Ingredients

Craquelin
flour
0.25 cup
4 tbsp
60 g
2.10 oz
1.98 fl oz
beetroot powder
1 tsp
4.92 ml
butter
0.25 cup
3.25 tbsp
50 g
1.75 oz
1.65 fl oz
sugar
0.25 cup
4 tbsp
60 g
2.10 oz
1.98 fl oz
Choux pastry
water
1 cup
250 g
8.75 oz
8.25 fl oz
flour with at least 13% gluten
0.50 cup
150 g
5.25 oz
4.95 fl oz
salt
0.25 tsp
1.62 ml
eggs
1 cup
270 g
9.45 oz
8.91 fl oz
butter
0.50 cup
100 g
3.50 oz
3.30 fl oz
Berry compote
frozen berry mix
0.50 cup
150 g
5.25 oz
4.95 fl oz
strawberry juice
0.25 cup
80 g
2.80 oz
2.64 fl oz
gelatin
0.25 tbsp
4 g
0.14 oz
0.13 fl oz
water
1.25 tbsp
20 g
0.70 oz
0.66 fl oz
sugar
2 tbsp
30 g
1.05 oz
0.99 fl oz
Namelaka filling
milk
0.50 cup
150 g
5.25 oz
4.95 fl oz
vanilla sugar
1 sachet
white chocolate
1 cup
230 g
8.05 oz
7.59 fl oz
gelatin
0.50 tbsp
6 g
0.21 oz
0.20 fl oz
glucose syrup
0.50 tbsp
8 g
0.28 oz
0.26 fl oz
cream 35%
0.75 cup
200 g
7 oz
6.60 fl oz
Pistachio cream
cream 35%
0.50 cup
150 g
5.25 oz
4.95 fl oz
mascarpone
0.50 cup
150 g
5.25 oz
4.95 fl oz
pistachio butter
1.75 tbsp
25 g
0.88 oz
0.82 fl oz
powdered vanilla sugar
1.25 tbsp
20 g
0.70 oz
0.66 fl oz

Method

Every respectable cook has a special family choux pastry recipe that they always use - that’s why I decided to use mine without adding anything new to it (apart from the filling).

Here’s what I’ve learnt.

It was my first time making white chocolate Namelaka - a bit too sweet for me personally… I think it would be much better with dark chocolate, so that’s what I’m trying next time.

Namelaka cream has a great texture - it holds its shape very well, what makes it the perfect filling for choux buns!

Try it by yourself and share your thoughts!

Craquelin

  • Combine the flour together with the beetroot powder.
  • Mix together with the cold butter and sugar until the mixture turns into crumbs.
  • Gather the dough into a ball.
  • Roll it out between two sheets of baking paper to 2 mm (0.10 inch) thick.
  • Using round cookie cutters, cut the dough into circles and leave it to chill the freezer for one hour, while moving onto the choux pastry in the meantime.

Berry compote

  • Soak the gelatin in water.
  • Chop the frozen berries, then place them in a saucepan.
  • Pour in the sugar together with the strawberry juice.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Melt the gelatin in the microwave (do not bring it to a boil!).
  • Add it to the berry mixture.
  • Pour the compote mixture into a round silicone mold so that there is even amount of liquid as well as berries in each hole.
  • Transfer to the freezer to set.

If you do not have this type of mold at home, you can use a rectangular cake ring with its bottom wrapped in plastic wrap instead. Leave it to set, then cut it into individual pieces.

Choux pastry

  • In a heavy bottom saucepan, combine water, salt and the cubed butter.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil. By the time the water starts to boil, the butter should already be melted.
  • Remove the pan from heat, then pour the sieved flour into it and mix it all together.
  • Return to heat and cook the pastry mixture for 2-3 more minutes - until a thin powdery flour layer forms on the bottom of the pan.
  • Transfer the mixture to a mixer bowl.
  • Leave it to cool for a little while (until 50-60C (122-140F)).
  • Whip the eggs, then add them to the pastry mixture (do it gradually, folding one mixture into another while also checking the consistency along the way).
  • I used about 270g (9.50 oz) eggs.
  • Your pastry should be smooth in consistency, as well as shiny and elastic in texture, and should form a soft ‘triangle’ at the end of the paddle attachment or the spatula if you are mixing it by hand.
  • Transfer the pastry to a piping bag and chill it in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Baking

  • Take a perforated silicone baking mat and put 5cm (2inch) round marks all over it, placing them in chessboard order with the help of a round cookie cutter dipped into some starch. Make sure to leave some space between them to allow better air circulation for the choux buns (which are going to become twice as big while baking, if not more).
  • Place the choux buns using a 1.2cm (0.50inch) piping tip.
  • Spray them with some oil, then sieve some castor sugar onto them through a fine sieve.
  • Take the craquelin topping out of the freezer.
  • Using a frosting spatula or a knife, pick up each circle and take it out of the sheet of the rolled out dough, then place them on top of the choux buns.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C (392F) (always use an additional oven thermometer - oven dials aren’t always great at telling the right temperature).
  • Very quickly (!) take the baking tray with the choux buns and place it in the oven, then turn it off 😈 for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Wait until the temperature goes down to 150C (302F), then turn it on again and bake the buns at 160C (320F) (temperature should be no higher than 170C (338F), otherwise the craquelin circles will change their color, and burn!) for about 30 min until their sides and bottoms become golden brown.

Do not open the oven while baking!

Namelaka

  • Soak the gelatin in water.
  • Combine the milk together with vanilla sugar (or regular sugar combined with vanilla bean paste) and glucose syrup and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Pour it onto the chocolate, then pulse the mixture with a blender.
  • Add the bloomed gelatin, mix it all together, then transfer the mixture to the fridge and leave it there for about 5-6 hours to stabilize.
  • Add the cold whipping cream and beat until you get a thick creamy consistency.

Pistachio cream

  • In a mixer bowl, combine mascarpone, whipping cream, vanilla castor sugar and pistachio butter(dilute it beforehand, using some of the overall amount of cream).
  • Whip until you get a thick creamy mixture.
  • Transfer it to a piping bag with an ‘open star’ tip attached to it.

Final steps

  • Once the buns are ready, leave them to cool, then cut off their domes and fill them with Namelaka filling. Insert the compote balls in the middle, then put some pistachio cream on top.
  • Decorate the buns with some berries, then sprinkle chopped pistachios on top.
  • After that is done, you can put the craquelin ‘lids’ back, or just leave the buns open.

Enjoy!