A spicy chocolate dessert that’s perfect for Easter

Easter choux buns with spiced cream
Easter choux buns with spiced cream

Try something new this Easter by making choux pastry buns. It’s easy once you know how, says David Woods, executive head chef of the Sofitel London Gatwick.

We’re counting down to Easter and that means chocolate is on the menu.

David Woods

David Woods

To be honest, it never comes off La Brassiere menu as chocolate tortes and mousses are our most popular desserts. This Easter weekend, we will be serving chocolate-coated choux buns with a spiced cream filling alongside berries, homemade meringues and quenelle of chocolate mousse.

If you have never made choux pastry before then give it a go. It is easy to do and as long as you cook them until they are crisp and golden, the choux buns won’t go soggy and flat. If you don’t have a piping bag, spoon mounds onto the baking tray and voila! – you’ve made profiteroles. That should impress your friends if you are entertaining this Easter.

La Brasserie is Sofitel’s 2 AA rosette restaurant. To book a table call 01293 567070 or email H6204@sofitel.com.

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Easter Choux Buns with Spiced Cream

Makes 14 rings

For the choux pastry:

250ml milk

1tsp salt

2tsp caster sugar

125g butter, cut into cubes

150g plain flour, sifted

4 large or 5 medium eggs

For the spiced cream:

300ml tub of double cream

1tsp mixed spice

2 tsp caster sugar

2 tsp brandy

Your favourite chocolate sauce. See chef’s tip.

Method

To make the choux pastry, put the milk, salt, sugar and butter into a medium saucepan and bring to boil.

Remove from the heat and beat in the flour with a whisk. It will form into a ball of soft dough. Put back onto heat for 2 or 3 mins, continually stirring with a wooden spoon.

Tip the mixture into a food mixer with the beater attachment. Slowly beat in the eggs one at a time. If you don’t have a food mixer, leave the dough to cool slightly in the saucepan and beat in the eggs with a wooden spoon.

You should have a smooth paste, which holds its shape. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a plain 1.5 cm nozzle. Pipe rings onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.

Bake in a preheated oven, 185oC (175oC fan) Gas Mark 4 for 12-14 mins until risen and pale golden. Turn oven down to 140oC (Gas Mark 1) and continue cooking for 12 mins until golden and crisp. Turn off the oven, open the door and leave buns inside to cool.

To make the cream: Put all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk until thick. When the buns are cooled, split them in half horizontally and fill with the cream.

To serve, pour over your ready-made chocolate sauce.

Chef’s tip

You can buy ready-made chocolate sauce or heat four tablespoons of double cream in the microwave and stir in 90g of your favourite dark chocolate, which has been chopped into small pieces. And another tip – once you have piped your choux rings, you can freeze them on the tray at this stage, ready for defrosting and baking later.