“Oh-so delicious and impressive, too. Choux pastry is not difficult to make if the recipe is followed carefully. It is important to add the sifted flour all at once, so the mixture does not become lumpy. When we were taught at college, we were told to ‘shoot’ the flour in, which explains it well. Piled in a wonderful pyramid and scattered with spun sugar, this simple bun becomes the celebrated wedding cake, croquembouche.” – Mary Berry
75g plain flour, sifted
2 eggs, beaten, plus 1 extra egg, beaten
200ml pouring double cream
75ml double cream
75g Bournville dark chocolate, broken into pieces
Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas 7 and line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.
Place the butter and water in a small saucepan over a high heat and cook until the water is boiling and the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and immediately shoot in the flour, all at once. Quickly beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and makes a smooth, thick dough. Add the beaten egg, a little at a time, beating after each addition, until the egg is incorporated and the dough is thick and smooth.
Spoon 12 domes of pastry on to the baking sheet. Brush with the extra beaten egg and bake for 10 minutes. Turn down the temperature to 190°C/170°C fan/Gas 5 and bake for another 20 minutes.
Remove the buns from the oven and turn the oven off. Slice each bun in half and put the buns cut side up back on to the baking sheet. Return to the oven for 15–20 minutes to dry out.
Meanwhile, to make the chocolate sauce, pour the cream into a pan and heat until hot. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and set aside in a cool place to thicken up.
Once the buns have dried out and are crisp, dip one half into the chocolate sauce and place on a wire rack to set. Repeat with 11 bun tops.
Pour the cream into a large bowl and whisk until it forms soft peaks. Place a generous dollop of whipped cream on to the remaining bun halves, then sandwich a chocolate half on top. Repeat to make 12.
* Can be made and assembled up to four hours ahead. Unfilled buns can be made up to a day ahead.
* Not suitable for freezing.
Extracted from Love to Cook by Mary Berry (BBC Books). Photography by Laura Edwards.