I mean, this thing was pristine! If a knowledgeable Parisian hadn’t handed it to me, I would have assumed it was too beautiful to be delicious. But they are clever, these French people, and their beautiful things are delicious.
Anyway, I can’t really make perfect patisserie, but I can make a big ol’ mess.
So, I made choux buns, filled them with passionfruit custard and poured chocolate sauce on top. Ta-da.
Mum used to fill a measuring jug with chocolate sauce. This was back before mum had bought all the Nigellas, Delia had taught everyone about houmous, and Britain had been through the transformative Christmases of Ken Hom’s woks and Jamie Oliver’s Flavour Shakers (what the actual). Mum’s chocolate sauce was really dark and rich, so I just sort of loosened up melted dark chocolate with hot water and a bit of milk – I didn’t want it to out-dairy the filling; I wanted it to be glossy and dark.
Otherwise, my recipe is adapted from this Great British Chef dude.
A lined baking sheet
Pre-heated at 200ºC
1 tsp golden caster sugar
½ tsp sea salt
120g plain flour (pre-measured and set aside, so you can add it quickly)
3 egg yolks
20g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
The pulp of 5 passion fruits
50ml double cream, pre-whipped
200g dark chocolate
Some boiling water
1. In a saucepan, bring the water, milk, butter, salt and sugar to the boil until the butter has melted.
2. Add the flour in one swift motion. Stir it in and take the pan off the heat.
3. Beat fiercely with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes away from the pan.
4. Separately, beat the eggs while the flour mix cools.
5. Add the eggs to the flour mix a drop at a time, beating well.
6. Use teaspoons to form the buns on a baking tray, leaving gaps in between (about 8 buns per tray). Slightly damp fingers will help to smoothen them out, but spiky’s just fine.
7. Bake for about 16 minutes, turning the tray half-way through.
8. Whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy.
9. Whisk in the flour.
10. Bring the milk and vanilla extract to the boil. Then add a splash of hot milk to the yolk mix, whisking like a boss. Add the remaining milk in stages.
11. Return the mixture to the (low) heat, and stir with a wooden spoon until it thickens.
12. Sprinkle icing sugar on top to stop a skin from forming, and leave to cool.
13. Add passionfruit pulp.
14. Fold in whipped cream.
15. To fill the buns, skewer a hole in them, and pipe the custard into it. Or, give up and chuck it on top.
FREESTYLE YOUR SAUCE
16. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie.
17. Loosen up the chocolate by adding splashes of boiling water and milk until you