Wednesday, 9 March 2011

What Makes a Monster and What Makes a Man

Disney Classic # 34 - The Hunchback of Notre Dame

You're probably all thinking "what the fudge is an Elephant's Foot and why would I want to eat it?" Also, "are there even any elephants in Hunchback??" Well, no. But there's this chain of bakeries in Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire called Birds, and they sell these cakes/pastries called Elephant's Feet. The pastries are some sort of choux buns, filled with fresh cream and topped with chocolate sauce, a bit like a giant profiterole, but much firmer, and the shape of them is bulky and blobby, (hence the name Elephant's Foot)

How does this relate to Hunchback? Well, I figured the moral of the story is not to be deceived by appearances, and that it's what on the inside that counts. I figured Elephants Feet fit here as they don't look amazing, but they are really tasty. Plus choux pastry is French... so it works for me!


I couldn't find a recipe for "Elephant's Foot cake" so I took a logical guess and searched for a choux pastry recipe. Well, the cakes ended up not quite being Elephant's Feet- the pastry was far too soft, but they were still really really tasty. It's like I invented a new cake... and I name them Quasi's. Anyways, my Quasi's were based on recipes found here and here.
A real-life Elephant's Foot from Birds

Prep time: 15mins      Cook time: 25-30 mins     Serves: 6


75ml water
75ml milk
50g unsalted butter
65g strong white (or bread) flour
2 medium eggs
350ml double cream
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g milk chocolate
100g icing sugar
1tsp coca powder

  1. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to gas mark 6.
  2. Place the milk, water and butter into a large saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Bring to the boil until the mixture is bubbling vigorously, then remove from heat.
  3. Tip all of the flour into the pan and quickly beat into the mixture, until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Leave to cool slightly.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Beat the eggs into the pastry mixture a little at a time until the pastry is smooth and glossy.
  5. Put the pastry mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. Pipe circles onto the prepared baking tray, leaving space between each for the mixture to spread/rise. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 mins, until golden brown and crisp on the outside.
  6. Remove from the oven and cut a slit in the side of each bun. Leave to cool on a wire wrack.
  7. Once the pastries have cooled, prepare the cream filling. Whip 300ml of the double cream with 1tbsp of caster sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Once the cream is firm, place it into a piping bag. Place the nozzle of the piping bag into the slit you made in the choux bun and pipe cream into the middle.
  8. Heat the remaining 50ml of cream in the microwave for 30 seconds, then break the chocolate into it. Stir until all of the chocolate has melted, then add the icing sugar and cocoa powder and beat until smooth. Spread around a tablespoon of the chocolate sauce onto each bun, then place in the fridge to set for 5 minutes.
  9. Serve straight from the fridge and enjoy ^_^

Next time it's Hercules, another favourite of mine (and one of the greatest to sing along to, too!) I'm going to cook up some lovely baklava!
Happy Thoughts


  1. They sell them in Burnley, too - but the topping is more like a semi-soft toffee fudge. They're very nice indeed!

  2. Please tell me your topping was close to the real thing? I NEED an elephants foot, but being as I not only live about 170 miles from the nearest Bird's but have also been recently diagnosed as coeliac, it falls to me to try and recreate one :D
    thanks muchly for any info
    from: someone raised on Bird's fluffy white toast, lemon curd tarts and elephant's feet.