Brandy custard choux buns

Brandy custard choux buns
  • Serves icon Makes 40 buns
  • Time icon Hands-on time 45 min, oven time 20 min, plus Cooling and 
1 hour chilling

Raymond Blanc’s boozy choux buns are the perfect sweet Christmastime canapé. Get ahead by freezing the cooked, unfilled buns and defrost in the oven on the day

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
119kcals
Fat
8.4g (3.5g saturated)
Protein
3.2g
Carbohydrates
7.3g (3.6g sugars)
Fibre
0.2g
Salt
no salt
Calories
119kcals
Fat
8.4g (3.5g saturated)
Protein
3.2g
Carbohydrates
7.3g (3.6g sugars)
Fibre
0.2g
Salt
no salt

Per bun

Ingredients

  • 125g whole milk
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 5g caster sugar
  • 150g plain flour
  • 4 medium free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 sugar cubes   
  • 150g flaked almonds

For the brandy custard

  • 300ml whole milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved and seeds scraped out
  • 
80g caster sugar
  • 150g free-range egg yolks (7-8 medium egg yolks)
  • 20g plain flour
  • 20g cornflour
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • 150g unsalted butter at room temperature

  • Icing sugar to dust

You’ll also need…


  • 2 piping bags, one with a plain 1cm nozzle and another with a thin nozzle (or 2 disposable piping bags, one snipped 1cm up from the point and the other with just the point snipped off)

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5. Put 125ml cold water in a medium saucepan with the 125g milk, 50g butter, 5g sugar and a pinch of salt. Bring to a rolling boil, then remove from the heat. Add the 150g flour and quickly mix using a wooden spoon. Put the pan back on the heat and cook for 1-2 minutes until the mixture starts to come away from the sides of the pan.
  2. Spread the mix on a large plate and cover with cling film, then leave to cool until just warm to the touch. (The plate helps the mixture to cool quickly and evenly.) Put the cooled mixture in a large bowl. Gradually add the 4 beaten eggs, beating until each addition is completely incorporated before adding more. 
  3. Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper. Fill the 1cm nozzle piping bag with the choux dough, then pipe 40 rounds onto the baking sheets, each about the size of a 50p coin. Put the sugar cubes in a small bowl and lightly crush with the end of a rolling pin until mostly broken down. Top each choux with flaked almonds and a sprinkling of crushed sugar, then bake for 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  4. Have a lipped baking tray and cling film to hand before you make the brandy custard. In a medium pan, gently warm the milk with the vanilla seeds and pod and half the sugar over a gentle heat until it begins to steam – make sure it doesn’t simmer. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar in a medium bowl using a balloon whisk. When the mixture is pale and the sugar has dissolved, whisk in the flour and cornflour. 
  5. Pour half the warm vanilla milk into the egg yolk mixture and whisk until just combined, then pour everything back into the pan. Whisk over a low heat for 5-7 minutes, constantly scraping the bottom of the pan, until thickened. Immediately pour the custard into the prepared baking tray and cover with cling film touching the surface. Cool at room temperature until almost cold. 
  6. Discard the vanilla pod, then scrape the custard into a food processor and pulse a few times to smooth it out again. Add the brandy and pulse again until combined. With the motor running, add the butter little by little, waiting until it has been incorporated before adding more. 
  7. Scrape the custard into the thin nozzle piping bag. Prick a small hole in the bottom of each cooled choux bun, then pipe a little custard into each one and dust with icing sugar. Serve immediately.

delicious. tips

  1. Serve the buns immediately once filled. If you prefer, you can fill the buns with sweetened whipped cream instead.

  2. Freeze the cooked, unfilled buns in freezer bags for up to 1 month. Heat the frozen buns in a medium oven for 5 minutes to re-crisp.

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