Since it is patisserie week on The Great British Bake Off I have decided to try the technical challenge from series 4, episode 7 which was Religieuses. A Religieuses is made up of two Choux Pastry Buns filled with Creme Patissiere and decorated with chocolate ganache and whipped cream. Once completed it should resemble a nun.
75g Plain Flour
2 x Eggs (beaten)
500ml Full Fat Milk
1 x Vanilla Pod
6 x Egg Yolks
75g Caster Sugar
25g Plain Flour
150ml Double Cream
200g Dark Chocolate (I like to use Cadbury Bournville Chocolate)
150ml Double Cream
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Then draw 8 x 5cm circles and 8 x 2cm circles onto the baking parchment. To make the Choux Pastry, place the butter and water into a pan and gently heat until the butter has melted (make sure that the water does not boil).
2. Once the butter has melted remove the pan from the heat and sieve the flour into the water and butter mixture. Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms into a soft ball of dough. Then cook the dough on the heat for 3-5 minutes.
3. Next, place the dough into a bowl and leave the dough to cool slightly. Slowly add a bit of the beaten egg and mix until the egg is incorporated, keep on doing this until you get a glossy dough that forms a stiff peak when placed on your finger.
4. Transfer the Choux Pastry into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1A Round Tip. Then pipe the Choux Pastry onto the lined baking tray. If there are any peaks on the Choux Pastry flatten them with a finger that has been dipped in water.
5. Bake the Choux Pastry for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5 and bake for a further 10-15 minutes. Next, remove the Choux Pastry Buns from the oven and pierce the bottoms of the Choux Pastry Buns. Then place the Choux Pastry Buns back into the oven for 4-5 minutes to dry the Choux Pastry Buns and then remove the Choux Pastry Buns from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
6. While Choux Pastry Buns are cooling make the Crème Patissiere Filling. Place the milk and vanilla bean seed into a pan heat until the milk boils, then remove the pan from heat and leave to cool for a few minutes.
7. Next place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and mix until the ingredients become paler in colour.
8. Then add the plain flour and cornflower and mix again until the dry ingredients have been incorporated.
9. Slowly pour the warm milk over the egg yolk mixture and then pour the mixture back into the pan. Heat and stir the mixture gently until the mixture starts to thicken up. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the Crème Patissiere into a bowl and cover the surface with clingfilm (this will a prevent a skin from forming on the Crème Patisserie). Chill the Crème Patissiere in the fridge.
10. To make the Chocolate Ganache, pour the double cream into a pan and heat until the cream starts to simmer. Break the dark chocolate into small pieces and place into a bowl. Once the cream has simmered remove the pan from the heat and pour the cream over the dark chocolate. Mix until the chocolate has melted and become shiny, smooth ganache forms.
11. To assemble to Religieuses, pour the Crème Patissiere into a piping bag fitted with a Long Tipped Piping Nozzle and then fill the Choux Pastry Buns from the bottom (the steam hole).
12. Next dip the Choux Pastry Buns into the Dark Chocolate Ganache so that half the Choux Pastry Buns is cover in Dark Chocolate Ganache then place the small Choux Pastry Bun on top of the large Choux Pastry Bun.
13. To decorate the Religieuses, pour the double cream into a bowl and whisk the double cream until the cream reaches the soft peak stage. Then transfer the whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a Small Star Tip Nozzle.
14. Finally, pipe a ring of cream around the join where the Choux Pastry Bun meet.