I had a bit of a profiteroles thing going on recently. Maybe it’s being a child of the 70’s, but they were being consumed in vast volumes! So as the door closes on the cave for hibernation I wanted to be sure to share one last recipe for 2018 and boy is it a good one!
My philosophy is that homemade always tastes best, but piping lots of little choux buns aren’t especially fuss-free and as the festive season came upon us, I had one of my flashes of inspiration.
Piping one big choux ring is way less complicated and could make for a lovely centrepiece and alternative to traditional Christmas pudding. SO after numerous attempts to get the choux pastry right (and totally eating myself out of the profiteroles fad I hasten to add!) may I present…
The Christmas Choux Wreath….or giant profiterol!
If you wanted to get ahead you could make the choux dough and keep well wrapped in the fridge for 2 days before piping and cooking on the day you need it. Alternatively, you could make the choux ring 2 days before you need it (store in an airtight tin).
Just pop it in the oven for 5-8 minutes to crisp it up (just cool it before you assemble) or you could freeze it and re-crisp it too. This can be fuss-free with a little planning and be a delicious addition to a Christmas or New Year feast!
So as I leave you with my final blog of the year, I want to thank you for being part of my fuss free journey. I hope you will keep following as I change things up next year to start working on the FFF cookbook! (Click here for the update!)
Merry Christmas foodies…..hope it’s full of everything it needs to be! Lisa x
Christmas Choux Wreath
Serves approx. 10
- 60g butter
- 185ml water
- 115g strong bread flour
- 2 and 1/2 eggs
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 400ml double cream
- 25g icing sugar
- 2-3 tbsp Amaretto
- Optional raspberries or strawberries (sliced)
- 50g cocoa powder
- 175g caster sugar
- 100ml water
- Optional 1 tsp orange extract or zest of 1 orange
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°/400°F/Gas mark 6.
- Prepare a piece of parchment with a ring drawn onto it which is 18cm in diameter and lay on a flat tray.
- Place the butter and water in a saucepan and heat gently. Once at boiling point turn off.
- Meanwhile, sieve the flour onto a sheet of parchment, with the salt and sugar. Tip this into the boiled water and butter mixture all in one go and beat furiously until it is mixed in, and then return the pan to the heat.
- Cook this mixture on a medium heat whilst stirring for 4 minutes until the dough starts to come away from the sides of the pan and you can see little droplets of grease from the butter on the side of the pan.
- Place the mixture in a bowl to cool.
- Lightly beat 1 egg and add to the cooled dough/choux mixture. Beat until it is all incorporated and then so the same with the second egg. Finally, do the same with half of an egg. Beat air into the mixture for a few minutes. The mixture should be smooth, shiny and stiff enough to stand the wooden spoon in the mixture. (Cover and refrigerate if cooking later)
- Put the mixture into a piping bag with a nozzle of 4-5 cm or use a food bag with the corner cut off to that diameter. Pipe a ring around the template that you prepared, trying your best to do 1 complete circle. If your dough breaks off then just continue piping as close as you can from where you finished.
- Dip your fingers in water and splash water over your choux ring. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. The ring should puff up and be just beyond golden brown. When you take the wreath out of the oven, prick it with a cocktail stick to let the steam out so that it goes crisp. Turn the oven off and put the wreath back into the oven with the door ajar for 15 mins to dry out.
- Whip the cream with the sieved icing sugar and amaretto until it is holding it’s shape but soft. When you scoop some with a spoon it should take a little flick of the wrist to get it off the spoon.
- Put the sugar in a pan with 100ml of water and warm over on a low heat until it is dissolved.
- Bring to the boil for 1 minute. Pour in the cocoa and mix until it is smooth. Cook for 1 minute. Add the orange extract (or zest if using) and then allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before pouring. (If you are preparing later and it sets hard just warm gently to loosen the mixture).
- This is best eaten within 2 hours of assembly. SO as long as you have your elements ready this will make building the wreath fuss free! Assemble the wreath on the plate you plan to present on, as it can be a little tricky to move.
- Cut the choux ring across the centre horizontally so that it is in 2 halves.
- Fill the bottom half with the cream, and place the fruit on top if using. Then replace the top of the choux wreath.
- Drizzle/pour over the chocolate sauce over the top of the choux wreath and add any Christmassy embellishments. I used edible silver stars (Waitrose) or bronze edible rocks.
- Pop a piece of holly in the middle and enjoy! I enjoyed this even a few days after making….still tasted good to me!