled water, and leave for at least one hour or preferably overnight.
For the buns, start by setting your oven to 200°C (fan)/220°C and line two baking trays with parchment.
In a large saucepan, add the butter, salt and water together, and heat until boiling. Take off the heat and immediately add the sieved flour and use a wooden spoon to mix the dough together. You will notice that it instantly becomes quite a solid and heavy mass.
You can place it back over a very low heat, and continue to use the wooden spoon to shape and press the dough for just under five minutes. It should now resemble something like below
You can now add the four eggs, using a whisk to combine over the low heat. It will resemble scrambled egg at first and after about two minutes, you’ll need to switch back to your wooden spoon to shape, mix and press the mixture back into a thick batter. See below
Using a piping bag and a large nozzle, pipe the mixture onto your two baking trays. This has the potential to be a messy process, and so I’d recommend being conservative with the amount of batter you put into the piping bag at any one time.
The batter is particularly thick, and requires a firm grip and squeeze. Shape your buns by pressing the nozzle against the tray and squeeze out the batter into tight rings, folded on top of each other, to form roughly 25 mounds of batter.
Once piped, brush carefully with the beaten egg. Place the trays into your hot oven and bake for 23 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
To make the cream fillings, you are going to first make one single batch of pastry cream. Go back to the soaked pistachio nuts and blend together with 1/2 a tablespoon of the water, until you have a smooth pistachio paste.
Gradually heat the milk until almost boiling. Whisk together the cornflour, egg yolks, vanilla paste and sugar until smooth in a separate saucepan.
Add the hot milk gradually, whisking constantly over a low heat. After five minutes, you should have a smooth and glossy pastry cream.
Separate the mixture evenly into two mixing bowls. Into one of them, add the lemon zest and mix well. Into the other, stir in the pistachio paste.
Cover both with clingfilm, allow to cool, and then chill in your fridge for at least two hours.
Once chilled, add the ricotta to the lemon cream and mix well. At the same time, sieve your pistachio cream mix.
Now for some more piping…
Carefully insert the nozzle of the piping bag into the base of the buns to fill them. You will need to take care here not to squeeze too hard. This is a process that will require a steady hand and patience, so make sure your tune selection in the background is faultless.
Fill half your buns with the lemon cream and half with the sieved pistachio cream.
Place a pyrex bowl over some simmering water and melt the dark chocolate, before removing from the heat. At the same time, simply mix the lemon juice and icing sugar.
Dip the pistachio buns in the chocolate, and drizzle the lemon buns with the icing.
Leave for 10 minutes, before enjoying some hard-earned choux pastry ecstasy.