Botanical Chouxnuts by Juliet Sear

  • Total Time

    1h 30m
    • Prep Time

      1h 0m
    • Bake Time

  • Serves


  • Skill Level

  • Dietary Needs

    • Vegetarian
  • 0 Reviews

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Our friend Juliet Sear is a baking expert, cook, food stylist, TV presenter and best selling author. Juliet has shared a few recipes with us from her book 'Botanical Baking' published by F&W Media International 2019.


I love these light and airy pastries. They’re perfect for a special afternoon tea, or as part of a dessert table for a big occasion. Similar to an éclair, but piped in a circle, they look like doughnuts. So cute! I’ve used oregano flowers to decorate but you could use any fresh flowers you fancy.


Enjoyed baking this recipe? Why not try one of Juliet's other recipes taken from her book? We have Rose & Lychee Cake, Orange & Almond 'A Touch of Frosting' Cake and Spring Flowers Bundt Cake.


  1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C (375˚F) and prepare two baking trays with baking parchment.

  2. In a pan heat the water, sugar, salt and butter until completely melted.

  3. Add the flour and beat well on the heat for 4–5 minutes until the dough comes away from the pan edges easily.

  4. Transfer the dough into a bowl and leave it to cool for 2–3 minutes.

  5. Slowly add the egg bit-by-bit, beating well until the choux is the right consistency. It should be stiff, but it should easily drop off a spoon.

  6. Put the choux paste into a piping bag with a medium to large round nozzle.

  7. Draw around a circular cutter (size of your choice) onto the parchment paper, flip the paper over and then pipe the circles of choux following the guide circles.

  8. Place the trays into the oven; spray some water onto the base of the oven before shutting the door (this creates a steamy environment in the oven which helps the pastry to rise).

  9. Bake for 25–35 minutes. Do not open the door of the oven until at least 25 minutes into baking otherwise the chouxnuts will collapse.

  10. Transfer the chouxnuts to a wire rack to cool. Make a small hole in the base of each chouxnut with a small knife or skewer to let the steam out and leave upside down on the wire rack to cool completely.

  11. To make the crème pâtissière, first beat the egg yolks and sugar with the vanilla and the flours until pale and thickened.

  12. Heat the milk in a pan until just boiling, whisk the milk into the egg mix and then pour it back into the pan.

  13. Heat the mixture stirring continuously until it is thick and boiling.

  14. Take it off the heat and pour it onto a tray and cover with cling film making sure the cling film is touching the crème pâtissière to stop a skin forming.

  15. Once the crème pâtissière has cooled, in a bowl whisk 300ml (10fl oz) of double cream with the icing sugar and vanilla to soft peak stage (this is a Chantilly cream). Gently mix the crème pâtissière into the Chantilly cream until smooth, light and fluffy to make your Crème Diplomat filling.

    If you want to do a quicker version of these, you can simply fill the chouxnuts with Chantilly cream. They will be lovely and fresh, but the Crème Diplomat is a delicious custardy filling that is very special indeed.

  16. Poke a hole into the base of your chouxnuts with a small knife and then pipe in the cream until you can feel that the chouxnuts are full. You can feel them getting heavy in your hand.

  17. Leave the chouxnuts to one side.

  18. To make the fondant, weigh 300g (10oz) fondant icing sugar and slowly add water 1 tsp at a time until you have a thick icing consistency. I added a little cream colouring to the fondant at this stage, but you could leave it white.

  19. Using a piping bag, pipe a ring of icing onto the chouxnuts and tap them on the surface to help the icing settle. Then decorate with edible flowers of your choice.

    These are best eaten fresh but will keep in the fridge for 2 days, but the pastry will lose its crispness.

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