Choux with praline cream and chocolate sauce
( MAKES 30 )
Photo by Tam West
Coat these light but flavoursome choux buns in chocolate sauce or try coated in a salted caramel sauce.
Praline and praline cream
|60 g||Raw almonds|
|60 g||Caster sugar|
|¾ cup||Caster sugar|
|¼ cup||Cream, stiffly whipped, use up to ½ cup, enough to lighten praline cream|
|3 Tbsp||Praline, crushed|
- Heat the oven to 190C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- To make the choux pastry, sift the flour, with a pinch of salt, on to a sheet of paper. Place the butter and water in a saucepan over gentle heat. When the butter has melted, bring the water to the boil, remove from the heat and straight away tip in all the flour. Quickly beat until smooth and the mixture leaves the side of the saucepan. Leave for 2-3 minutes to cool a little.
- Add the eggs, a little at a time, to the mixture, beating well between additions. (An electric mixer is good here.) If eggs are large you may need to hold a little back. Beat until the choux pastry is smooth and shiny and holds its shape.
- Place the choux pastry in a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Pipe into balls the size of a small egg on to the prepared tray. (Or use a dessert spoon.) Use a wet finger to lightly smooth tops if necessary. Sprinkle or spray a tiny amount of cold water over the choux pastry as this helps with rising.
- Place in the oven, increase the oven temperature to 200C and bake for 25-30 minutes until puffed, browned and crisp. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Make an incision in the side of each choux bun to release the steam.
- To make the praline, lightly oil a baking tray. Place the almonds and sugar in a small heavy-based saucepan over low heat. When the sugar is a liquid caramel, stir carefully with a metal spoon to toast the almonds on all sides. Tip out on to the prepared tray and leave to set. When cold, crush with a rolling pin or crush in a spice grinder. Store in an airtight container.
- To make the praline cream, place the milk in a heavy-based saucepan and bring up to boiling point. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Place the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour into a bowl and mix until light and creamy. Pour in the milk, then return to the rinsed-out saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook until the pastry cream thickens, stirring continuously. Cook long enough to cook out the cornflour. Remove from the heat and beat well until smooth and the pastry cream is very thick. Place in a bowl, cover to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool. When cold, fold in enough stiffly whipped cream to lighten, and most of the praline, reserving a little to sprinkle over the choux buns.
- To make the chocolate sauce, place all the ingredients in a small heavy-based saucepan, over low heat. Gently melt until smooth. Add extra cream if the sauce is a little too thick.
- To assemble, fill the choux buns with the praline cream using a teaspoon or piping bag fitted with a small nozzle. Place three in each glass, drizzle over the chocolate sauce and sprinkle with extra praline. Or you could fill choux buns with whipped cream flavoured with the zest of an orange and a splash of Grand Marnier.
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