This is a timely post, as next week the contestants on the Great British Bake Off will be challenged with making a croquembouche. Admittedly profiteroles are not quite a croque, but if you can make a good choux bun and creme patisserie you are halfway there.
Along with Sarah, Katie and a non blogging friend I was actually filmed making a croquembouche earlier this year for Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard, but sadly our episode ended up on the cutting room floor, due to a “misunderstanding” between the production company and Channel4.
Personally I suspect that our baking skills were beyond the scope of the programme, as we not only managed to successfully make choux buns, creme patisserie and stuck it all together, we also found the time to decorate our croquembouche with macarons and sugar paste flowers as well as the obligatory spun sugar! However that is the subject for another post, but if you are curious here is the croquembouche. It is not perfect, but it was only the second time we had made choux or creme patisserie.
Consequently, I shall be howling with rage at the Bake Off next week, when they once again make out that baking is so very very difficult. I shall, yet again, point out that it is a matter of practise. Great bakers are made not born. Not that I can take the Bake Off seriously anymore having read Sarah’s review of Mary Berry’s lemon drizzle cake mix.
The practice point is made by the lovely Holly on the GBBO this year with her macaron recipe where she says that she had to make about 1000 of them before she could rely on them working every time. I reckon that is at least 15, if not 20 batches. How many people in the country have actually baked 15 batches of anything? I am not knocking her skill, but of course she is good at them by now!
At this point I feel the need for a little Roy Castle of Record Breaker fame. 1980’s yes, but it did make a good point to an entire generation of children.
Tolberone have a new recipe tab on their facebook page, and asked me to come up with a recipe for them.
Toblerone Choux Buns
makes around 18
Toblerone Creme Patisserie (make this up to 3 days in advance)
2 tbs cornflour
2 egg yolks
100g Toblerone (I used milk)
1 tbs honey
Put the cornflour into a bowl, add a couple of tablespoons of milk and mix to a paste.
Add the remainder of the milk, sugar and Toblerone to the saucepan and gently heat until the chocolate is all melted.
Add the egg and yolks to the cornflour paste and whisk well. Pour over about 1/3 of the hot Tolberone mixture, whisking well.
Pour the hot Toblerone egg mixture into the saucepan, stirring well all the time (I use my electric handheld whisk in the saucepan – if you do this please be VERY careful with the powercord). Bring the mixture back to a gentle simmer, whisking all the time and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan with a spatula (the creme will thicken here first). The mixture will thicken quite quickly.
Pour into a bowl, add the honey and butter and whisk again until quite smooth. Cover the surface of the creme with cling film and once cool put into the fridge.
150g plain flour
Put the water and butter into a pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour & salt. Return to the heat and cook for minute or so stirring all the time until the mixture has dried slightly. Remove from the heat and add each egg, one by one stirring well between each addition.
Heat the oven to 425F / 220C / GM 7 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Put the batter into a piping bag (I use disposable ones) and just snip the end off, otherwise use a 1cm tip. Pipe walnut sized dollops of the batter. Smooth the peaks on the top of them with your finger.
Cook for 10 minutes until puffed and golden. Turn the oven down to 350F / 180C / GM5 and bake for another 20 mins to dry out. When I turn the oven down I usually turn the puffs over and spike them with a skewer to let the steam out. Keep an close eye on them. If you have a fan oven I find that it is better to turn the fan off if you can.
Once the buns are cool fill a piping bag with a small tip with the creme patisserie and fill each bun.
Brush melted chocolate over each bun. You can melt chocolate in the microwave on the lowest power if you keep a careful eye on it. I found the melted Toblerone quite stiff so added a drop of olive oil to make it spread more easily.
There are more Toblerone recipes on their website here.
Many thanks to Toblerone for the bag of ingredients.