Liam’s locomotive is made from perfectly puffed choux pastry carriages, filled with a cherry cola crème diplomat filling and given the first class treatment with fondant decorations.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4
For the choux pastry, gently heat the butter, milk and salt in a pan over a medium heat. Once the butter has melted, increase the heat and quickly bring the mixture to the boil. Tip in the flour in one go and beat vigorously to combine.
Reduce the heat and beat until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan. Continue to beat for two more minutes, keeping the pan on a low heat.
Transfer the dough to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and allow to cool slightly.
In a separate small bowl, light whisk the eggs together to combine.
With the stand mixer on a medium speed, gradually add the egg until you achieve a smooth, glossy dough which forms a ‘V’ shape on a spatula when lifted. You may not need all of the egg. Alternatively, you can do this by hand in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon. A damp tea towel placed underneath the bowl should help it to stay in place while you beat the mixture.
Transfer the choux pastry to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round nozzle.
Pipe the choux pastry dough onto the template, creating 23 shapes in total.
Bake for 25 minutes until golden and crisp.
While the choux pastry is baking, prepare the crème diplomat filling. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a medium sized bowl then set aside.
Heat the milk and cherry cola syrup in a saucepan to just below boiling, then remove from the heat.
Whisking continuously, pour the milk and cherry cola syrup over the egg yolk mixture. Return this to the pan and cook over a medium heat, continuing to whisk, until you have a thick custard.
Transfer to a bowl or a shallow container, then cover with cling film, pressing it onto the top of the custard so that it doesn’t form a skin. Put in the fridge to cool.
While the custard is cooling, whisk the double cream to soft peaks.
Once the custard is cooled, transfer to the bowl with the whisked cream and whisk again until smooth.
Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a rounded star nozzle.
Pipe crème diplomat onto:
- 2 x squares
- 3 x small rectangles
- 1 x medium rectangle
- 1 large rectangle
- 1 x triangle
Sandwich the crème diplomat using the same shape choux.
Use any remaining crème diplomat to fill the small round choux buns.
On a cornflour dusted surface, roll out the red fondant and cut out shapes using the picture above as a guide.
Roll out the blue fondant and cut out three window shapes pieces.
Roll out the black fondant and cut out circles to fit onto the small round choux buns.
Using a little edible glue to secure, stick the red, blue and black fondant shapes to the choux pieces, using the picture above to help you.
Use yellow writing icing to add detail to the wheels and carriages, add some white mini marshmallows as steam, the finish with two cola straws between the train carriages.