photo (60)Had a lovely relaxing Bank Holiday Sunday baking from my new baking book John Whaite Bakes (delivered fresh off the press by Mr Amazon).  I went for the Rhubarb, Ginger and Custard Éclairs as I’ve been wanting do something with rhubarb whilst it is in season.  I was hoping to use some of what we have growing in the back garden but alas, it’s not quite ready yet – which means we’ll still have that for another weekend 🙂

I found the beauty with this recipe is that although it was quite a lot of work, I could do it in fits and starts whenever I had some free time.  So, I started off by making the rhubarb compote.  I chopped it up and threw it in a pan with some water, sugar ,and grated stem ginger.  I then left to it to reduce for 20 minutes or so whilst I made the girls some breakfast. Et voilà!

I then had a spare half-hour late morning so decided to make the crème pâtissière.  I whisked together the eggs, sugar and cornflour.  Then I heated together the milk and vanilla paste.  I added half the milk to the egg mixture before pouring this into the remaining milk and continuing to whisk over heat until it thickened.  Easy peasy, not a lump in sight and tasted fabulous to boot.  Most went in the fridge (apparently this can keep for up to a week – you learn something new every day) but some may have been mopped up by the girls with some fruit.

Next on the to-do list was the choux buns.  Now, I have only ever made choux pastry twice before for profiteroles.  This was using a recipe from Larousse.  I’m not sure if its just the general aura of cooking greatness that this book exudes, but on both these occasions I found that it was a (self-imposed) high -pressure and stressful experience.  However,  today I found this choux pastry recipe was almost a joy to follow and I managed to whip up twelve healthy looking choux buns mid afternoon.

By tea-time I was ready to assemble my creations.  I had great fun piping pillows of crème pât into the halved choux buns.  I then spooned on top a couple of teaspoons of the rhubarb and ginger compote per bun.  I have to admit the most tricky part of the whole exercise was adding the melted chocolate to the top of the bun – I thought I’d use a piping bag for precision.  But I hadn’t let the chocolate cool sufficiently.  Therefore, as soon as I put the chocolate into the piping bag it poured out the other  end (much to the hilarity of the family, and the frustration of myself).  I ended up with a much more. ‘rustic’ look than I had anticipated by spooning the chocolate on top in the end… but this didn’t detract from the taste.  My husband and I managed to devour all twelve buns over the next 48 hours.

Ultimately, loving my new baking book purchase so far… so what to bake next?