Something of a sweet treat to welcome in the Autumn. As if I needed an excuse!
I’m getting some of my students at school to make a nut-free version of these but fancies a full-on version at home!
This is a standard choux pastry (the recipe for making and baking this is in one of my earlier posts: here). The pastry can be shaped as éclairs – as in that recipe – or, as I have done here, choux buns. If using the recipe link, you just want the pastry recipe and instructions, baking them for 15-20 minutes for the buns or until golden brown and well risen.
And whether you pipe the choux pastry onto the baking sheets or simply dollop them onto them, you will have beautiful choux buns or éclairs .
I have made a type of walnut gianduja to go inside the buns. This rustic version is just melted chocolate and crushed walnuts, giving a melt-in-the-mouth sensation. I sometimes add a little ground coffee (or a crushed coffee bean) to this to boost the coffee flavour.
If you have peaks of the choux pastry sticking up before they bake, use a wet finger to smooth it off. That way you avoid potential burning of the peaks in the oven. In addition, moisture and choux pastry are very fine bed-fellows, with moisture adding to the rise and texture of the baked pastries.
Recipe: coffee and walnut choux – makes about 8 large ones
- choux pastry: make a batch from the recipe for here
- 60g melted milk or dark chocolate
- 60g crushed walnuts (very fine or coarse: either way works well)
- light pinch of fine sea salt, optional
- about 300-400ml double cream
- 2 teaspoons icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Coffee fondant icing
- about 50g fondant icing sugar
- 3 teaspoons coffee granules dissolved 2 tablespoons or so of hot water
To finish (optional)
- melted chocolate of choice for drizzling or piping over
- walnut halves dipped or not in chocolate of choice
- a couple of crushed coffee beans
(1) Make the choux buns (see link above) and cool.
(2) For the gianduja: mix the chocolate, salt and walnuts together. Taste and add a little more salt if you think it needs it. Spread roughly onto a sheet of greaseproof to set and then break it up: this can be coarsely crushed or can be crushed to a fine powder.
(3) For the cream filling: whisk the cream, icing sugar and vanilla until it forms firm peaks.
(4) For the icing: mix the icing sugar with enough of the coffee to form a fairly thick icing ideally so if you drop some off a spoon it slowly falls back into the bowl. Don’t go too thick that you can stand as spoon in it or too runny that is like liquid.
(5) Split the buns in half and dip the top halves in the icing, pressing them into the icing to get an even coverage.
(6) Carefully lift out, shake off the excess and invert, placing them on a cooling rack (with a tray or greaseproof underneath to catch any drips. A palette knife is invaluable here.
Note: you can sprinkle over some crushed coffee beans, drizzle over melted chocolate and adorn with a walnut half: or leave it deliciously plain.
(7) Spoon or pipe cream into the bottom halves and sprinkle over the gianduja. Place the top halves back on (the palette knife is helpful here again) and chill until you are ready to eat.