The Grand Central Hotel’s St Patrick’s Day choux bun recipe

The Grand Central Hotel in Belfast is well-known for its delectable dining including stunning afternoon tea which can be enjoyed in the Observatory located on the 23rd floor boasting breath-taking views of Belfast and beyond.

If you fancy trying your hand at something different for St Patrick’s Day, the Grand Central’s Pastry Chef, Caitlin Lopes, has shared a delightful recipe to make at home. Enjoy!

St Patrick’s Day Choux Bun Recipe with a green sable topping and a pistachio filling


Brown sugar craquelin

75g butter (soft)

90g soft light brown sugar 

85g plain flour 

Green food colouring (or desired colour)

Choux ingredients

125ml milk

125ml water

125g butter 

Pinch of salt 

10g sugar 

245g eggs (lightly beaten)

160g strong flour (sieved)

Pistachio diplomat 

125ml whole milk

125ml double cream

1tsp vanilla bean paste

45g egg yolk 

40g caster sugar 

20g plain flour 

10g cornflour

30g pistachio paste

1 leaf gelatine (soaked in ice cold water)

85g semi whipped double cream 

Method – Brown Sugar Craquelin

1.     Beat butter and sugar until smooth

2.     Add flour and food colouring (add food colouring bit by bit until you get your desired colour)

3.     Let rest for at 30 minutes

4.     Lightly flour your bench and roll your craquelin until approx 2-3mm thick 

5.     Cut to desired size and keep in fridge until required

 Method – Choux pastry 

1.     Heat oven on to 170ºC fan assisted

2.     Place milk, water, butter, salt and sugar into a wide based pan and bring to a simmer

3.     Add in sieved flour and keep mixing vigorously with a wooden spoon  until your dough comes away from the sides of the pan to form one piece of dough 

4.     Allow dough to cool for 5 to 7 minutes before gradually adding in your eggs bit by bit. When each bit of egg is added ensure that it has been fully mixed into your dough before adding any more. You should end up with a smooth glossy dough of thick dropping consistency 

5.     Pipe mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment and top with craquelin (you want your craquelin to be a few centimetres bigger than your piped choux)

6.     Bake at 170ºC for 15-20 minutes then lower your oven to 130ºC and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Method – Pistachio diplomat 

1.     Heat milk, cream, vanilla and pistachio paste to a simmer 

2.     Whisk egg yolks sugar and flours 

3.     Gradually pour cream mix over egg mix continuously whisking 

4.     Place back on the heat and keep whisking (do not leave it or it will scramble) until you can make a figure of 8

5.     Whisk in gelatine 

6.     Set over ice 

7.     Once set smooth with a spatula 

8.     When smooth lightly fold in semi whipped cream and place in the fridge for approximately 20 minutes 

9.     Pipe into choux buns (whichever way suits you best!) 

10.  Enjoy with some hot chocolate sauce!