Tallulah’s Kitchen… Craquelin Topping and Creme Pattisiere

Tallulah’s Kitchen… Craquelin Topping and Creme Pattisiere

Hello and Welcome to June’s edition of The Listing. As promised last month, I would like to share with you a couple of recipes for fillings and a topping for Pâte à Choux.

So if you fancy something other than fondant or chocolate on your eclairs and choux buns then let’s begin!
Craquelin Topping
40g butter
40g Demerara sugar
50g Plain Flour
(Food colouring optional)

  • Mix all the ingredients together to form a smooth consistency.
  • Roll out to approximately 2-3 mm thick then place in freezer until solid.
    – [Top tip – roll and freezer the mixture between two sheets of baking paper, this will make it far easier to handle.]
  • Note- Craquelin defrosts and becomes impossible to handle very quickly, be efficient as you work with it.
  • When you are ready to use, quickly cut the Craquelin to the same size as your piped choux pastries and carefully place on top before baking.
  • Bake the choux pastry as usual, the (uncoloured) craquelin topping bakes to a sandy colour and texture and adds a little “crunch” to the finished pastries. In the photo no food colouring has been added to the craquelin

Crème Pâtissière
250ml milk (full fat is best!)
60g caster sugar
25g cornflour
30g butter
2 egg yolks

  • Put the milk on to boil. In a separate heat proof bowl mix the sugar, cornflour, and egg yolks.
  • When the milk boils, carefully pour half onto the egg mixture while steadily whisking.
  • Next return the warm egg mixture to the pan and remaining milk, pop back on the heat and whisk continuously until everything starts to bubble and thicken.
  • Carry on whisking for another minute then take off the heat, whisk in the butter, whisk and you now have a basic Crème Pâtissière.
  • All that remains is to add your flavouring of choice and leave to cool completely before filling your choux pastry delights.
  • Suggestions for fillings include classic vanilla bean paste, coffee extract, pistachio paste, lemon/lime/orange zest, or 50g of good quality dark chocolate whisked in as it cools is a particular favourite of mine. You could add a dash of Grand Marnier for a little boozy burst of flavour or stir in a handful of soft raspberries for a more child friendly option.
  • Once your buns/eclairs have cooled simply make a small hole in the underside of the pastry and pipe in you filling of choice. This is best enjoyed within a couple of hours as the choux pastry does absorb moisture and then turn soggy quickly

One more little gem of interest I learnt while in Paris is that it is tradition that the topping of the bun/eclair should match the filling for example pink icing should indicate a strawberry/raspberry or rose flavoured filling, green may indicate pistachio for example. March to your own tune and “mix and match” if that is your thing! Vive la diffèrence!

Until next time my fellow foodies….
Tallulah Le Fey