As you may have gathered, I'm not just mad about macarons, but also rather crazy about choux buns too. These puffs of choux pastry or profiteroles are filled with candied fruit ice cream and topped with a sticky orange caramel sauce. They are a must dessert for the festive season!
Make-Ahead Dessert for the Holidays
Don’t be put off by the long recipe. This is ridiculously easy to put together quickly and without fuss – my kind of stress-free recipe for a holiday menu.
Each of the 3 parts can be made in advance:
- the caramel can keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks;
- the ice cream can be made a week or two in advance - it doesn't even need an ice cream maker, plus
- the choux pastry can keep in the fridge for up to 5 days (so handy to have in that piping bag!)
On the day itself, just pipe out the buns and wham them in the oven for 20 minutes. When ready to serve, simply fill them with a dollop of the ice cream and dribble on the warmed caramel.
Decorate however you feel and let the toes curl in front of the fire.
Choux Buns (or Profiteroles)
1. Boil the water, milk, orange flower water, salt, sugar and butter in a large saucepan.
2. Once boiling, quickly add the flour and whisk until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the pan.
3. Transfer to a mixing bowl (or electric mixer) and gradually add the eggs. Whisk until you have a smooth paste.
At this point, you can transfer the pastry to a piping bag and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.
4. Using a piping bag (or ziplock bag with the corner snipped off with scissors), pipe out small heaps on baking trays covered in greaseproof/baking paper (or Silpat). Leave a good space between each mound, as they will spread out during baking.
5. Brush with a glaze of one egg yolk mixed with a tablespoon of water. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes without opening the oven door. TIP: It's best to cook them slightly longer - too short and the choux buns will sink.
- For details on making the caramel, follow my instructions for the recipe for salted caramel sauce.
- For details on making the no-churn ice cream, follow the instructions for the recipe for Candied Fruit Ice Cream.
Choux Buns Presentation - To Serve
When the choux buns are cool, cut them in half and fill with a scoop or mini mold of candied fruit ice cream (French Plombières. This ice cream is also no-churn.
Warm the orange caramel in the microwave just for a few seconds and dribble over the buns (sorry, I can't help laughing at that one: you don't dribble but the sauce should be dribbled...). Decorate with candied fruits, such as glacé orange or chopped toasted walnuts.
Choux Buns with Orange Caramel Sauce
- piping bag with a plain tip or ziplock bag with corner snipped off
- 70 ml (3floz) water
- 50 ml (2 floz) milk
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
- pinch sea salt fleur de sel, Maldon or Celtic
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 45 g (1½oz) unsalted butter
- 75 g (3oz) all-purpose flour T55
Orange Caramel Sauce
- 80 g (3oz) sugar
- 60 g (2½oz) unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt fleur de sel
- 100 g (3½oz) whipping/heavy cream (33% fat) slightly warmed
- 1 orange zest only unwaxed/organic
- 1 tablespoon Cointreau® or Grand Marnier®
Candied Fruit Ice Cream (Plombières)
- 1 quantity candied fruit ice cream
Choux Buns (Profiteroles)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Boil the water, milk, orange flower water, salt, sugar and butter in a large saucepan.
- Once boiling, quickly add the flour and stir quickly and firmly until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the pan.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl (or electric mixer) and gradually add the eggs. Whisk until you have a lovely smooth, sticky paste. At this point, you can transfer the pastry to a piping bag and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.
- Using a piping bag, pipe out small heaps on baking trays covered in greaseproof/baking paper (or Silpat) Leave a good space between each mound, as they will spread out during baking.
- Brush with a glaze of one egg yolk mixed with a tablespoon of water. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes without opening the oven door.
Orange Caramel Sauce
- Put the sugar with 2 tablespoon water into a small saucepan and stir to dissolve as much as possible. Over a medium heat leave to cook without stirring until a golden syrupy caramel forms. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the butter, still over the gentle heat and keep stirring for about 10 minutes until thickened. Don't worry if it looks like too much butter at this point: when you add the cream it will all come together.
- Turn down the heat and add the warm cream, zest and liqueur gradually. It will look runny but that's good. Keep it bubbling away for another 5 minutes then cool.
Candied Fruit Ice Cream (prepare separately in advance)
- Make one quantity of ice cream - recipe link in notes below.
The original recipe was published December 16th 2011 - now adapted with Plombières ice cream.
Many of my choux and éclair recipes have their own chapter in my second recipe book, Teatime in Paris!