I’m not going to apologise for my blogging absence, as the only things that have been going on around here are microwave meals and garden building. The kitchen is nearly there, just missing a larder cupboard which had to be ordered at the end for specific size purposes.

New recessed hob and island.

Yesterday the forecast was for rain all day, so I decided to give myself a cooking day playing with all my new toys. For some reason I decided to try and cook pastry and something I’ve never cooked before. A Religieuse, which translates as “Nun”. They are choux buns with a crumble on top, filled with creme patisserie and dipped in chocolate. There are obviously many variations which I will no doubt be making, as they were seriously delicious!


As the garden is taking shape, I never knew it would be so time consuming doing it by yourself, I’m going to treat myself to a Michel Roux cooking class. (Not the one meeting him, as I’m now officially skint) Can’t wait for both.


  • Butter 85g
  • Brown Sugar, 100g
  • Plain Flour, 100g
  • Butter 60g
  • Water 150ml
  • Flour 75g
  • Eggs 2, medium
  • Chocolate 75g
  • Full fat milk, 500ml
  • Egg Yolks 6
  • Sugar, 75g
  • Cornflour, 20g
  • Vanilla, 1 pod


  1. For the crumble topping (Craquelin), cream the 85g butter and 100g sugar together. Stir in flour. Roll out between cling film into a thin sheet 3mm thick. Place in fridge to harden.
  2. For choux buns, place butter and water into a pan and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and stir the flour in. Put back on a low heat and keep stirring for 3 minutes to cook the flour. Remove from heat and let cool, roughly 10 minutes as you heat your oven to 200°C FAN. Once mix is cool, beat in the two eggs, one at a time. Now pipe 5cm circles of the mix and smaller 2cm rounds. Take the craquelin from the fridge and cut out discs to match the piped the choux.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn heat down 170°C for 10-15 minutes until they are fully risen and a golden brown colour. Take out, pierce a hole in the bottom of the buns and return to oven for 4-5 mins for steam to evaporate. Let cool.
  4. While these are cooking, make the creme patisserie. Heat the milk, sugar and vanilla together. Whisk the egg yolks with the cornflour until pale. Add the warm milk slowly, whisking all the time. Return to the heat until this thickens. Pass through sieve and place in fridge to cool and solidify more.
  5. Once creme pat is cool, pipe into the choux buns. Melt the chocolate over some simmering water or in the microwave and dip the tops of the buns into the chocolate. While the chocolate is still liquid, place one of the smaller buns on top of a larger one. As the chocolate hardens they will stick together.


  1. Chez nous we adore religieuses …. sadly the pâtissière is so good and only steps from my door so I won’t be attempting them myself in the foreseeable but yours do look seriously delicious!

  2. What an ordeal. Your kitchen and your garden?!! What were you thinking?!!! No, kidding, it’s probably best to get it all done. It’s very exciting. The pastries are stunning – your new toys obviously work well!

    • Dave Crichton

      It is turning into a bit of an ordeal Mimi. It will be well worth it in the end. I just need to keep feeding myself choux buns and it’ll be good.

  3. Those buns are beautiful, I never thought choux could get any better! I might be a little slow, but what happens to the craquelin after they are cut into circles?
    On the savoury side, I had saved some good quality bacon fat and used it instead of butter to make cheese pate a choux, sooooo good!
    It looks like your place is coming along nicely. John and I also built out back patio after our Reno was finished. It was quite satisfying.

  4. The kitchen is look quite snazzy, Dave. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it when it’s done!

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