This week, Bake Off had us entering the world of complicated Patisserie. After last year’s utter disappointment with my chocolate eclairs, I knew that I had to choose something that would show choux pastry that I am the boss.
Although I loved the sound of cream horns, I couldn’t think of anything I could use to form the horn shape. And I’m positive mokatines taste delicious, but they didn’t appeal to me at the time. The religieuse it was then! But not a three-tiered one like the contestants made for the show stopper, but the classic, two-tiered little nun that has been glamorised by Copella’s Marie Antoinette and Laduree.
But as with the best of intentions, my baking session was interrupted. I had to head into town asap for an audition, so instead of waiting to make a proper beautiful icing, I settled for a glaze and no traditional religieuse piping. Whilst they tasted phenomenal, I can admit that with some modesty, Mary penalised me for my hurried finish!
My pistachio religieuse might not have won me star baker, but my choux turned out perfectly cooked with a huge pocket on the inside, a vast improvement from my eclairs, so I count this as a personal win!
- (For choux pastry)
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 50 ml milk
- 75 ml water
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 125 g of plain flour
- 3 eggs
- (For cream)
- 90 g pistachio cream
- 150 ml of double cream
- (For white chocolate chocolate glaze)
- 60 g white chocolate, chopped
- 75 mL of double cream
- 1/2 teaspoon of liquid glucose
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the butter, milk, water, salt and sugar in a large pan and bring quickly to the boil. As soon as it starts boiling and the butter is melted, add the flour, beating with a wooden spoon until a ball of dough forms that leaves the sides of the pan clean.
- Turn the heat down and beat the mixture for 30 seconds to dry it out slightly then remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing each thoroughly into the dough before adding the next. It may look a little lumpy at first but as you continue to beat it it will become smooth.
- Transfer the choux paste into a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle and pipe four large rounds (the bodies) and four smaller rounds (the heads) direct onto your baking parchment.
- Bake your pastry for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180 degrees C and bake for a further 5 minutes, if needed. Remove from the oven, pierce a hole in the bottom of each one with a skewer to let any steam out and set aside while you make the cream and glaze.
- To make your cream just beat your double cream until it makes stiff peaks and then stir in your pistachio cream.
- For the chocolate glaze, put your chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Put the cream in a small saucepan and bring the cream to a simmer then remove from the heat and whisk in the glucose syrup.
- Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and leave to stand for 2 minutes. Gently stir the chocolate until the mixture is glossy and smooth.
- To assemble, put your cream in an piping bag with a long thin nozzle (used for filling cupcakes) and push it into a hollow in a pastry and fill. You'll be able to feel tightness on the pastry when the hollow has been filled completely with cream. Repeat till all your pastries have been filled. Ice both the bodies and the heads before carefully stacking them.
Piping in my filling.
You win some, you lose some. But next week, I better win some. And since it’s chocolate week, you can bet I am excited!
Head over to Ala’s blog to see our favourite bakes from Victorian week!