Fiona makes these in book one, for a girl’s night, having decided that crisps and dip might wreak havoc with her carpet.

Creamy Goat’s Cheese Choux Buns


4oz plain flour

6 fluid oz water

Half a teaspoon of fine salt

3oz butter, chopped

3 medium eggs, beaten

Olive oil for frying

2 red onions, finely sliced

2 sprigs thyme, leaves picked

2tsp balsamic vinegar

1tsp soft brown sugar

7oz soft goat’s cheese

3.5 fluid oz double cream

Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 200℃. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Sift the flour onto a piece of folded and opened out parchment paper.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the water, salt and butter until the butter has just melted. Bring just to the boil, remove from the heat and tip in the flour right away. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon.
  3. Beat until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan to form a ball, about 20 seconds. Return to the stove and beat for half a minute over a very low heat. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating hard between each addition – until the last egg. Beat the last egg separately in a bowl and add a little at a time. You may not need all of it. When enough egg has been added, the dough will be shiny and soft enough to fall from the spoon.
  5. Pipe the pastry mix onto the baking parchment in small mounds, spaced well apart. Dip your finger in cold water and press lightly on the top of each bun to ensure they are even and not pointy on the top.
  6. Bake for twenty minutes or until well risen and golden. Remove from the oven and pierce the side of each bun with a sharp knife to allow the steam to escape. Return to the oven for two minutes to crisp up, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. While the buns are cooling, make the red onion relish. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onions, thyme and seasoning, and fry over a gentle heat for fifteen minutes, stirring frequently. Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar, turn up the heat and set aside to cool.
  8. Whip the cream and gently fold in to the goat’s cheese, season with black pepper.
  9. To serve, spoon the creamed goat’s cheese into a piping bag, pipe a spoonful of the mix into the middle of each choux bun. Top with a little spoonful of the relish, and serve.