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Cream Puff "Crack Buns"(Choux au Craquelin) – Chef John Goes Hollywood

These gorgeous cream puff "crack buns” were inspired by the Great British Baking Show, which is not only my favorite cooking show, but currently my favorite thing on television. Maybe it's the accent, or because the contestants are all so nice, and actually try to help each other. Or, it could be the fact that when the time is up, and they try to work for a few more seconds, the hosts just politely scold them, instead of immediate disqualification, which is what would happen on our much more uptight American culinary competitions.

It's probably all of the above, plus the fact I always get so many wonderful ideas for videos, with these Choux au Crackelinbeing a prime example. Like I said in the video, these would be great filled with all kinds of things, but it's hard to beat vanilla bean pastry cream. I'm pretty proud of the recipe we posted a few years ago, and while I enjoy it straight, traditionally it would have some whipped cream folded in to lighten the mixture.

Speaking of favorite things, Boston cream pie is one of my all-time favorite desserts, and this was basically an individually portioned, probably superior version of that. The only thing that would have made this experience any more enjoyable would have been getting that coveted Paul Hollywood handshake. Maybe one day. In the meantime, I really do hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 6 to 8 Crack Buns:

For the “crack” crust:
3 tablespoons soft butter
1/4 light brown sugar (1 1/2 ounces)
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour (47 grams)
pinch salt

For the choux pastry:
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
pinch salt
1/2 cup flour
2 large room temperature eggs
melted dark chocolate, optional

- Put into 450 F. oven, reduce to 350 F., and bake for 30-40 minutes or until browned and fully puffed.


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