Summer berry cream puffs

These come from my book National Trust Simply Baking (see Books page). They make a wonderful summer pudding, but are also popular at teatime!  You can vary the fruit filling according to what you have to hand.

Makes 24 puffs

Choux puffs

115g/4oz plain flour

pinch of salt

115g/4oz butter, diced

300ml/10 Ĺ fl oz water

4 small eggs, beaten

Summer berry filling

115g/4oz red currants

300g/10 Ĺ oz raspberries

284ml/ Ĺ  pint double cream

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

2-3 tablespoons icing sugar, or to taste

Caramel

115g/4oz granulated sugar

4 tablespoons water

 

1  To make the choux buns, preheat the oven to fan 200C/gas 7.  Oil a non-stick baking sheet.  Sift the salt and flour into a bowl.

2  Put the butter and water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a brisk boil and, as soon as the butter has melted, take off the heat and tip in the flour.  Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon for 3-4 minutes over a low heat until the mixture is smooth and glossy and leaves the side of the saucepan.

3  Remove from the heat and beat in the eggs, a little at a time.  Stop beating once the dough is smooth and glossy but stiff enough to hold its shape. 

4  Using two teaspoons to spoon out 24 blobs on to the baking sheet, spacing them well apart.  Bake for 25 minutes or until dry and crisp.  Using a skewer, quicly pierce each puff and return to the switched-off oven for 5 minutes, leaving the door slightly open.   This allows any steam to escape.  Cool on a wire rack.

5  Once the puffs are cold, prepare the filling.  Wash the currants, gently pat dry on kitchen paper, and strip from their stems.  Place in a bowl with the raspberries. 

6  Put the cream, grand marnier and icing sugar in a mixing bowl  Whisk until the cream forms soft peaks, then fold in the fruit.

7  Cut a slit into the side of each choux puff and, using a teaspoon, spoon the cream mixture into the puffs.  Return them to the cooling rack and place a sheet of greaseproof paper underneath to catch the caramel drips. 

8  To make the caramel, put the sugar and water in a small heavy bottomed saucepan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Then increase the heat and boil rapidly - without stirring - until it turns a beautiful golden caramel.  It will continue to darken after itís off the heat, so take it off shortly before you think itís the right colour. 

9 Using a teaspoon, gently drizzle the hot caramel over the top of the puffs, taking care not to pour it over the cream as this will melt with the heat.  Leave the caramel to cool and harden for about 30 minutes, then serve. 

 

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