These pate a choux buns are full of rose-scented chattily cream, vanilla pastry cream and raspberry jam. With spring flavors and using mostly pantry staples, make this Raspberry Rose Choux Bun Recipe to bring some fanciful French pastry into your everyday kitchen.
The flavors in these raspberry rose choux buns are delicate, floral, and perfect for spring. Vanilla bean paste is used to make the velvety pastry cream even more luscious.
A splash of rose water or rose extract in the sweetened whipped cream make for a lightly fresh and floral chantilly cream worth celebrating. A dollop of slightly tart raspberry jam adds a pop of sweetness to each bite.
What are Choux Buns?
Choux buns (pronounced “shoo”) are made from the same batter that is used to make cream puffs, eclairs, profiteroles and more. Pate a choux is made from pantry staples, butter, milk, flour, and eggs are combined to make this versatile, master dough. To turn them into buns, fill the baked choux with pastry cream, whipped cream, jam, ganache, or curd.
How to Make Pate a Choux
To make pate a choux, melt butter with a combination of milk and water. To this wet mixture, add flour. Cooking the flour on the stove helps the batter thicken (like when making a roux) while providing structure and strength as the puffs expand in the oven (more on this below).
Next, whole eggs are beat into the flour mixture. Depending on the type of flour used, humidity, and actual size of the eggs, the amount of eggs may very.
Whisking whole eggs together first not only helps them incorporate into the batter more easily, but encourages us to add just enough egg to make the batter smooth enough to pipe.
The goal is to add as many eggs as the batter will absorb while still keeping its shape. To check, stop the mixer and lift up the paddle attachment. The batter should come to a “V” shape at the end of the paddle.
Eggs not only provide flavor, color, and richness, but they are equally important for proving structure and giving pastries made with pate a choux their signature “puff.”
When the choux paste hits the heat of the oven, the liquids (milk, water, eggs) begin to evaporate and steam - making the pastries rise. The proteins in the eggs uncoil, stretch, and eventually “pop” leaving behind the signature hollows found in the center of cream puffs and eclairs (the perfect cavity for filling with pastry cream).
As the pastries continue to bake, the shells eventually crisp up.
What is craquelin?
Craquelin is the sugar dough on top of choux buns. Cut into disks that are placed on top of unbaked choux paste, craquelin dough rounds are like little sugar hats for the choux buns.
Not only do they help the buns keep a more uniform round shape while baking, they add great texture, flavor, and color.
Craquelin is crunchy and cracks beautifully over the puffed pastries.
Raspberry Rose Choux Buns
Servings: about 12 choux buns
Vanilla Pastry Cream
1 ½ cups whole milk
6 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure extract
Place the butter in a heat-safe container. Set aside.
Place the milk medium and 2 tablespoons sugar saucepan. Heat over medium-low until it begins to simmer. Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks. Stir in the flour and cornstarch until smooth.
Temper the hot milk into the egg mixture by whisking in a little bit at a time in order to gradually bring up the temperature of the eggs.
Return the mixture back to the saucepan and heat over medium-high. While stirring constantly, bring the mixture up to a boil - the cream will be thick and will "pop" slowly. Continue to whisk/cook for about 1 minute after it begins boil.
Strain the mixture with a mesh sieve and into the container with the butter. Add the vanilla bean and stir to combine.
Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the surface of the cream. Refrigerate until cool and thick.
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup + 2 tablespoons granualted sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
gel food coloring
Using an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar, and flour together. Add the gel food coloring, if using, and mix to combine.
Tip the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Place a second piece of parchment on top and roll out the craquelin into a thing sheet, about ⅛ to ¼ inch thick. Chill the refrigerator until ready to bake the pate a choux.
Pate a choux
½ cup unsalted butter, diced
½ cup milk
½ cup water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 to 5 large eggs*
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
Place the butter, milk, water, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan, Over medium heat, melt the butter and bring to a simmer.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and vigorously stir in all of the flour with a wooden spoon until completely mixed in - taking care to mix in any flour stuck in the corners. It will resemble mashed potatoes at this point. Return the saucepan to the heat and cook the flour, stirring continually, for about 3 to 5 minutes. When done, the dough will pull from the sides of the pan and form a ball in the center. A film should have developed on the bottom of the pan, as well.
Transfer the dough to the bowl of an electric mixer. With the paddle attachment, cool the dough by mixing it on low to until it is just warm to the touch. Meanwhile, whisk 4 of the eggs together until smooth.
With the mixer on medium-low, begin adding in the eggs, a little at a time. You may only need 4 eggs, so be careful not to go too quickly. Continue mixing and adding in the eggs until the batter forms a "V" when pulled up out of the bowl with a spatula. Similarly, if you lift the paddle attachment, a tongue of batter should form on the end. The dough (or batter) should soft but not runny. It should be pipe-able, but still be able to hold it shape. Not sure if you added enough eggs? Try piping a small amount first. If necessary, whisk up the 5th egg and add a small portion of it at a time.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a plain round tip with the batter and pipe large mounds of batter - about 2-inches in diameter. Use a slightly dampened pastry brush or clean finger to gently press down any peaks that may form.
Remove the craquelin from the refrigerator. Use a biscuit cutter to cut rounds of the craquelin that are about the same diameter (or slightly larger) as the piped puffs. Top each puff with a craquelin “hat.” Store leftover craquelin in the freezer.
Bake the choux buns for 15 minutes at 400°F. Turn the oven down, and continue to bake at 350°F until golden (about 20 additional minutes). The puffs are done baking when the insides are dry and sound hollow when tapped from the bottom. Immediately use a wooden skewer or toothpick to poke the puffs and allow any trapped steam to escape. Cool before filling.
Rose Chantilly Cream
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon rose water extract, or to taste
By hand of with an electric mixer, whip the cream until it begins to thicken. Add the sugar and whip until soft peaks. Add the vanilla and rose extracts. Whip until medium/firm peaks. Do not over-mix.
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Using a serrated knife, trim the top ⅓ off the cooled choux buns. Set the tops aside.
Whisk the chilled pastry cream to loosen then fill a piping bag with a plain round tip. Fill the bottom portions of the choux buns with the pastry cream, piping around the outside first to leave a hole in the middle, stopping about a ½ inch from the top. Fill the centers of each bun with a teaspoon or two of raspberry jam.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a French star tip with the rose chantilly cream. Pipe the chantilly cream to cover the tops of the choux buns. Pipe another ring that sits on top of the bun. Top each choux bun with their corresponding tops.
- Serve the choux buns immediately. They are best when eaten within the first 20 minutes of being filled. Alternatively, store the components separately until ready to serve.
- Uneaten, filled choux buns needs to be refrigerated. They still taste great even after a couple of days, but the choux bun shells will lose some of their crispness.
- The number of eggs needed is not set. Based on humidity, the brand of flour, etc, the number of eggs that batter will absorb will be different. The goal is to add as many eggs as the batter can support while still being able to be piped. Whisking the eggs together makes it easier to add just a fraction of the eggs at a time.