|My patisserie challenge, religieuse|
Welcome back to my patisserie challenge. It has been many weeks I know, but going away and indulging in a daily patisserie, followed by a busy and somewhat stressful time coordinating Ed’s Brevet studies/exams (he passed), Adrian’s work (five weeks back to back commuting from rural France to Cambridge), stuff going awry at home (see here) and a very poorly cat, plus a well earned break for our village boulanger has meant time and tastings have slipped somewhat. My plan at the beginning of the year was to enjoy eating something different from our village boulangerie every Sunday, but I was getting dangerously close to having sampled all there was to offer, however yesterday I was delighted to find something I had yet to try.
The patisserie in the spotlight today is the religieuse a double-decker choux pastry bun that might just hold the secret to the perfect patisserie portion. The religieuse, which can be chocolate or coffee flavoured (I chose chocolate as I’m a chocoholic), is so called as it apparently looks like a Nun, or at least I’m guessing that in 1850’s Paris when it was invented, Nuns looked squat and rounded rather than chocolate covered. The two buns are stuffed full of either chocolate or coffee flavoured crème patissière and coated in a glossy ganache that again is flavour coordinated. It is then decorated (and held together) with delicately piped buttercream. It is very pretty to look at and truly delicious to eat, I especially liked the dark chocolate ganache topping as it was slightly bitter and cut through the sweetness of the chocolate filling. Having eaten and very much enjoyed the rich and chocolaty larger bun, I was delighted that the experience wasn’t yet over and although two big buns would have been too much, a second smaller one was just perfect.
I have yet to try making my own choux pastry, but as there is a great step by step guide and recipe in Teatime in Paris by Jill Colonna, maybe this summer I might.
Here are my previous patisserie challenge posts, in case you missed them: