Vanilla and Caramel Crunch

Golden choux buns, vanilla custard and crunchy caramel coating highlight a contrast of flavours and textures in Andrew Nutter's lovely dessert
By Andrew Nutter
Vanilla and Caramel Crunch
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the choux pastry

  • 300 ml water
  • 115 g butter
  • 140 g plain flour
  • 4 eggs

For the vanilla cream

  • 300 ml milk
  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 55 g caster sugar
  • 25 g plain flour
  • 100 ml whipping cream, whipped

For the caramel

  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp water

To serve

  • 1 punnet raspberries
  • raspberry coulis
  • mint leaves


1. To make the choux pastry, pour the water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the butter and simmer until melted.

2. Remove the pan from the heat, add the flour and beat until smooth. Return to the heat and cook out for about 1 minute.

3. Leave the mixture to cool slightly, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, until he mixture is smooth and glossy.

4. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Lightly grease two flat baking sheets. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe small rounds onto the prepared tray.

5. Bake for 15 minutes, until puffed up and golden. Leave to cool.

6. For the vanilla cream, pour the milk into a clean saucepan. Split the vanilla pods in half lengthways and add to the pan. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and let the milk simmer and infuse for a couple of minutes.

7. Beat the yolks and sugar together until smooth.

8. Add the flour.

9. Pour half of the milk onto the egg mixture, stirring continuously. Pour the mixture back into the remaining milk in the pan. Whisk over a low heat, until the mixture is thickened and smooth. Leave to cool.

10. When the mixture is cold, fold in the whipped cream.

11. Split the dough buns in half and fill with the vanilla cream.

12. Place the sugar and water together in a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. Turn the heat up and bubble until the mixture turns a caramel colour. Remove from the heat immediately.

13. Carefully dip the choux buns into the caramel and leave to harden. Take extreme care; hot caramel can cause nasty burns if it comes into contact with skin.

14. Arrange the buns on a large serving platter and scatter with raspberries. Decorate with raspberry coulis and mint leaves and serve.

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