Strawberry and Elderflower Choux Buns
This is my favourite time of year!! Late spring and just nearly summer.. all the berries and flowers are just coming into season and some of my favourites are one of the firsts! Strawberries and Elderflower. What is even better is that they work so well together. I'm starting to see lots of British Strawberries in the supermarkets and Fresh Elderflower in the local market stalls, so what's more fitting by using these ingredients in a lovely afternoon treat!
It can be quite hard to find elderflower in the shops or markets as it has such a short shelf life, I recommend buying it online, or you can use elderflower cordial to flavour cakes instead. This recipe I've used elderflower cordial, so that it is much more accessible for you to find! Make sure to find some British strawberries for this recipe as they are so lovely and sweet, they complement the cream and elderflower well making these little buns such a treat! Once you've made the choux pastry, these are so simple to make. You can even freeze the cooked choux pastry without the filling and defrost whenever you fancy something sweet! Just make sure to put them in the oven for about 5 minutes so they crispen up a bit.
Makes 12 Buns
110g Plain flour
145g Softened butter
180g Plain Flour
275g Strawberries, with stalks cut off and cut in half
Strawberry and Elderflower Cream:
300g Double Cream
2 tbsp. Elderflower cordial
1. Firstly, let's make the craquelin. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and butter. Mix until a dough is formed. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough between two pieces of baking paper. Roll to a thickness of 2mm.
2. Once, the dough is rolled, use a 5-6cm round cutter and cut discs in the dough, but don't remove them! Place the sheet into the freezer and leave there until required.
3. Now let's make the choux pastry. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Place the milk, water, salt, sugar and butter in a pan. Slowly bring to the boil, making sure the butter has melted before it boils.
4. Immediately once it boils, quickly add in the flour. With the pan still on the heat, stir in the flour and cook until the paste comes away from the sides of the pan and form a dough. Pour this into the bowl of a free standing mixer and leave to cool slightly.
5. Now with the paddle attachment in the mixer, gradually add the eggs to the dough. The pastry should now be dropping consistency.* this is when you take a spoon of the pastry, and turn it on its side, it should take about 5 seconds to fall off the spoon.
6. Place the choux into a piping bag with a round nozzle (2cm wide). On a baking tray greased with butter, pipe the choux into round blobs of about 3.5cm in diameter. Now take out the craquelin from the freezer and place the cut discs on top of the choux. Bake in the oven for about 10-15 mins until they have puffed out and are golden brown.
7. For the jam, place the strawberries and sugar in a pan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and leave to cook, stirring occasionally, until it is starting to resemble a jam-like consistency. It should take about 5-10 minutes. Once done, pour into a bowl and leave to cool completely.
8. Now for the cream. In a food processor, blitz the strawberries until a puree, sieve if there are lots of lumps and seeds, but it is good to keep some for texture.
9. Place the puree, cream and elderflower cordial in a bowl, whisk until stiff peaks.
10. For the assembly, cut off the tops of the choux buns, using a serrated knife. Take a spoonful of the jam and fill the bottom of the buns.
11. Fill a piping bag with a star nozzle, and fill with the cream. Fill the rest of the choux with the cream and pipe a swirl on top. Place a strawberry on top.
That's it! They are best eaten on the day they were made but they are still good for a second day!