White chocolate & orange lady choux

Bake delicious treats for Mother's Day with these white chocolate & orange lady choux by Kim-Joy! Choux can do it!

White chocolate & orange lady choux Image credit: Kim-Joy

These elegant ladies with their little hats and arms will bring a smile to your face. You can also change the colours to a loved one’s favourites, and make them a special gift. Crème diplomate-filled choux pastry is also a timeless combination that everyone will love. The filling is intentionally not too sweet, to pair perfectly with the sweet craquelin and marzipan.

Baking with Kim-Joy Cover

This recipe is from Baking with Kim-Joy By Kim-Joy, Quadrille Publishing Ltd. If you've ever wanted to know how to bring your baking to life, Kim-Joy will show you how in this fun and practical book. As well as basic cake mixes, biscuit doughs, fillings/frostings and decorating techniques, she shares 40 of her wonderfully imaginative designs for iced biscuit creatures, big occasion cakes, character macarons and meringues, ornate breads and showstopping traybakes. If you love this bake you can get the book from our online shop WITH an automatic 10% off just for being you, PLUS free UK P+P!

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Ingredients

Orange craquelin

  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 75g light muscovado sugar
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 75g plain flour

Orange creme diplomate

  • 400ml whole milk
  • grated zest of 3 oranges
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 90g caster or granulated sugar
  • 60g cornflour
  • 3-31/2 tbsp orange liqueur, to taste
  • 170ml double cream

Marzipan (optional)

  • 125g icing (confectioners') sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 125g finely ground almonds
  • 1 pasteurized egg white
  • 1/4tsp almond extract
  • 3/4tsp amaretto
  • blue food dye

Chocolate hats

  • 500g white chocolate (this is a large quantity because it is easier to temper; you can remelt and reuse it for another baking project)
  • orange oil cocoa butter-based food colouring
  • or 150g [5½oz] orange compound chocolate

Plus

  • 1 quantity of Choux Pastry
  • 1/2 quantity of Royal Icing
  • black edible pen or black food dye mixed with a small amount of vodka or alcohol-based extract
  • edible flowers (if you don’t have these, you can cut out flower shapes from the marzipan instead!)
  • flaked (slivered) almonds or pumpkin seeds

Instructions

1
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas mark 6).
2
Make the orange craquelin. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest and combine. Add the flour and combine with your hands to form a ball. Roll out between 2 sheets of plastic wrap until about 2mm [ -in] thick and transfer to the freezer while you make the choux.
3
Make the choux pastry, transfer to a piping bag and cut a medium tip. Pipe 20 x 3-cm (1¼-in) circles on one baking sheet. Remove the craquelin from the freezer, then cut 20 x 3-cm [1¼-in] circles and place these on top of each choux circle.
4
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas mark 4) and bake for a further 20 minutes. Don’t open the oven until at least 25 minutes have passed, to avoid the choux pastry deflating.
5
While the choux are baking, pipe a second batch onto a second baking sheet. This time you will need 20 x 2-cm [¾-in] circles, and top each with a similarly sized disc of craquelin (there will be some leftover choux, so you can pipe extra if desired).
6
When the choux buns have finished baking, immediately turn them over and use a knife to pierce the base. This is so that the air inside has somewhere to escape, and also gives you a place to pipe in the filling. Bake the second batch of choux for 10 minutes at 200°C (400°F/Gas mark 6), then a further 10 minutes at 180°C (350°F/Gas mark 4).
7
While the choux are baking, make the orange crème diplomate for the filling. Add the milk, orange zest and vanilla bean paste to a medium saucepan. Stir over a low-medium heat until just starting to bubble. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cornflour and mix until just combined. When the milk mixture is bubbling, pour a small amount (about a third) into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. When combined, add the rest of the milk while still whisking, then pour it all back into the saucepan.
8
Put the pan back over a medium heat and whisk by hand until the mixture is very thick. Switch to a spatula when it becomes too thick to whisk, and use the spatula to get right into the edges of the pan. When the mixture is very thick, stir in the orange liqueur and place back on the heat for a few seconds while constantly stirring, to thicken again. Spoon this crème pâtissière into a shallow metal tray, about 21 x 30cm (8¼ x 12in), or a bowl, cover with plastic wrap (making sure it touches the surface of the crème) and leave to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes. If you have any lumps in your ‘crème pat,’ you can strain it before chilling.
9
When the crème pat is completely cool, whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks, then gently fold into the crème. It may help to whisk the crème pat first just to loosen it a bit. With the addition of the whipped cream to lighten it, you now have crème diplomate. Transfer to a piping bag and leave in the fridge until ready to use.
10
Pipe the crème diplomate into the cooled choux buns through the hole created earlier, making sure each one is filled completely.
11
Make the marzipan (if using shop-bought marzipan, skip this step). Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk the wet ingredients, except the food dye, together in a separate bowl. Add the wet to the dry and stir until just starting to combine. Knead on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar until it becomes smooth and forms a ball.
12
Add blue food dye to your marzipan and knead until the colour is evenly distributed. Make the royal icing and transfer to a piping bag.
13
On a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll the marzipan out thinly, about 2mm (-in) and cut out 20 circles, about 6cm (2½-in) in diameter, then place one on top of each larger choux bun, using royal icing to make it stick. Then use royal icing to pipe dots around the border of each marzipan circle. Place the smaller choux bun on top, again using royal icing to make it stick. Use black edible pen or black food dye mixed with a little vodka to draw in eyes and a dot for the mouth.
14
Temper the white chocolate and add orange oil or cocoa butter-based food colouring to make it orange, or melt orange compound chocolate and skip the tempering. Smooth the chocolate over acetate (or baking paper) and leave to set. Use a cutter to stamp out 2.5–3-cm (1–1¼-in) circles from the chocolate (you can heat the edge of the cutter with warm water to make it easier). Place a small chocolate circle on top of each choux bun, secured with a little royal icing. Decorate with an edible flower of your choice.
15
Finally, insert flaked almonds or pumpkin seeds into the sides to create arms.

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