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For the spiced pastry cream
For the choux pastry
For the craquelin (optional)
For the cream cheese white chocolate ganache
- Combine milk, cream, vanilla seeds and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Stir constantly over a medium heat until hot (do not allow to boil). Remove the saucepan from the heat.
- In a heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour until well combined. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture over the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly for 6–8 minutes, or until the spiced pastry cream thickens and coats the back of a metal spoon. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with cling film and allow to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. In a saucepan, combine the water, milk, sugar, salt and butter. Bring to a light boil, remove from the heat and quickly stir in all of the flour before returning the saucepan to a medium-high heat. Continue to stir the mixture until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer the choux pastry mix to a stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low until cool. Turn speed up to medium and gradually stream in the eggs. Mix until well combined.
- Transfer to a piping bag and pipe 12 choux buns onto a parchment-lined baking tray, leaving roughly 5cm between each puff.
- To make the craquelin, mix flour, brown sugar and butter together in a small bowl. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface, making it as thin as possible. Cut out 12 circles using a round cutter, roughly the size of your choux bun or about 5cm. Place a craquelin hat on top of each choux bun.
- Bake for 35 minutes. Rotate the baking tray and turn down the oven temperature to 160°C/140°C fan/gas mark 3. Bake again for 10 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool on a wired rack.
- To make the ganache, add white chocolate to a heatproof bowl and set aside. On the hob, or in the microwave, bring heavy cream to a gentle simmer. Pour the hot cream on top of the white chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is fully melted and glossy. Allow to cool.
- Transfer the ganache to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip the ganache on medium-high until medium peaks form, this should take about one minute. Transfer the whipped ganache into a small bowl.
- Whip the softened cream cheese on a high speed until fluffy. Fold in the white chocolate ganache mix until fully combined. Chill until ready to use.
- Trim the tops off the cooled choux buns with a sharp serrated knife. Set the tops aside.
- Pipe pastry cream into the puffs until they’re filled to the brim. Transfer whipped white chocolate ganache into a piping bag and pipe two rings of ganache on top of the pastry cream. Place the choux lid on top of the ganache.
- Dust with icing sugar and serve.
Test kitchen tips:
To prevent a peak if not using craquelin: stop piping and release pressure from the bag before lifting, then quickly swirl the tip around the side to end without a peak.
These would be just as delicious filled with plain cream!
If you have leftover spiced pastry cream, bake it in some ready-made puff pastry as a delicious custard tart!
Per serving: 334 kcals, 28.8g fat (17.2g saturated), 15.4g carbs (13.4g sugars), 5.1g protein, 0.1g fibre, 0.109g sodium.