Hot Cross Bun Eclairs

Meet Hot Cross Buns 2.0 – a buttery choux pastry eclair, filled with spiced cream and topped with spiced white chocolate glaze. After one of these, it’s hard to go back to a plain old one-a-penny bun!

Prep:
70mins, plus chilling
Cook:
40mins
Serves:
18-20

Ingredients

Choux Pastry
  1. 175 ml water
  2. 85g salted butter
  3. 1 tbsp sugar
  4. 1 cup plain flour
  5. 4 large eggs
  6. For egg wash: 1 egg and pinch of salt
Filling
  1. 1 cup milk
  2. 4 tbsp cornflour
  3. 1 cup caster sugar
  4. 2 eggs + 4 egg yolks
  5. 60g butter
  6. 1 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  8. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  9. 2 tsp Queen Organic Vanilla Bean Paste
  10. Optional: 1/2 cup sultanas or raisins
Glaze
  1. 120g white chocolate
  2. 4 tbsp cream
  3. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Decoration
  1. 100g white chocolate, melted
  2. 1/4 cup currants

Method - Choux Pastry

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 220°C. Line two baking sheets with baking paper.

  2. Step 2

    Combine water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally.

  3. Step 3

    At boil, remove from heat and sift in the flour, stirring to combine completely.

  4. Step 4

    Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the batter dries slightly and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

  5. Step 5

    Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon 1 minute to cool slightly. Add 1 egg. The batter will appear loose and shiny. As you stir, the batter will become dry-looking like lightly buttered mashed potatoes. It is at this point that you will add in the next egg. Repeat until you have incorporated all the eggs.

  6. Step 6

    Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large open tip. Pipe choux about 2-3cm apart on the baking sheets. For long éclairs, pipe them about 10cm long and 2.5 cm wide.

  7. Step 7

    Using a clean finger dipped in hot water, gently press down on any tips that have formed on the top of choux when piping. Brush tops with egg wash.

  8. Step 8

    Bake the choux at 220°C until well-puffed and turning lightly golden in colour, about 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 180°C and continue baking until well-coloured and dry, about 25 minutes more. (Lower the oven temperature 10 degrees if using fan-forced or if choux are browning too much.) Note: It is very important the choux are completely dried before removing from the oven. If removed too soon they will to deflate or soften. If this happens, return them straight to the oven as they are not dried out enough and will go soggy if filled.

  9. Step 9

    Remove to a rack and cool. If preparing ahead, store choux in an airtight container overnight until close to assembling and serving

Method - Cream Filling

  1. Step 1

    Dissolve cornflour in 1/4 cup of milk in a medium bowl. Combine remaining milk with sugar in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Once at boiling point, remove from heat, allow to cool slightly.

  2. Step 2

    Beat whole egg and egg yolks into the cornflour mixture. Pour 1/3 of hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so that the eggs do not begin to cook.

  3. Step 3

    Return saucepan of milk to heat. Pour in hot egg mixture, whisking continuously.

  4. Step 4

    Whisk over heat until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and beat in the butter, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg and vanilla. Strain into a large bowl, then fold in sultanas.

  5. Step 5

    Press plastic wrap firmly against the surface of filling to prevent a skin forming. Chill immediately and until ready to use, at least two hours or overnight.

Method - Glaze and Assembly

  1. Step 1

    Place pastry cream in a piping bag with a tip large enough to allow the sultanas through.

  2. Step 2

    Slice each éclair horizontally into one side, leaving the other side attached.

  3. Step 3

    Pipe cream filling into the hollow of each pastry and chill filled pastries while preparing the glaze.

  4. Step 4

    In a small saucepan, heat chocolate, cinnamon and cream on low heat, stirring until smooth. Allow to cool for a few minutes.

  5. Step 5

    Dip the top of each filled éclair into the melted mixture, allowing the excess to drip off. Smooth with a spatula if needed. Place on a wire rack to set.

  6. Step 6

    Melt additional white chocolate for the topping, then place in a piping bag with a narrow tip. Pipe white crosses over the top of each éclair, then place currants over the top of each one.

  7. Step 7

    Place éclairs in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to serve.