This week is the Great British Bake Off semi-final, which means that there's no room for mistakes in the tent, if the bakers want to make it to the final! The theme itself is also set to be particularly tricky, even for the most experienced bakers, as they take on the challenges of Patisserie Week!
To tie-in with this new challenge, we've decided to feature a recipe for a quintessentially French pastry, created for BBC Good Food by a Previous Bake Off winner! If you've been watching the show since the beginning, then you may remember Edd Kimber, who became the first ever baking champion back in 2010 (oh the good old days). Since his victory he's been busy writing cookbooks, making appearances, and blogging over at The Boy Who Bakes, which you should definitely check out!
He also creates content for the Good Food magazine and website, including this heavenly recipe for Salted Caramel & Popcorn Crumble Choux Buns
For the crumble topping
- 50g of flour
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 40g of unsalted butter, cold and chopped into small pieces
For the salted caramel
- 150g of granulated sugar
- 125ml of double cream
- 10g unsalted butter
- Large pinch of flaked sea salt
For the popcorn cream
- 600ml of double cream, plus a little extra
- 125g toffee popcorn (save additional popcorn for later)
- large pinch of flaked sea salt
For the choux pastry
- 60g of unsalted butter, chopped into small cubes
- 1/4tsp of golden caster sugar
- 1/4tsp salt
- 85g of plain flour
- 2-3 large eggs
- 140ml water
Step 1 - Begin by making the crumble topping, mixing the sugar and flour together in a medium bowl.
Step 2 - Add the butter, and rub until you have a breadcrumb texture, then press together with your hands to form a uniform dough.
Step 3 - Place this dough between 2 sheets of baking parchment, and roll it out until it is a few millimetres thick. Pop it into the feezer on a baking tray until needed.
Step 4 - To make the salted caramel, put the sugar into a medium saucepan over a medium heat, allowing the sugar to melt and caramelise, stirring occasionally.
Step 5 - Once the sugar is a dark copper colour, add half the double cream. Once the bubbling has subsided, and the remaining cream, butter and salt, stirring to combine.
Step 6 - Return to the heat if there are any remaining lumps, then remove, and transfer into a small bowl. Cover with cling film, and chill until required.
Step 7 - For the popcorn cream, put everything into a medium saucepan over a medium-high heat, and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover, and allow to infuse for an hour.
Step 8 - Strain the cream through a sieve into a measuring jug, pressing down on the popcorn to get as much of the mixture out as possible. Top up the cream so you still have 600ml.
Step 9 - Press cling film onto the surface of the cream, and chill until needed (this can be prepared the day before).
Step 10 - For the choux, heat your oven to 180C/160 fan/gas mark 4, and line your baking tray with parchment.
Step 11 - Using a 5cm cookie cutter as a guide, draw 5 circles onto the parchment and turn over. If you're using our bun tray, you can skip these steps.
Step 12 - Put the water, butter, sugar and salt into a medium saucepan, over a medium-high heat, and bring to a rolling boil.
Step 13 - Once boiling, remover from the heat and tip in the flour, mixing with a wooden spoon until a smooth paste forms. Return to the heat for a minute or two, to allow the mix to dry out a little. Tip paste into a large bowl and beat for a few mins, to cool down slightly.
Step 14 - Add the eggs in one at a time, beating until fully combined each time. Add the last in gradually, as you may not need it all. Stop when the mixture is smooth, and drops off the spoon in a V shape.
Step 15 - Using a piping bag with a large round nozzle, pipe the pastry into the circles. Remove crumble topping from the freezer and peel off the parchment, before cutting out round discs to fit on top of each round of dough.
Step 16 - Bake for 40 mins until the choux is well risen and crumble is golden. Turn off the oven, but leave the choux in until fully cooled.
Step 17 - Use a serrated knife to carefully slice each bun in half. Place a few pieces of popcorn in each, and spoon in some caramel too (you may have to loosen over a bowl of hot water if you have prepared it in advance).
Step 18 - For the filling, remove the cream from the fridge and whip until it forms soft peaks. For precision, use a new piping bag with a star nozzle, and swirl onto each bun base. To finish, place the top of the bun back on, and dust lightly with icing sugar.
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