The ultimate party game: how to make a choux box roulette
These light, creamy choc-filled buns look innocent – but three are spiked with chilli. After dinner, serve them to daring guests to see who gets the treat and who gets the heat…
Chocolate & honeycomb choux buns
Makes: 25 | Hands-on time: 1 hour | Oven time: 30 min, plus cooling
- 50g unsalted butter
- 75g plain flour
- ½ tsp caster sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 large free-range eggs at room temperature), beaten, plus 1 extra to glaze
- 1-2 tbsp milk (if needed)
For the white chocolate filling
- 375ml whole milk
- 75g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 large free-range egg yolks
- 50g brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 ½ plain flour
- 30g salted butter, chilled
- Pinch sea salt flakes
For the topping:
- 75g Lindt lindor extra dark truffles, chopped
- 45g honeycomb pieces (from large supermarkets) or broken-up Crunchie bar
You’ll also need…
- 2 piping bags (if you don’t have any, view our guide for instructions how to make them out of baking paper),
- 1 fitted with a 1cm nozzle (or, if you don’t have nozzles and are making bags, snip off the end of the paper to about the right size), the other fitted with a smaller nozzle (about 5mm; again, you can snip off the end if you want)
- 2 baking sheets lined with reusable non-stick baking liners
How to make:
1 To make the choux buns, put the 50g butter in a pan with 150ml cold water over a medium heat. When the butter has melted, turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil.
2 Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt, then pour it all into the boiling water mixture in one go. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball that comes away cleanly from the sides of the pan. Tip the dough into the bowl and use the back of the spoon to push it up the sides to help it cool quickly. Set aside until it’s room temperature.
3 Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7. Beat the 2 eggs into the cooled dough, a small amount at a time, only adding more once the previous addition is incorporated. It will look as if it’s about to split but will come back together after beating. You might not need all the egg, or you might have to add
a splash of milk. The mixture is ready once it falls off the spoon with ease (dropping consistency).
4 Transfer the choux mixture to the piping bag fitted with the 1cm nozzle. Pipe 25 x 3cm mounds, each a little larger than a 50p coin, onto the lined baking sheets, spacing the rounds 3cm apart. Use your finger to brush a little of the beaten egg (or milk) over each one to smooth any peaks. Bake for 25 minutes, then lift up each bun and use a skewer to poke a small hole in the bottom to let out the steam. Bake for 2-3 minutes more until golden and crisp. Cool on a wire rack (see Make Ahead).
5 For the chocolate filling, put the 375ml milk in a heavy-based pan and slowly bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate, stir until melted, then leave to cool for 30 seconds.
6 Meanwhile, in a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks and brown sugar until pale, then whisk in the cornflour and plain flour. Pour the chocolate/milk over the egg/sugar mixture, whisking, then pour the mixture back into the pan.
7 Bring to the boil, whisking, over a medium heat, then cook for a minute more or until thickened. Whisk in the cold butter and sea salt flakes. Pour into a bowl, leave to cool, then chill until ready to fill the choux buns (see Make Ahead).
8 Check the holes in the choux buns and poke again with a skewer if they’ve closed up. Put the chilled custard into the piping bag fitted with the small nozzle, then pipe into each bun, filling generously (set aside 3 buns and about 75g filling for the roulette; see below).
9 Meanwhile, make the topping. Melt the truffles in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl). Remove from the heat and let the chocolate cool a little. Dip the top of each profiterole into the chocolate, then put on a lined baking sheet. Scatter over the honeycomb and leave to set. Arrange the choux buns on a platter to serve.
How to play the game
If you want to play choux box roulette, you need to fill all but three of the choux buns as above. Stir 1 tsp – or more – hot chilli powder (it’s up to you how hot you want to make it) into the reserved 75g chocolate filling. Spoon the choc-chilli filling into the same piping bag (no need to clean it), then fill the last 3 buns. Decorate in the same way as the others, then hide them among the other buns in the box.
Then all you have to do is serve them to your guests (but do let them know what they’re letting themselves in for).
How to make the choux box
It’s simple to do… This number of buns fits perfectly in a standard shoe box. Line it with non-stick baking paper or tissue, then decorate with baker’s string or raffia and evergreen sprigs, as in our picture (or however you want to), so the box looks good when you take it to the table. Choux box roulette is a quirky gift to take to someone’s house if you’re invited for dinner – but bear in mind that once the buns are filled and in the box they need to be eaten within a few hours or they’ll go soft.