Delicious choux pastry with a sweet crackled topping filled with Apples that have been gently sautéd in butter then tossed in brown sugar and flavoured with a glug of Brandy. Craquelin Choux Buns with Brandied Apples and Cream are surprisingly easy to make, look sophisticated and taste amazing. These delicious Craquelin Choux buns with Brandied Apples and Cream are the bake inspired by the semi final of the Great British Bake Off.
Craquelin Choux Buns
It was a no-brainer for me when it came to deciding what to make for patisserie week. I had to try the craquelin choux buns, as I have made choux pastry many many times over the years but never with the craquelin. I can't believe I have not done this before particularly as I consider myself a bit of a baking expert!
Don't be put off by the number of steps, it is really quite easy. A biscuit like dough is placed on top of the uncooked choux pastry, this sets and bakes first ,so that as the choux pastry continues to rise it breaks the surface to produce this rather spectacular top which looks and tastes great, without being over-sweet.
You will have some craquelin dough left over, not wanting to waste it I re rolled mine and cut our more discs to make some biscuits. I baked them at 190℃ (180℃ fan)/375°F/gas mark 5 for 10 minutes which was a little too long and they were a bit too dark but tasted OK. Next time I would try for 8 minutes aiming to get them a pale golden colour.
Brandied Apple Filling
So then it was just a matter of deciding what to fill them with. I still have plenty of apples to use so that was an obvious choice. I gently sautéd them in some butter until just tender then stired in brown sugar and added a glug of Brandy. This was then cooked for a few minutes so that the alchohol was driven off just leaving the flavour and it's good! Once cooled this was spooned into the choux buns and topped with some whipped cream. The result is similar to an apple turnover but on a higher level. Delicious as a special treat with a cup of tea or coffee or serve as a dessert. Either way just try them, as you wont regret it. This may be the first time I have made them but it most definitely will not be the last.
Craquelin Choux Buns with Brandied Apples
- 50 g butter softened
- 75 g light muscovado sugar
- 75 g plain flour all-purpose
- 75 g butter
- 200 ml water
- 100 g strong plain flour bread flour
- 3 eggs beaten
- 500 g apples peeled cored and thickly sliced
- 25 g butter
- 75 g light muscovado sugar
- 2 tablespoon brandy
- 300 ml double cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the craquelin
- beat the butter and sugar together until well combined, then beat in the flour and bring together to form a soft dough.
- Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out until 3mm (⅛ in). Slide onto a tray and freeze the dough.
Make the choux buns
- Place the butter in a saucepan with the water. Heat gently until the butter melts then bring to a rolling boil.
- Take off the heat and immediately add the flour in one go then beat well with a wooden spoon until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball around the spoon. Allow to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. When the paste has cooled add the eggs a little at a time and using an electric whisk, beat well after each addition.
- Remove the craquelin from the freezer and let it stand while you pipe eight mounds of choux pastry about 5-6cm (2½in) onto a baking sheet.
- Cut out eight 5cm (2in) discs of the craquelin dough using a biscuit cutter and place on top of each of the choux buns.
- Bake for 20–25 minutes until well risen and golden and the top has cracked. Remove from the oven and poke a small hole into the side of each to allow the steam to escape. Return to the oven and cook for a further 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the filling
- Melt the butter in a frying pan and gently sauté the apples until begining to soften. Stir in the muscovado sugar and brandy and simmer for a few minutes until the apples are tender and the sauce thickens slightly.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Whip the cream with the vanilla extract until standing in soft peaks.
- Cut the buns in half horizontally and divide the apple mixture between the buns. Pipe or spoon the whipped cream on top and replace the lids. Serve.