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If the choux fits.... WONDERFUL FLAVOURS AND TEXTURES MAKE THESE TEATIME TREATS A REAL DELIGHT.

Byline: stephen jacksonCHEF AND CO-OWNER, T&CAKE CAFE, ALMONDBURY

WONDERFUL flavours and textures make these tea-time treats a delight. And so here we go, barrelling headlong into 2019.

I hope you had a lovely end to 2018 and would like to wish every one of you all the very best for the coming year.

I'm hoping for one a little less hectic and annoying than last year, but, as ever, if I get too stressed about the world, I find a little cooking calms one down perfectly and sets things straight once more. Especially baking; tension can be easily alleviated by getting out the eggs and flour, and baking up something delicious in a warm kitchen.

This recipe stems from the fact that I've only recently become aware of a new style of baking choux buns, and that's the addition of a crusty topping known as craquelin.

I'm sure it's been used for years by bakers and patissiers, but only recently have I noticed its popularity.

On buns, profiteroles and eclairs, a little layer of this irresistible crunchy coating has started to appear regularly, giving each pastry a lovely dappled look.

So I decided to whip up a batch of craquelin for the first time, and use it to top some choux buns filled with a delicate version of creme patissiere known as creme diplomate.

It's a basic creme pat lightened with whipped cream, and makes for a very refined and elegant filling, either plain or flavoured.

I've not made anything with coffee recently, and the idea of a creamy coffee-filled choux bun really appealed, so I began making my notes and brewed a fresh pot for inspiration.

I adore coffee, and it's a wonderful ingredient to work with, adding bold flavour to all manner of things from the more usual cakes and pastries, to Mexican or South American stews and sauces.

The unmistakable aroma and rich flavour is absolutely perfect for baking, so this recipe features a light coffee cream filling along with some fresh ground coffee flavouring the craquelin topping more strongly.

Feel free to add whatever flavours you like, if coffee's not your thing, of course; a simple vanilla cream perhaps, or maybe chocolate? You could add some freshlyground praline or even a decadent splash of booze. Whatever you choose, have a great time baking these little beauties - choux pastry is one of the easiest and most satisfying in the repertoire - and allow yourself the indulgence of enjoying a little luxury at the start of another year. Diet? What diet?

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jan 4, 2019
Words:423
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